YEAR-ROUND WRESTLERS WIN BIG FOR JUNIOR WILDCAT CLUB

Springfield—Sunday, January 20, 2013 marked one of the largest yearly wrestling events in Illinois: the 29th Jon Davis IKWF Kids Open.  This tournament featured over 1,000 wrestlers in 244 brackets including—for the first time—a thirteen bracket girls division.

The trip to Springfield for the Jon Davis tournament isn’t one that the A-J Junior Wildcats take their entire roster to attend.  With on-site weigh-ins on Saturday and the tournament on Sunday, it makes for a very long weekend that attracts only the most dedicated wrestlers and families from the southern part of the state.

A-J had five wrestlers make the long trip to the Jon Davis.  All five placed in first or second.  Six-year-old Drew Sadler and eight-year-old Blake Mays both finished first in their brackets.  Six-year-old Zoee Sadler, seven-year-old Caleb Mays and twelve-year-old Catie Mays all finished second.

“It’s really a testament to the time these kids put into the sport,” commented club president Rollie Hawk.  “All five of these kids are basically year-round wrestlers and it shows.”

“And that’s while playing other sports, too,” Hawk was quick to add.  “You get these little skirmishes from time to time where a coach in one sport doesn’t want his or her players getting too involved in other sports.  But that’s not the case with our wrestling coaches.

“We believe strongly in the virtues of being an athlete in any sport and that all of those virtues carry over to every other sport as well as every aspect of life.”

“Whether it’s at the junior club or high school levels, we encourage our wrestlers to get involved in all sports.  We believe strongly in the virtues of being an athlete in any sport and that all of those virtues carry over to every other sport as well as every aspect of life.  We don’t just see our kids as future high school and college athletes; we see future community leaders, church elders, business owners, school board members and people that are going to make an impact in our community throughout their lives.”

The Junior Wildcats also had three grapplers compete in the Mount Carmel Aces Wild Rumble.  Seven-year-olds Kaden Lincoln and Brett Smith both won second place in their brackets.  Ten-year-old Dylan Smith placed third in his bracket.

The A-J Junior Wildcats compete again as a team January 27 in Mt. Vernon Lions Club Open.

A-J Junior Wildcat Heavyweights Dominate Carbondale “Dog Fight” Tournament

Carbondale—On Sunday, January 6, the A-J Jr. Wildcat Wrestling Club sent twenty wrestlers to its first team tournament for 2013.  In a tournament featuring over 400 wrestlers from the tri-state area, the Jr. Wildcats squad brought home three first place trophies and went 25-29 as a team.

What made this tournament particularly special was that it was the first tournament of the year with a full heavyweight bracket.  “It can be hard to find matches for bigger kids,” explained club president Rollie Hawk.  “Sometimes, they end up wrestling the same kid at every tournament.  Or sometimes, there just isn’t anyone for a kid to wrestle.”

Two Junior Wildcats—first-year Nicholas Jimenez and second-year Jeff Fombelle—started on opposite ends of the heavyweight bracket and battled their way through the competition.  Undefeated, they would face each other for their final match.

There were certainly no complaints from head coach Grover Mays.  “Two of our kids in the championship match?  I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said.

“It’s always a great matchup with these two,” said Hawk.  “You have the size advantage with Jimenez but Fombelle brings his experience as a state qualifier to bear.  It could easily go either way.”

Jimenez ended up taking the top spot for the day, a big moment for a wrestler whose previous first place award was by default.  “I finally got to earn first place,” he said proudly after the final match.

The Junior Wildcats’ female wrestlers also had a big day, bringing home two trophies for second place and one for third.  They are all looking forward to the O’Fallon tournament in a few weeks, the first of the season to feature an all-girls division.

Complete team results below:

Wrestler

IKFW Age

Weight

Results

Sadler, Zoee

6

41.8

1-2. 3rd

Sadler, Drew

6

44.2

3-0. 1st

Buchmeir, Kane

6

55.4

0-2. 3rd

Smith, Clayton

6

84.4

0-2, 3rd

Smith, Brett

7

56.0

0-3, 4th

Mays, Caleb

7

55.0

1-2, 3rd

Lincoln, Kaden

7

67.2

1-2, 3rd

Mays, Blake

8

63.8

3-0, 1st

Hawk, Madilyn

8

97.2

1-1, 2nd

Smith, Dylan

10

62.0

1-2, 4th

Mays, Jacy

10

80.2

0-2

Goines, Avery

10

95.2

2-1, 5th

Mays, Adam

10

94.6

0-2

Kisat, Nathan

11

76.0

2-1, 5th

Ramage, Clayton

12

79.6

0-2

Mays, Catie

12

88.0

2-1, 2nd

Fombelle, Jeff

13

205.0

2-1, 2nd

Stone, Caiden

13

112.2

1-2, 4th

Jerolds, Logan

14

115.2

2-1, 5th

Jimenez, Nicholas

14

258.0

3-0, 1st

Junior Wildcat Wrestlers Compete in Holiday Tournaments, Meet

While most kids spent their Christmas breaks sleeping in and dreaming about presents, the A-J Jr. Wildcat wrestlers were hard at work, battling for gold in a number of holiday tournaments.

The holidays began with a December 20 trip to Paducah for a four-team middle school meet with Paducah-Tilghman, Graves County and Murphysboro.  Five A-J wrestlers competed that night, two going undefeated: Nicholas Jiminez and Clayton Ramage.

On December 22, the team split between two tournaments: the Murphysboro Beginners Bash and the Jackson USA Tomahawk Challenge.

The Jr. Wildcats had thirteen wrestlers compete in Murphysboro.  Four brought home first place wins.  Club president Rollie Hawk was proud of the team’s effort and said, “We ended up winning about half our matches, which isn’t a bad day, but by the end of the day it was like a different team.  Every wrestler improved greatly from their first match to their last.  Beginner’s tournaments are great because it’s some of the best practice you’ll ever get with new wrestlers.”

At the Tomahawk Challenge, twelve wrestlers represented the Jr. Wildcats.  Three brought home first place medals: Drew Sadler, Blake Mays and Colin Hall.  Six-year-old Drew Sadler won outstanding wrestler for ages six-and-under and was awarded a tomahawk for his hard work.  “That’s the coolest trophy I’ve ever seen,” exclaimed head coach Grover Mays.  “What a motivator!”

On December 29, three Jr. Wildcats competed in the Dixie Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia.  Blake Mays went 4-2 and earned a fifth place medal while his sister Catie Mays went 3-2 and earned a fourth place medal.

On December 30, two Jr. Wildcats competed in the Steel City Nationals in Granite City.  Six-year-old twins Drew and Zoee Sadler placed first and third, respectively.

“We’re always glad to see wrestlers and parents willing to go on the road for the team during the busy Christmas season,” said club president Rollie Hawk.  “We’ll have a lot of local tournaments in the coming weeks and there’s no better preparation than keeping that body moving and continuing to improve skills during the holidays.”

Complete results below:

Wrestler

IKFW Age

Weight

Paducah Meet

Murphysboro Beginners

Jackson

Dixie Nationals

Steel City Nationals

Merideth, Dakoda

4

42.8

2-1, 2nd
Turner, Johnny

5

71.6

Sadler, Zoee

6

41.2

0-2, 2nd 1-2, 3rd
Sadler, Drew

6

44.8

3-0, 1st, outstanding 6U 3-0, 1st
Hall, Evan

6

43.2

0-3, 4th
Buchmeir, Kane

6

55.4

2-1, 2nd
Adams, Daniel

6

57.2

2-1, 2nd
Abernathy, Logan

6

64.2

1-2, 3rd
Smith, Clayton

6

84.4

2-0, 1st
Smith, Milam

6

57.2

Smith, Brett

7

54.8

2-1, 2nd
Mays, Caleb

7

54.8

1-2, 3rd 0-2
Lincoln, Kaden

7

68

0-3, 4th
Hileman, Caleb

8

54.8

Mays, Blake

8

63.8

3-0, 1st 4-2, 5th
Hawk, Madilyn

8

96.6

0-3, 2nd
Myers, Chad

8

111

2-0, 1st
Castle, Max

9

64.6

Rios, Jason

9

66.4

Keller, Keegan

9

105.4

1-1, 2nd
Smith, Dylan

10

62

1-3, 4th
Mays, Jacy

10

80.2

0-3, 4th
Goines, Avery

10

91.6

3-0, 1st
Mays, Adam

10

94.6

0-3, 4th
Bowers, Bryce

10

133

2-1, 1st
Kisat, Nathan

11

75

2-1, 2nd
Hall, Colin

11

180.2

0-0, 1st (12U) & 1-2, 3rd (14U)
Ramage, Clayton

12

80

2-0
Mays, Catie

12

86.4

0-2 0-3, 4th 3-2, 4th
Jacobs, Aiden

12

88

1-2, 2nd
Henderson, Bryce

13

90.2

0-2, 3rd
Leslie, Breezy

13

120.8

Fombelle, Jeff

13

202.4

0-2
Stone, Caiden

13

111.2

Jerolds, Logan

14

111.4

Reed, Eric

14

181.2

0-2
Jimenez, Nick

14

258.8

1-0