Junior Wildcats Compete at Paducah-Tilghman Meet

Paducah, KY — Five Junior Wildcats made the evening trip to Paducah on December 20 to compete in a four-way meet with middle school students representing Graves County, Paducah-Tighlman Middle School and Murphysboro Middle School.

“We don’t get to wrestle in very many meets like this,” explained club president Rollie Hawk.  “A few kids asked me if there would be trophies like at tournaments.  But no, at meets you compete for two things: your team and pride.”

There were several highlights for the evening including two pins by Clayton Ramage, a second-year, twelve-year-old wrestler.  Ramage was 0-8 for the year coming into the evening.  “Clayton’s been steadily improving over the last two years but always faces tough competition.  Tonight was a big night for him and just the confidence boost he needed,” said Hawk.

Second-year wrestler Catie Mays went 0-2 for the night in very close matches and earned a lot of respect from her male opponents.  “She wrestled very tough,” said father and head coach Grover Mays.  “She’s come a long way.”

First-year heavyweight Nicholas Jiminez went 1-0 for the night against Murphysboro’s heavyweight.  “That kid beat Nick at the Herrin tournament and was his only loss this season,” said Hawk.  “Pinning him tonight shows Nick’s improved a lot in the last few weeks.  We just need to keep finding him competition because there aren’t a lot of kids his size in the area.  But if he can keep improving, he has a real chance in the post season.”

The Junior Wildcats went 3-6 for the evening.  Complete results are below.

Wrestler IKFW Age School Grade Weight Paducah Meet
Ramage, Clayton 12 6th 80.0 2-0
Mays, Catie 12 6th 86.4 0-2
Fombelle, Jeff 13 8th 202.4 0-2
Reed, Eric 14 8th 181.2 0-2
Jimenez, Nick 14 8th 258.8 1-0

A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling Club Hosts 2012-2013 Tournament

Anna, IL – While many think of basketball when it comes to winter sports, the sudden cold snap signals something very different for many: the start of wrestling season.  Rather than evening games in brightly lit gymnasiums, for a few young warriors this time of year means long, cold, early morning trips for all-day events in a sport where there is nowhere to hide and whether placing first or last they toil and sweat for every ounce of glory.

The A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling Club hosted its third annual tournament on Sunday.  This gathering featured 230 boy and girls from four states—Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee—ranging in age from three to fourteen and in weight from 36 to 257 pounds.

“We even had three teams from Tennessee represented this year.  Those are the kinds of teams that will drive as far as necessary to find a good tournament every weekend.  The fact that they chose ours says a lot,” said club president Rollie Hawk.

Bracketing can be particularly difficult with out-of-state wrestlers as Illinois does not have sectional and state folkstyle tournaments for wrestlers in the younger divisions.  “When you have a state placer or champion from out-of-state sign up, you always wonder how you’ll compare at the younger ages since we have no equivalent in Illinois,” explained Hawk. “But our kids fared well and defeated some of the top wrestlers from surrounding states.”

Head coach Grover Mays was quick to praise the help the team got in hosting the tournament.  “The high school coaches and wrestlers, the junior program parents, all the other people who volunteered their time and services—everyone did an awesome job making sure this tournament was a success,” said Mays.  “Everyone stepped up in a big way!”

Full team results are below.  For wrestlers competing in two divisions, overall record and both places are listed.

Wrestler

Division(s)

Weight

Results

Merideth, Dakoda

6&U

42

2-1, 2nd
Turner, Johnny

6&U

73

0-3, 4th
Sadler, Zoee

6&U

40

3-0, 1st
Sadler, Drew

6&U, 7&8

42

4-2, 2nd & 2nd
Hall, Evan

6&U

44

2-1, 2nd
Buchmeir, Kane

6&U

53

2-2, 3rd
Adams, Daniel

6&U

58

2-1, 2nd
Smith, Clayton

6&U

80

1-1, 2nd
Smith, Milam

6&U

57

1-2, 3rd
Smith, Brett

7&8

55

2-1, 2nd
Mays, Caleb

7&8

54

1-1, 2nd
Lincoln, Kaden

7&8

68

0-3, 4th
Hileman, Caleb

7&8

53

0-3, 4th
Mays, Blake

7&8, 9&10

62

5-2, 1st & 2nd
Hawk, Madilyn

7&8

96

3-0, 1st
Myers, Chad

9&10

109

0-3, 6th
Rios, Jason

9&10

63

0-4, 5th
Keller, Keegan

9&10

101

1-2, 4th
Smith, Dylan

9&10

64

2-2, 3rd
Mays, Jacy

9&10

80

1-2, 3rd
Goines, Avery

9&10

93

2-1, 2nd
Mays, Adam

9&10

95

0-3, 4th
Bowers, Bryce

9&10

134

0-3, 2nd
Kisat, Nathan

11&12

75

1-1, 2nd
Hall, Colin

11&12

175

3-0, 1st
Ramage, Clayton

11&12, 13&14

80

0-6, 4th & 4th
Jacobs, Aiden

11&12

88

0-4, 5th
Henderson, Bryce

13&14

89

0-3, 4th
Fombelle, Jeff

13&14

200

2-1, 2nd
Stone, Caiden

13&14

112

2-1, 2nd
Jerolds, Logan

13&14

111

5-1, 1st & 2nd
Jimenez, Nick

13&14

258

1st by default, 1-0 in exhibition

 

A-J Jr. Wildcats Compete At Herrin Wrestling Tournament

On December 2, the A-J Jr. Wildcats Wrestling Club kicked off the season with their first team tournament at Herrin’s Steven E. Matuszczak Memorial Tournament.  This tournament drew over 400 wrestlers from southern Illinois and surrounding areas.

“For most youth programs in the region, Herrin marks the beginning of the season.  Most of us will return here for the regionals at the end of the regular season, as well” explained club president Rollie Hawk.  “This tournament attracts a lot of the same wrestlers we’ll be facing in the state series.  So it’s a great opportunity to evaluate where we are and how much we need to improve.”

The Jr. Wildcats brought twenty-five wrestlers ages five through fourteen to the tournament and competed in all five age divisions.  Two of their wrestlers left with first place medals: Drew Sadler who wrestled in the six-and-under division and Chad Myers in the eight-and-under division.

“We would have liked to have placed a little higher,” confessed Hawk who also added, “but as they say, it’s not where you start but where you finish that counts.  Out of twenty-five kids, we had seventeen wrestlers that placed third or higher.  That tells me we have a competitive group with plenty of room for improvement.”

After the tournament, there was a strong consensus among the coaches where the team’s strengths and weaknesses lie.  “We still tend to panic a bit on the bottom so we’ll really be working on our escapes in the coming weeks.  But we appeared to be in better shape than a lot of our competitors.  Also, we were more aggressive than we’ve been in the past.  It really shows how our program has progressed in the last three years.”

The next team tournament for the Jr. Wildcats will be their own tournament which will be hosted at Anna-Jonesboro High School on Sunday, December 16.

Complete results are below:

Wrestler

Division

Weight

Herrin Results

Turner, Johnny

6&U

72.6

0-3, 4th

Sadler, Drew

6&U

42.0

3-0, 1st

Smith, Clayton

6&U

80.0

0-3, 4th

Smith, Milam

6&U

57.2

1-2, 3rd

Smith, Brett

7&8

54.6

1-2, 3rd

Mays, Caleb

7&8

54.2

2-1, 2nd

Lincoln, Kaden

7&8

68.2

2-1, 2nd

Hileman, Caleb

7&8

52.8

0-3, 4th

Mays, Blake

7&8

62.0

3-1, 2nd

Hawk, Madilyn

7&8

95.6

1-2, 2nd

Myers, Chad

7&8

108.6

2-1, 1st

Rios, Jason

9&10

63.2

0-3, 4th

Keller, Keegan

9&10

101.4

1-3, 4th

Mays, Jacy

9&10

79.6

0-3, 4th

Goines, Avery

9&10

92.6

1-2, 3rd

Mays, Adam

9&10

95.0

0-4, 5th

Kisat, Nathan

11&12

74.6

1-2, 3rd

Ramage, Clayton

11&12

80.0

0-2. 3rd

Mays, Catie

11&12

85.0

1-2, 3rd

Henderson, Bryce

13&14

89.4

1-2, 3rd

Fombelle, Jeff

13&14

199.8

2-1, 2nd

Stone, Caiden

13&14

112.4

1-2, 3rd

Jerolds, Logan

13&14

111.4

2-1, 2nd

Reed, Eric

13&14

180.6

1-2, 7th

Jimenez, Nick

13&14

258.0

2-1, 2nd

 

Three First-Year Youth Wrestlers Have Big Opening Weekend

The youth wrestling season in Illinois officially began on December 1 and three first-year wrestlers had a big opening weekend in a pair of weekend tournaments in Edwardsville and Herrin.

“When you have brand new wrestlers willing to make a long trip to their first tournament, you are always hopeful that they’ll have a good day,” club president Rollie Hawk explained as he described the trip to the Edwardsville beginners tournament.  “Any time they can bring home some hardware, it’s a good start to the season.”

Chad Myers of Anna competed in the seven-and-eight division both days.  He lost his first match on Saturday in Edwardsville but after a change in strategy, he was able to win the next two matches and win first place.  He faced a similar situation the next day at Herrin’s season opener but left with another first place medal.

“When Chad showed up in Herrin wearing his medal from the day before, you knew wrestling had already gotten into his blood,” Hawk said.  “He finished his opening weekend with two first place medals and a total record of 4-2, a great way to start the season.”

Breezy Lesle of Jonesboro also attended the Edwardsville tournament.  She finished the day 1-2 and placed third.

“Breezy had a big day.  I’d say her thirteen-and-fourteen bracket was the toughest in that tournament.  She wrestled through a lot of pain and I was very impressed with her toughness.  She had a couple jammed fingers that turned out to be broken so she didn’t get to wrestle in Herrin the next day,” explained Hawk.  “She has a bright future in this sport and we’re ready to get her back and continue getting better.”

Nicholas Jiminez of Anna attended both tournaments and wrestled in the heavyweight thirteen-and-fourteen bracket.  He won first by default in Edwardsville and got second in Herrin with a record of 2-1.

“When you are fourteen and are built like a varsity lineman, there’s always the chance that you won’t have anyone your size to wrestle and that’s what happened in Edwardsville.  But Nicholas kept his chin up and had a big day in the Herrin tournament,” bragged Hawk.  “If Nicholas continues to improve, he has a good chance to be competitive in the state series this season.”