March 16, 2011 —
By Bill Mullaly
The wrestling season has started in earnest for Hudson area youth as last Saturday kicked off the 2011 area youth wrestling tournament season. The youngsters ranging in ages from six and under up to 14 years of age started competing in the local tournament circuit that begins each March. The Saturday after the state high school individual wrestling finals take place the nearly 10-weekend season traditionally starts out at Hudson High School as it did last Saturday. “Another great tournament and the biggest ever,” is simply how Tiger head wrestling coach Scott “Scooter” Marry summed up last Saturday’s Hudson youth wrestling tournament. “We had kids and fans all over the place and it was packed in the gym. Everyone had a real good time and it was another successful tournament. We had a lot of people work together to make the event run so smoothly.”
The Hudson Youth Wrestling Club is headed up by several people who are all volunteers but nobody appreciates the help of the club members like president and spokesman Rodney Weaver. “We had a great tournament with our largest turnout yet in the eight years or so that I have been involved with the wrestling club. The number of people in that gym was a sight to see. It was crowded and a lot of people were there to support youth wrestling. Our tournament is the one that starts it all and it is always well attended by other teams and their fans.”
Weaver cannot say enough about the help and support the wrestling club receives in putting on this enormous event. “If you could just see how the event runs and the help that we get from so many people. Whether is it the ladies doing the organizing, scoring and results or the high school kids reffing the matches, to the people running the concession stand and others it is a great show we put on.”
It is also a very important and profitable event for a wrestling club that is bursting with members as youth wrestling or wrestling in general in Hudson is booming. Weaver said that this year the enrollment in the youth wrestling club has reached new heights with around 70 youngsters signed-up and involved with Hudson’s fastest growing sport. Youth Wrestling is becoming quite popular with the Hudson area youngsters and in other communities as well, especially in the Lenawee County area. After last Saturday’s big event at Hudson it is on to Hillsdale this Friday night for an evening event and then on Saturday morning the wrestlers will be at Sand Creek. Then there are ones coming up later in Addison, Onsted, then Manchester and Columbia Central and so on it goes according to Weaver. “Lenawee County and this area of the state is a hot-bed for wrestling.” The kids love the sport as do the parents, grand parents and other family members who are all part of the sport. “We will keep the kids busy and occupied on the mat and we will teach them the fundamentals, techniques and the basics to the sport,” said Weaver, who has been involved with the sport since he son, Cole, now a freshman began wrestling as a six-year old. “Our wrestling club is all about the sport and the kids from the young ones up to the kids on the high school team. Everything we do is for the kids and goes back to the kids and wrestling. We try to promote the sport and we have a very special thing going right here in Hudson with the success of the high school team. It is no coincidence that our program is booming and the high school continues to do so well.”
Weaver looks at the success of the Hudson Tiger high school team and he knows where it all started with the local youth wrestling club. “I would venture to say that everyone who competed on the high school team and helped us win another state championship was involved with our wrestling club as a youngster on up through high school,” Weaver said. “We have something to offer the youngest kids up to the older ones as far as types of wrestling and tournaments and events to compete in.”
One of the successes to the sport of wrestling at Hudson is the involvement of the Tiger coaching staff with the youth program. Head coach Marry along with his numerous assistants and his high school wrestlers teach the sport to the younger ones. “This club is all about wrestling and giving back to the program and when you have the older folks involved it really helps. The coaches get involved and the high school wrestlers are there and when the young kids see the success they have had it just really helps sell the sport and promote it.”
Weaver noted that this year the local wrestling club has its highest turnout yet and he links that to the success at the high school where the Tiger have now won three straight team state championships. Add in that ten individual wrestlers went to the state meet and all ten placed and it just spurs the interest and involvement in the local youth wrestling club. “Look around and see what we have going here in Hudson and there is a relationship to the numbers we have this year in our youth program to what is going on with the school teams,” said Weaver, who saw his own son finish off a great first year as a high school grappler with a 60-6 mark and a runner-up spot at the state individual finals meet. “It all began at the youth wrestling level for him and many others. I am proud of him and all the high school wrestlers and I can remember when they were younger out there competing in our club. It is all about starting early and developing a love for the sport.”
Opening Tournament Results
Weaver said of the 70 members in the Hudson wrestling club that 56 competed in the first tournament at home last Saturday and more than half of them earned a place for their efforts. “We had a good showing and it was a great start to our season,” Weaver noted. Here is a look at how the young Tigers did on the mat to begin another season of youth wrestling.
Taking first in the six and under division was Payton Rogers as the youngster was the lone Tiger to be an individual champion at that age. Kannon Marry was second taking a runner-up spot, while Jackson Miller was third and both Joshua Deline and Aden Barrett were fourth. Others competing in that age bracket were Mason Cox, Owen Deline, Camron Cox, Ambrose Horwath and Evan Topps.
The 7-8 year olds saw Brenen Lopinski and Dylan Smith take first place. Steven Valdez and Jayden James were good for second place. Kyle Moll and Ethan Harris both were third place. Taking fourth were Danessa Ladd, Will Stiverson and Wade Gautz. Others competing were David Eberhard, Ricardo Cabrera, Keegan Ames, Trey Nieman, Gavin Brown and Anthony Valdez.
For the 9-10 year olds it was Tucker Sholl taking first place but he was not alone. Also, winning titles were Kyle Lockwood and Carson Price as they were first place. Noah Malarney gained a runner-up spot taking second. In third place were Johnathan Betz, Layne Peterson and Jarrett Waters. Genevieve Marry and Cole Weber were both fourth place. Also, competing in this age bracket were Devin Decaire, Tyler Curtis, Scott Torres, Carter Nuoffer and Seth Musgrave.
The 11-12 year olds had a runner-up but no champion as Kaleb Lockwood was second. Taking third were both Damon Hassenzahl and Kody Eichler. Nick Feekings was fourth place. Also, competing were Ethen Brown, Mason Lindeman, Kenny Weirich and Jamie Weirich.
In the older age division of the 13-14 year olds it was all six placing led by Shay McDaniel who got first place. McDaniel was not the only winner as Mason Lopinski took first place as well. Dylan Leathers, Jared Scamp and Michael Prock were all runner-ups taking second. Andrew Rickard gained a third place finish.
The wrestling club does a lot to promote the sport and to keep the young wrestlers involved and it takes funds to to do so and Weaver mentioned the tournament helps raise funds. Another fund-raiser coming up will be a reverse raffle, money auction they will be helping the Hudson Kiwanis with. To buy a $50 ticket to the April 9th event to be held at the American Legion contact Weaver at (517) 605-9717 or a member of the Kiwanis. Also, members of the Hudson wrestling club will have tickets to sell and they are Vice President Jerry Price, Secretary Connie Varney and Treasurer Karri Waters.