By Steve Peterson
West Sioux Youth Wrestling hosted its annual tournament Jan. 10 with about 170 youngsters competing.
Awards were given to first through fourth place finishes in each of the 46 weight classes.
“We had a very good turnout with 170 youth wrestlers including 45 Falcon wrestlers. We had about 50 volunteers. There are so many moving parts that most people don’t see that make a wrestling tournament run smoothly, the pairings, the awards, the adverising,” said West Sioux Youth Head Coach Mark Van Oort.
WS Coaches include Mark Rens, Chad Lynott, Tom Sellers and Thad Finzen. Tournament helpers were led by Ben Bouza, Richard Steckleberg and Nicki Van Oort and there were many others.
The young Falcons have a large contingent of wrestlers learning the ropes in practices Tuesdays and Thursdays at West Sioux Elementary School. Sometimes morning practices are held at West Sioux High School. This is the first year of practices at WSES due to the previous location being too small.
West Sioux has a strong commitment to this program and numbers continue to grow, said Van Oort.
The Young Falcons won the team championship at the recent Western Christian meet in Hull by the slimmest of margins as the second and third-place finishers were just one point behind. At the Grade School state tournament, Cory Van Orrt took fourth place and Carson and Dillon Lynott won their brackets.
“I believe that you can take a kid as far as he wants to go, as long as you’re making it fun and not giving so much information that they won’t rememner any of it. We believe in building on the knowledge slowly,” said Van Oort of his coaching philosophy.
West Sioux youth wrestler Connor Bergsma battles an opponent. West Sioux Head Wrestling Coach Grant Van Beek is the official.
Cale Morrow of Akron-Westfield Youth Wrestling battles a West Sioux opponent.
In the Middle School gym,
Dillon Lynott works for a pin for West Sioux.
Drake Lynott, in blue singlet, battles Aaron Sherman, in red singlet. Both are from West Sioux Youth Wrestling.
Caleb Schlup of West Sioux Youth Wrestling with his second-place trophy.
Seth Salker of West Sioux Youth Wrestling stands at the first place spot on the podium after winning his division.
Kyler Bak of West Sioux Youth Wrestling finished third. Sam Mullinix of Akron-Westfield Youth Wrestling took second place.
Alyssa Mullinix of Akron-Westfield Youth Wrestling battes an opponent.
Jakob Kramer competes for West Sioux Youth Wrestling.
Gibby Rens of West Sioux Youth Wrestling has the upper hand.
In the wrestling room the wrestlers garnered their hardware and parents took photos.
Westerner Lane Kenney won his division.
Two West Sioux Youth Wrestlers, Carter Liston finished first and Connor Bergsma took second in the same division.
Jayden Burt of Akron-Westfield Youth Wrestling won his division.