Grover Mays Selected as Wrestling Coach of the Year for IKWF South Sectional

Grover Mays - IKWF South Sectional Coach of the Year

HIGHLAND, IL—The A-J Junior Wildcats Wrestling Club received recognition for one of its coaches at the IKWF South Sectionals.  Head coach Grover Mays was selected as Coach of the Year for the IKWF South Sectional.

“I’m floored,” said Mays after the announcement was made late in the day.  “I didn’t see this coming at all!”

At each of the IKWF’s eight sectional tournaments, coaches are nominated for the honor and each team gets a single vote.  At next weekend’s IKWF State Tournament, one of those eight will be selected as the IKWF Coach of the Year for the entire state.

Mays attributed the honor to the performance of his club’s wrestlers at the sectional tournament.

“There are so many coaches here that everyone knows.  I was surprised to even be nominated,” Mays explained.  “I guess they saw how hard our kids were working today and how much they’ve improved and that’s why they voted for me.  This means so much more to me than trophies or money or anything.”

#             #             #

A-J Junior Wildcats Achieve 400th Season Win At Carbondale Regionals

The A-J Junior Wildcats Wrestling Club achieved their 400th win as a club for the 2013-2014 season at the Carbondale IKWF South Regional on March 1, 2014.  Going 20-24 for the day, they took fourth place in team scoring and are sending eleven grapplers to next weekend’s sectionals in Highland.

“We’ve come a long way,” said head coach Grover Mays.  “And we’re still improving.  We saw kids working the moves today we were just practicing this week.”

One of the day’s highlights was 8-year-old Nile Chotner reaching his twentieth win for the season.

“That leaves us with ten kids at twenty or more wins for the season.  We’ve got eleven with winning records and two with even records for the season.  We’re sending eleven to the sectionals.  We’re winning 46% of our matches,” explained club president Rollie Hawk. “We’ve still got a lot of areas where we want to improve but these stats tell us we’re on the right track.”

While the club’s bantam (eight and under) wrestlers are mostly done for the season, the remaining wrestlers will continue preparing for the sectionals in Highland on March 8 and the IKWF State Finals the following weekend.  The club’s lady wrestlers will also be preparing for the IKWF Girls State Tournament on March 16 in Yorkville.

Complete team results from the Carbondale IKWF South Regional are below, courtesy of Trackwrestling.com.  Those going on to the Highland IKWF South Sectionals are in bold.

Intermediate 66 – Caleb Mays’s place is 4th and has scored 4.00 team points.
Semifinal – Ryan Kaiser (Vandalia Jr WC) won by decision over Caleb Mays (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Dec 3-0)
3rd Place Match – Logan Nance (Vandalia Jr WC) won by decision over Caleb Mays (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Dec 5-0)

Intermediate 70 – Grover Mays’s place is 1st and has scored 22.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Grover Mays (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) received a bye () (Bye)
Semifinal – Grover Mays (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by fall over Gage Nuttall (Olney Cubs WC) (Fall 0:38)
1st Place Match – Grover Mays (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by decision over Arojae Hart (Murphysboro WC) (Dec 3-0)

Intermediate 70 – Brett Smith’s place is unknown and has scored 4.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Brett Smith (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by fall over Kaden Schneider (Sparta Junior Bulldogs) (Fall 2:28)
Semifinal – Arojae Hart (Murphysboro WC) won by fall over Brett Smith (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Fall 0:28)
Cons. Semi – Jason Tanner (Carbondale WC) won by fall over Brett Smith (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Fall 1:15)

Intermediate 79 – Kaden Lincoln’s place is 3rd and has scored 12.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Kaden Lincoln (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) received a bye () (Bye)
Semifinal – Kyle Sykes (Murphysboro WC) won by major decision over Kaden Lincoln (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Maj 9-1)
Cons. Semi – Kaden Lincoln (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by fall over Cody Dickerson (Sparta Junior Bulldogs) (Fall 0:30)
3rd Place Match – Kaden Lincoln (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by fall over Dillion Pirtle (Sparta Junior Bulldogs) (Fall 2:40)

Intermediate 95 – Payton Seip’s place is unknown and has scored 0.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Joey Farrar (Aces WC) won by fall over Payton Seip (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Fall 0:40)
Cons. Round 1 – Payton Seip (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Semi – Faith Clay (West Frankfort Jr. Redbirds) won by fall over Payton Seip (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Fall 0:28)

Intermediate 122 – Madilyn Hawk’s place is unknown and has scored 0.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Grant Biby (Panther Powerhouse Wrestling) won by decision over Madilyn Hawk (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Dec 9-7)
Cons. Round 1 – Madilyn Hawk (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Semi – Johnathan Coates (Herrin Jr WC) won by fall over Madilyn Hawk (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Fall 1:37)

Novice 74 – Dylan Smith’s place is 4th and has scored 4.00 team points.
Semifinal – Dayton Hall (Aces WC) won by fall over Dylan Smith (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Fall 0:27)
3rd Place Match – Derrick Pierce (Murphysboro WC) won by decision over Dylan Smith (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Dec 7-4)

Novice 89 – Nathan Kisat’s place is 2nd and has scored 13.50 team points.
Semifinal – Nathan Kisat (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by tech fall over Zack Stephenson (Vandalia Jr WC) (TF 19-0)
1st Place Match – Jacob Sileven (West Frankfort Jr. Redbirds) won by decision over Nathan Kisat (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Dec 4-3)

Novice 130 – Dalton Seip’s place is 3rd and has scored 7.00 team points.
Semifinal – Rene Acosta (Murphysboro WC) won by major decision over Dalton Seip (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Maj 12-1)
3rd Place Match – Dalton Seip (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) received a bye () (Bye)

Novice 138 – Ben Dowdy’s place is 2nd and has scored 12.00 team points.
Semifinal – Ben Dowdy (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by decision over Rewn Stearns (Murphysboro WC) (Dec 6-1)
1st Place Match – Ryan Johnson (Aces WC) won by fall over Ben Dowdy (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Fall 0:37)

Senior 79 – Marshall Ramage’s place is 1st and has scored 14.00 team points.
1st Place Match – Marshall Ramage (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) received a bye () (Bye)

Senior 101 – Catherin Mays’s place is 3rd and has scored 11.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Catherin Mays (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) received a bye () (Bye)
Semifinal – Jarrett Paslay (Vandalia Jr WC) won by major decision over Catherin Mays (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Maj 10-0)
Cons. Semi – Catherin Mays (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by fall over Ryan Smith (Olney Cubs WC) (Fall 3:50)
3rd Place Match – Catherin Mays (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by major decision over Garrett Williams (Panther Powerhouse Wrestling) (Maj 10-2)

Senior 115 – Aiden Jacobs’s place is 4th and has scored 8.00 team points.
Quarterfinal – Garret Stewart (Vandalia Jr WC) won by decision over Aiden Jacobs (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Dec 3-2)
Cons. Round 1 – Aiden Jacobs (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by fall over Kayla Flute (Road Warriors WC) (Fall 1:50)
Cons. Semi – Aiden Jacobs (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by decision over Colin Bybee (Carterville Jr WC) (Dec 4-2)
3rd Place Match – Garret Stewart (Vandalia Jr WC) won by rule over Aiden Jacobs (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (RULE)

Senior 166 – Jayce Turner’s place is 1st and has scored 15.00 team points.
1st Place Match – Jayce Turner (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by major decision over Matthew Satterlee (Murphysboro WC) (Maj 8-0)

Bantam 4 – Zoee Sadler’s place is 2nd and has scored 14.00 team points.
Semifinal – Zoee Sadler (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by fall over Myles Guthman (Murphysboro WC) (Fall 2:19)
1st Place Match – Dillon White (Mt Vernon Lions WC) won by decision over Zoee Sadler (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Dec 4-1)

Bantam 5 – Noah Chotner’s place is 1st and has scored 18.00 team points.
Semifinal – Noah Chotner (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by decision over Aiston Holt (Murphysboro WC) (Dec 6-3)
1st Place Match – Noah Chotner (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by fall over Trace Sisson (Aces WC) (Fall 1:00)

Bantam 6 – Drew Sadler’s place is 3rd and has scored 7.00 team points.
Semifinal – Baelynd Brown (Vandalia Jr WC) won in overtime over Drew Sadler (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (OT 4-2)
3rd Place Match – Drew Sadler (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) received a bye () (Bye)

Bantam 8 – Tate Miller’s place is 3rd and has scored 9.00 team points.
Semifinal – Liam Fox (Murphysboro WC) won by major decision over Tate Miller (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Maj 9-0)
3rd Place Match – Tate Miller (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by fall over Jace Paddock (Olney Cubs WC) (Fall 0:13)

Bantam 9 – Kyle Conway’s place is 4th and has scored 4.00 team points.
Semifinal – Conner Richardson (Marion Junior Wildcats) won by fall over Kyle Conway (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Fall 2:46)
3rd Place Match – Izaiah Dalton (Benton WC) won by major decision over Kyle Conway (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Maj 13-1)

Bantam 12 – Kane Buchmeier’s place is 2nd and has scored 14.00 team points.
Semifinal – Kane Buchmeier (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by fall over Parker Ray (Vandalia Jr WC) (Fall 1:56)
1st Place Match – Caleb Ohnesorge (Marion Junior Wildcats) won by fall over Kane Buchmeier (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Fall 1:43)

Bantam 13 – Nile Chotner’s place is 1st and has scored 18.00 team points.
Semifinal – Nile Chotner (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by fall over Caleb Seibers (Carmi Bulldog WC) (Fall 0:40)
1st Place Match – Nile Chotner (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by decision over Brenden Banz (Carbondale WC) (Dec 4-3)

Bantam 15 – Drew Holshouser’s place is 3rd and has scored 9.00 team points.
Semifinal – Lane Mills (Murphysboro WC) won by fall over Drew Holshouser (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) (Fall 1:32)
3rd Place Match – Drew Holshouser (A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling) won by fall over Raymond Reese (Sparta Junior Bulldogs) (Fall 0:42)

#             #             #

A-J Junior Wildcats Finish Regular Season At Local And National Competitions

The A-J Junior Wildcats Wrestling Club took in local and national competition in the last weekend of the regular season.  Ten traveled to Sparta for its team’s first tournament, seventeen went to Pinckneyville, five went to the Liberty Nationals and two competed on a team in the Liberty Duals.

Drew Sadler was the club’s top performer at the Liberty Nationals, going 3-0 on Friday and 1-2 on Saturday.  Representatives of the club went 6-12 overall.

The club went 12-16 at Sparta.  Jayce Turner and Nate Kisat both left with first place medals.

“With it being Sparta’s first tournament, there were of course some snags.  It was good to see our wrestlers and parents staying patient through it all,” said club president Rollie Hawk.  “It really helps that so many of our kids and adults have gotten to be good friends.  We’re all able to laugh and have fun together even when things are frustrating.”

At Pinckneyville, the club went 20-26.  Noah Chotner, Tate Miller and Brett Smith were each awarded first place trophies.

“We had several other kids pull off big wins.  Dylan Smith and Clayton Ramage both got second place after taking the last couple of weekends off.  Peyton Seip only had one win but it was a dominating match and it was good to see her wrestling that aggressively,” explained Hawk.  “They’ve got one week to get ready for the IKWF regionals and will have the chance to move on to the sectionals in Highland.”


Head coach Grover Mays assembled a team of the top wrestlers in southern Illinois that competed in the Liberty Duals including Junior Wildcats Blake Mays and Drew Sadler.  The team went 2-2 for the day and won the consolation bracket.

“We wrestled Texas Dynamite, Wisconsin All-Stars, SOT Colorado, and Nebraska OMAWA,” said Mays.  “I am proud to have coached the 22 elite wrestlers today from Anna, Harrisburg, Carbondale, King Select, Ft. Leonard Wood, Granite City, Jackson, Mayfield, Colorado and Olney.”

Complete weekend results are below.

Overall

Sparta

Pinckneyville

Liberty Nationals

Liberty Duals

Name

IKWF Age

Division

Weight

Wins

Losses

Place

Wins

Losses

Place

Wins

Losses

Wins

Losses

Wins

Losses

Chotner, Noah

6

6&U

48.5

24

13

0

2

1st

2

0

Miller, Tate

6

6&U

57.3

15

10

1st

3

0

Conway, Kyle

6

6&U

61.9

2

17

3rd

0

2

Sadler, Zoee

7

7&8

45.9

33

22

1

4

Sadler, Drew

7

7&8

46.7

43

19

4

2

0

3

Holshouser, Drew

7

7&8

73.5

3

8

4th

2

2

4th

0

3

Mays, Caleb

8

7&8

61.5

36

14

0

2

Buchmeier, Kane

8

7&8

64.3

8

12

2nd

2

1

3rd

1

2

Smith, Brett

8

7&8

66.3

30

8

3rd

1

2

1st

4

0

Chotner, Nile

8

7&8

64.3

18

11

2nd

2

1

2nd

3

1

Mays, Blake

9

9&10

68.3

33

21

1

2

1

3

Lincoln, Kaden

9

9&10

74.9

15

26

0

2

3rd

1

2

Seip, Payton

9

9&10

92.9

3

21

0

2

3rd

1

2

Jiminez, Anthony

9

9&10

112.9

2

20

4th

0

3

Hawk, Madi

9

9&10

120.3

8

27

4th

0

3

Smith, Dylan

11

11&12

67

7

18

2nd

2

1

Kisat, Nathan

12

11&12

90.1

20

15

1st

2

0

2nd

1

1

Seip, Dalton

12

11&12

132.5

4

15

3rd

0

2

Ramage, Clayton

13

13&14

82.3

7

24

3rd

1

3

2nd

1

2

Mays, Catie

13

13&14

99.9

22

23

0

2

Jacobs, Aiden

13

13&14

114.5

7

13

0

1

Turner, Jayce

14

13&14

163.1

23

18

1st

2

1

2nd

1

1

Total

389

467

12

16

20

26

6

12

1

6

 

#             #             #

Going Into Regionals A-J Junior Wildcats Achieve Personal Milestones

As the A-J Junior Wildcats Wrestling Club prepares for the IKWF Regionals in Carbondale on March 1, many of its wrestlers have achieved personal milestones of note.

“We’re proud of all our kids that stick with it.  It’s a long season and anyone who goes from start to finish and keeps competing deserves our respect,” said club president Rollie Hawk.  “But in an era of participation trophies and some sports not keeping score, we think it’s important to recognize and model examples of success.”

Hitting the 20+ win mark for the season are Drew Sadler, Caleb Mays, Zoee Sadler, Blake Mays, Brett Smith, Noah Chotner, Jayce Turner, Catie Mays and Nathan Kisat.  Hawk feels that having nine wrestlers with 20+ season wins and one more knocking at the door is a big indication of the team’s strides this year.

“We’re no longer a team that just has three or four standouts.  We’ve got a strong roster with a lot of experience.  This is the most improvement we’ve seen so far as a team in any season.”

“You can always expect to see the Mays and Sadler kids with a lot of wins.  These are year-round wrestling families that put an enormous amount of time into the sport.  Catie and Caleb Mays both made major improvements this year and moved into the upper echelon of our team.”

“Brett Smith broke 30 season wins over the weekend.  We’re really proud of him getting to that point!  Nathan Kisat Broke 20 for the first time.  Noah Chotner and Jayce Turner are first-year wrestlers and also broke 20 wins.  Nile Chotner is another first-year wrestler and is at 18 wins and has a good shot at hitting 20+ in the regionals.  Jayce will be moving up to high school next year but the rest of our 20+ winners will be forming the core of our team for the next few seasons.”

Name

IKWF Age

Division

Weight

Wins

Losses

School Grade

Sadler, Drew

7

7&8

46.7

43

19

1st

Mays, Caleb

8

7&8

61.5

36

14

3rd

Sadler, Zoee

7

7&8

45.9

33

22

1st

Mays, Blake

9

9&10

68.3

33

21

4th

Smith, Brett

8

7&8

66.3

30

8

3rd

Chotner, Noah

6

6&U

48.5

24

13

K

Turner, Jayce

14

13&14

163.1

23

18

8th

Mays, Catie

13

13&14

99.9

22

23

7th

Kisat, Nathan

12

11&12

90.1

20

15

7th

Chotner, Nile

8

7&8

64.3

18

11

2nd

Miller, Tate

6

6&U

57.3

15

10

1st

Lincoln, Kaden

9

9&10

74.9

15

26

4th

Buchmeier, Kane

8

7&8

64.3

8

12

2nd

Hawk, Madi

9

9&10

120.3

8

27

4th

Smith, Dylan

11

11&12

67.0

7

18

5th

Ramage, Clayton

13

13&14

82.3

7

24

7th

Jacobs, Aiden

13

13&14

114.5

7

13

7th

 

Tate Miller and Kaden Lincoln are both currently at 15 wins for the season.

“You just know these two are going to be great wrestlers.  Tate is one of our youngest and in his first year and wrestles very tough.  Kaden is all heart when he wrestles and I don’t know if he’s ever missed a practice.  I know they’ve had some frustrating moments this year but I also know it will pay off in the end.”

Kane Buchmeier, Madi Hawk, Dylan Smith, Clayton Ramage and Aiden Jacobs are all still just shy of hitting 10+ wins for the season.

“Every one of those kids is a better wrestler than their records reflect and most of them just moved up in age divisions this year.  We expect big things out of each of them in the coming seasons.  Wrestling is one of those sports where you never know when things will start clicking for a kid but if you keep doing the right things the success will eventually arrive.”

Hawk credits the coaches and parents as much as the wrestlers for the year’s successes.

“I’ve watched Grover Mays improve as a head coach every year, both in terms of his wrestling knowledge and his approach to the kids.  We’ve got more people actively coaching than we’ve ever had.  The more coaches we have, the more attention each kid gets and the more improvements we’re going to see.”

“Parents willing to take their kids to a lot of practices and a lot of tournaments is the final piece of the puzzle.  It’s a lot of long drives and longer days and I can’t thank them enough for believing in what we’re trying to accomplish.”

#             #             #

A-J Junior Wildcat Lady Wrestlers Competitive Against Both Girls And Boys

Three of the A-J Junior Wildcats Wrestling Club’s lady wrestlers just finished a very successful weekend of tournaments in O’Fallon and Triad.  All three placed not only in all-girl divisions but in open divisions that include both boys and girls.

Seven-year-old Zoee Sadler placed first in the girl’s division and second in the open division at both tournaments.  Her combined record over the weekend was 8-2.

“This weekend put Zoee at 32 wins for the season,” said club president Rollie Hawk.  “That’s pretty remarkable for anyone at that age.  It’s too bad the IKWF doesn’t have sectionals for kids eight-and-under because I think she’d do really well.”

Nine-year-old Madilyn Hawk placed fourth in the open division at O’Fallon and took third in the girl’s division after defeating a sixteen-year-old in a stunning upset.  At Triad she took first in the girl’s division and second in the open and finished the weekend with a combined record of 5-5.

“Madi was definitely on her game this weekend,” explained Hawk.  “She more than doubled her wins for the season.  Watching her as a fourth grader pull off a win against a high school girl was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.”

Thirteen-year-old Catie Mays finished fifth in the open and first in the girl’s division at O’Fallon.  She finished third in the open division at Triad.  She also achieved her season goal of breaking the 20-win mark.

Father and head coach Grover Mays is especially proud of Catie’s success and the example it shows.

“There is not one kid that works harder, has more determination or heart than her. If you know her, you know how hard she has had to work to get to this point.”

Hawk and Mays are hopeful to take all their club’s lady wrestlers to the IKWF Girl’s State Tournament in Yorkville next month.

A-J Junior Wildcats Take Second At Carbondale Dog Fight

CARBONDALE, IL—The A-J Junior Wildcats won a significant team award at the Carbondale Dog Fight youth wrestling tournament on January 12, 2014.  For the first known time in the club’s history, it took second place in team scoring.

“I am so pumped!” exclaimed coach and vice president Jay Kisat after receiving the second place plaque.  “This is a major accomplishment for our team.”

According to A-J’s varsity coach and former Junior Wildcats coach Eric Massey, this was indeed a significant moment in the team’s history.

“This may be a first for A-J Junior Wildcat Wrestling,” said Massey.  “We never accomplished this in my six years there and I don’t believe Mike Delashmut did when he ran the junior program.  Outstanding accomplishment!”

The team scoring was based entirely on final placing with teams selecting two wrestlers from each age division and two wildcards.  With only seventeen wrestlers in attendance that day and more than half of them being first year wrestlers, being in the running for first or second place as a team was a surprise.

“Coach Kisat checked on the team standings before the final round and I was stunned when he told me we were in third place at that point,” said Hawk.  “Once we knew that, it added a little extra urgency to our matches.”

The diversity of A-J’s team scoring selections was reflective of the team’s makeup.

“We had twelve kids selected for team scoring, including three girls and two first-year wrestlers.  Madi had only won twice this year and Dalton had only won once but they both had a big day and finished second,” explained Hawk.  “They were really there for their team when it counted.”

The team went 23-23 for the day.  The Junior Wildcats also hosted a tournament on Saturday where the team went 45-83.  The previous weekend the team went 25-47 at Murphysboro.  They are at 200-282 overall for the year.

Complete results from the last two weeks are below.

Overall Record Murphy Open A-J Carbondale
Name Division Weight Wins Losses Place Wins Losses Place Wins Losses Place Wins Losses
Bowers, Bryce 11&12 158.0 3 3 4th 1 2
Buchmeier, Kane 7&8 61.4 4 7 0 2 2nd 2 1
Chotner, Nile 7&8 63.5 5 6 0 2 3rd 1 2
Chotner, Noah 6&U 47.4 12 6 2nd 2 1 2nd 2 1 2nd 2 1
Conway, Kyle 6&U 59.3 1 6 3rd 1 2 3rd 0 2 3rd 0 2
Dahmer, Edward 7&8 84.6 2 3 4th 0 3
Dowdy, Ben 11&12 137.0 3 2 3rd 0 2 1st 3 0
Dowdy, Wyatt 11&12 112.0 0 5 0 2 4th 0 3
Goines, Avery 11&12 103.5 2 6 4th 1 2
Hawk, Madi 9&10 116.4 3 15 2nd, 4th 1 4 2nd 1 1
Holshouser, Drew 7&8 67.2 1 3 4th 1 3
Holtman, Braden 9&10 74.5 0 5 4th 0 3 0 2
Holtman, Laythan 9&10 74.8 0 5 4th 0 3 0 2
Jacobs, Aiden 13&14 106.2 4 8 1 2 4th 0 3
Jerolds, Conner 11&12 93.6 3 5 1 2 4th 0 3
Jiminez, Anthony 9&10 110.7 1 10 0 2 4th 0 3 4th 0 3
Kisat, Nathan 11&12 88.5 10 10 0 2 2nd, 3rd 3 3 5th 2 1
Lincoln, Kaden 9&10 74.5 6 16 1 2 3rd 1 2 0 2
Macy, Alexa 13&14 118.2 2 8 0 2 2nd, 4th 2 4
Macy, Thomas 7&8 51.5 2 5 0 2 3rd 1 2
Mason, Trent 9&10 79.9 4 4 3rd 1 1 3rd 1 2
Mays, Adam 9&10 101.0 0 5
Mays, Blake 9&10 68.4 19 6 1st 3 0 1st 3 0 1st 3 0
Mays, Caleb 7&8 59.6 21 6 2nd 2 1 1st, 2nd 5 1 1st 3 0
Mays, Catie 13&14 98.3 14 13 3rd 2 1 1st, 3rd 4 2 5th 2 1
Mays, Jacy 11&12 88.0 1 3
Miller, Tate 6&U 56.6 7 8 0 2 3rd 1 2 2nd 1 1
Ramage, Clayton 13&14 86.6 5 15 0 2 4th 0 3 6th 1 2
Sadler, Drew 7&8 47.1 19 7 1st 3 0 2nd 2 1 2nd 2 1
Sadler, Zoee 7&8 46.2 13 11 1 2 1st, 3rd 3 2 1st 3 0
Seip, Dalton 11&12 130.0 3 11 4th 1 2 4th 0 3 2nd 2 1
Seip, Payton 9&10 90.0 1 15 0 2 3rd, 4th 0 5 0 2
Smith, Brett 7&8 62.4 12 3 1st 3 0 1st 3 0
Smith, Dylan 11&12 67.0 4 10 0 3 2nd 2 1
Smith, Milam 7&8 67.6 1 9 0 2 4th 0 3
Treece, Tobie 11&12 92.5 2 8 0 2 4th,3rd 1 5
Treece, Trevor 6&U 34.0 0 3 4th 0 3
Turner, Jayce 13&14 162.2 11 5 1st 1 0 1st 2 0 1st 2 0
Watkins, Jonah 7&8 54.2 0 5 4th 0 3
Total 200 282 24 47 45 83 23 23

#             #             #

Cross-Section Of Local Citizens, Businesses Work Together To Make A-J Junior Wildcats’ Wrestling Tournament A Huge Success

Photo taken by Allen James

ANNA, IL—On January 11, 2014, the A-J Junior Wildcats Wrestling Club hosted its annual “On The Prowl” tournament with over 300 wrestlers from five states competing.  Always a large event, what set this particular tournament apart was the level of community involvement.

Anna-Jonesboro High School allowed use of its main gym for the tournament but the school’s assistance extended beyond that.

“We got a lot of help from the high school’s wrestling team and softball team running tables and keeping score.  We couldn’t have pulled this off without their help,” explained Junior Wildcats head coach Grover Mays.  “We’re going to be donating a portion of our profits to both of their teams.  They stepped up in a big way when we needed their help.”

Hosting the tournament on a Saturday meant waiting for Friday’s varsity basketball game to end before setting up, which resulted in a late night and early morning for the club’s coaches, families and wrestlers.  Club president Rollie Hawk was eager to praise the family involvement, saying “there’s always a lot of family involvement—that’s the nature of youth wrestling—but it went even beyond parents this year.  We had a lot of extended family helping out with the door, concessions and everywhere else.”

Attempts to secure an athletic trainer to act as the tournament’s medic proved difficult even into the final week before the tournament.  Dr. Deepu Sudhakaran very kindly accepted a request just a few days before and volunteered for the entire day.

Julia Hall sang the national anthem for the second year in a row.

B&D Signs provided the bracket boards for the second year in a row and signage for the fourth.

Local businesses did their part, as well.  The Anna Pizza Hut opened early on the day of the event to make sure lunch got delivered on time.  The Jonesboro Save-A-Lot was also very accommodating.

“We had parents and volunteers shuttling refreshments from Save-A-Lot for most of the day.  We must have bought almost every soft drink in the store by day’s end,” said Hawk.  “Sam lets us get whatever we need and then we settle up later.  With it being so close to the high school, that really helps.”

Members of the First Christian Church of Anna assisted at the door, with concessions and with wrestler check-ins.  Pastor Dee Armes also opened the tournament with a prayer.

Union County Chairman Don Denny ran the grill for the entire day, serving up hot dogs, burgers and his signature pork steak sandwiches to attendees.

“Don’s one of those super-citizens that if there is a local event going on there’s a good chance he’s helping out in some way,” said Hawk.  “I think he started cooking around 8AM.  And that was after cooking and serving breakfast at a men’s Bible study starting at 5AM.  This is a man who truly inspires many of us to serve this community.”

Hawk described the event as a good example of a sporting event being about much more than athletics.

“These are the moments that really make all of this worth doing.  Too many times, God places an opportunity in front of us to lift up people and communities and we don’t take that opportunity because we can’t do it alone and don’t want to ask for help.  In this case, we asked for help and got tons of it.”

“Seeing so many people from so many areas of our day-to-day lives helping out at an event like this really makes you feel good about your community.  A lot of these people had probably never even seen a wrestling tournament before and were willing to pitch in.  Grover and I can’t thank them enough for their help.”

Sponsors of the event included:

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Blake Mays Awarded All-Tournament Most Valuable Wrestler At Dixie Nationals In Georgia

Atlanta, GA—Five of the A-J Junior Wildcats’ best joined over 1100 wrestlers from 39 states at the Georgia World Congress Center for the Dixie Nationals last weekend.  One left with an especially prestigious honor.

Blake Mays was awarded All-Tournament Most Valuable Wrestler for the ten-and-under division.  One wrestler is selected from each age group for the honor.  The recipients are selected by the tournament directors based on the following criteria:

  • Wrestlers may or may not be the champion in their division
  • Sportsmanship, does the wrestler cry when things do not go his way? Does he congratulate his opponent?
  • Are the wrestlers grades good in his school?
  • Is the wrestler known in his community as a person of good charachter?
  • Do other wrestlers and coaches see the winning wrestler as a charachter role model?

“You should have seen his face when they called him over the sound system,” said Blake’s father and head coach Grover Mays.  “Priceless!”

Blake Mays went 2-5 for the day, capping off a big weekend of wrestling for the nine-year-old.  He joined the North Carolina National Team in team duals and finished the day 1-3, wrestling twelve-and-under.

The team went 3-13 at the Dixie Nationals with Zoee Sadler going 0-2, Drew Sadler going 0-2, Caleb Mays going 1-2 and Catie Mays going 0-2.  Coach Mays was proud of the way his team’s grapplers responded to the level of competition.

“A-J battled hard today.  Our losses were all hard-fought wars,” explained Mays.  “We stepped it up a level.”

Three Junior Wildcats also competed at the Steel City Nationals in Granite City.  Kaden Lincoln went 0-2, Nate Kisat placed fourth going 1-2 and Jayce Turner placed third going 1-1.

As a club, the A-J Junior Wildcats stand at 109-132 for the season.  They will finish their winter break with tournaments in Murphysboro and Belleville.

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A-J Junior Wildcats Face Tough Competition On The Road

The A-J Junior Wildcats Wrestling Club faced some tough competition while on the road for the third weekend of tournament action and going 18-41 as a team.  The Wildcats were represented at tournaments in Edwardsville, Highland and Belleville and the Holiday Duals at Winchester Christian Academy.

Five Wildcats made the rainy Saturday trip to Edwardsville with Noah Chotner placing third in the 6&U division and wrestling at 47.4 pounds.  Older brother Nile Chotner placed second in the 7&8 division at 63.5 pounds, narrowly losing in the championship round due to a locked hands penalty.

“Nile really dominated all of his matches.  The locked hands call at the end of his match was a real heartbreaker,” explained club president Rollie Hawk.  “Nobody likes to win or lose a match based on a penalty.  But he’ll see those kids again and I know he’ll be ready.”

The Wildcats went 3-12 as a team at Edwardsville.

Seven-year-old Drew Sadler was invited to compete in the Elementery Holiday Duals at Winchester Christian Academy on Saturday, going 3-1 for the day as the youngest wrestler competing.

Four Wildcats traveled to Highland on Sunday and went 3-10 as a team.  Brett Smith placed second in the 7&8 division at 62.4 pounds and Clayton Ramage placed third in the 11&12 division at 86.6 pounds.

Nine Wildcat wrestlers competed at Belleville on Sunday which featured both open and girls divisions.

Drew Sadler placed third in the 7&8 division at 47.6 pounds.  Brothers Caleb and Blake Mays both placed second in the 7&8 and 9&10 divisions at 60.3 and 67.8 pounds, respectively.  Tobie Treece placed second and Payton Seip placed third in the girls 9-12 division at 95 pounds.

The Wildcats went 9-18 for the day at Belleville.

Head Coach Grover Mays was impressed by the number of families willing to make the two-hour plus trips to tournaments over the weekend.

“We had a lot more kids wrestling at these tournaments than we’ve normally had,” said Mays.  “We’ve got a lot of new families really getting into it.”

Hawk described the weekend as a good early preview of what the club will face in the IKWF sectionals.

“When you go to the St. Louis area to wrestle, you face some of the best competition in the South along with some from further North and out of state,” said Hawk.  “We’ll be seeing a lot of these same kids in the state series.  Facing this level of competition and how we respond is a huge factor in determining who will be a good wrestler and who will be a great wrestler.”

While a few Junior Wildcats will attend the Steel City Nationals or out-of-state tournaments most will be taking the holidays off.  The team’s overall record stands at 103-114.  The team’s tournament will be hosted at Anna-Jonesboro High School on Saturday, January 11, 2014.

Complete weekend tournament results are below.

Name

Div.

Wt.

Edwardsville

Belleville

Highland

Westminster

Pl.

W

L

Pl.

W

L

Pl.

W

L

W

L

Chotner, Noah 6&U

47.4

3rd

1

2

Miller, Tate 6&U

56.6

4th

0

3

Conway, Kyle 6&U

59.3

Sadler, Zoee 7&8

47.1

0

6

Sadler, Drew 7&8

47.6

3rd

2

1

3

1

Mays, Caleb 7&8

60.3

2nd

2

1

Buchmeier, Kane 7&8

61.4

4th

0

3

Smith, Brett 7&8

62.4

2nd

2

1

Chotner, Nile 7&8

63.5

2ns

2

1

Mays, Blake 9&10

67.8

2nd

2

0

Lincoln, Kaden 9&10

74.5

4th

0

3

Seip, Payton 9&10

91

3rd

0

2

Smith, Dylan 11&12

67

4th

0

3

Treece, Tobie 11&12

92.5

2nd

1

1

Seip, Dalton 11&12

129

0

2

Ramage, Clayton 13&14

86.6

4th

0

3

3rd

1

3

Mays, Catie 13&14

102

5th, 4th

2

3

Turner, Jayce 13&14

162.2

3rd

0

2

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A-J Junior Wildcats Take In Trio Of Weekend Tournaments

Aiden Jacobs, Nate Kisat and Jayce Turner at Benton

The A-J Junior Wildcats took in three local tournaments on the weekend of December 14 and December 15.  Representatives of the team competed in Mayfield, Benton and Carbondale.

As a team, the Junior Wildcats went 21-20 in Mayfield, 20-18 in Carbondale and 16-4 in Benton.  The total 57-42 weekend was a major highlight in the club’s history.

“That’s the best weekend we’ve ever had,” said head coach Grover Mays.  “It’s pretty exciting.  We’ve gotten a lot of positive comments about our kids and their technique.  The hard work is really paying off.”

Club president Rollie Hawk is equally pleased with the club’s success.

Payton Seip wins her first match

Kaden Lincoln wins in Benton

Noah Chotner takes 1st in Carbondale

“We wrestled ninety-nine matches this weekend—not including exhibition matches—and we won 58% of those,” explained Hawk.  “The kids are really buying in to what we’re doing and it shows.”

Dylan Smith wins in Mayfield

Drew Sadler takes 1st at Benton

Aiden Jacobs wins in Benton

Hawk credits the coaching staff with the success they are starting to see.

“We’ve got ten coaches on our official roster and several other parents helping out at practice.  Everyone is working together.  It really validates what we’re trying to do here,” added Hawk.  “It’s not just about the wins and losses but about bringing people together as a team and community.  We’re starting to see that.”