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:

#             #             #

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.

#              #              #