Washington’s wrestling future celebrated
The youth of Washington are making sure that wrestling against the Demons for years to come will be a daunting task for opponents.
Families of the Washington Middle School and youth wrestlers gathered in the commons of Washington High School to celebrate the past season on Wednesday, March 26. Besides a full table of good food, both the scale and success of the program for young wrestlers in Washington was on full display.
The program started off by recognizing the middle school wrestlers. Washington seventh-graders Ben Bohr, Logan Escher, Dylan Farmer, David Hora, Garrett Ikerd, Walker Ikerd, Brennan Murphy, Cade Pohren and Tristan Westphal-Edwards all received certificates. Eighth-graders Colton Anderson, Sam Donnelly, Andres Gutierrez, Jacob Hall, Mitchell Huisenga, Kiowa Keith, Cody Mellinger, Tanner Murphy, Colin Murphy, Clayton Pacha and Anthony Torres also received certificates.
Following that, those who wrestled in at least four AAU tournaments were rewarded for their efforts during the last season. Bohr, Aaron Boone, Vinnie Bowlin, Matt Collett, Brandon Dickel, Escher, Caden Greiner, Chase Greiner, John Harrill, Hora, G. Ikerd, W. Ikerd, Deon Johnson, K. Keith, Summit Keith, Jack Kleese, Jacob Libe, Bryan Martin, Kael Malichky, Mellinger, Pacha, Kaisen Rude, Dillan Sanders, Jace Sanders, Curtis Stender, Brawk Sterna, Charley Stoutner, Luke Turner, EJ Utzinger, Dashaun Westphal-Edwards and T. Westphal-Edwards all received prizes courtesy of the Washington Matbackers.
After that Derick Ball, one of the Washington High School assistant wrestling coaches, elaborated on the progress that the Demon wrestling program has made in his tenure.
“When I told the people in Columbus Junction that I was coming over to coach in Washington they laughed. They aren’t laughing now because we are beating them. This program has become competitive. Now we want to make it a championship program,” Ball stated.
Ball also talked about the off-season events that the Washington Matbackers Wrestling Club is involved in.
“Wrestlers don’t get better during the season. They get better during the off months. That’s why the camps and practices that we offer are so important if we want to continue to work toward making Washington a championship program. We are headed that way and we would like as many of our young people as are willing to do the work to be part of it,” Ball explained.
Beginning on June 1, the Matbackers will have an “open mat” on Sunday evenings for wrestlers of all ages in the wrestling room at Case Field. Also in June will be a day camp put on by the Washington Matbackers. The camp will be held on June 16, 17 and 18 at Case Field. A wrestler yet to be announced from the University of Iowa wrestling team will be the clinician. The camp will focus on hand fighting, setups, moves from the down position and scramble situations. The camp is open to boys and girls who will be entering kindergarten through the 12th grade in the fall of 2014.
The following weekend the Matbackers will take students entering the sixth through 12th grades to the first of two “Iron Sharpens Iron” camps. The first will be the DeWitt Central camp in Clinton, Iowa. The camp, which runs from June 24-27, will focus on technique and live wrestling in a team dual setting and is recommended for experienced wrestlers.
On July 8-11 the Matbackers will again be hitting the road with students entering the sixth through 12th grades, this time to Normal, Ill. The format of the camp will be similar to the one in Dewitt.
The final event this summer will be the Washington Matbackers Golf Tournament on Aug 2 at the Washington Country Club. For more information on any of the events, interested parties can contact the Washington Matbackers.
Considering the success that the young wrestlers of Washington have recently had, the ever-growing numbers involved in the programs and the strong support of the community, the future looks bright for Demon wrestling.