2018 will mark the first time in several decades that Sault Ste. Marie will field a competitive youth wrestling team. Known to produce some of the fittest and most dedicated athletes, the sport of Wrestling has a strong history in Sault Ste. Marie, but lacks a competitive youth program. That is about to change.
“Sault Ste. Marie has produced some great highschool and university level wrestlers, but we are often playing catch up with athletes from other cities who have strong youth wrestling programs” says Algoma Wrestling Club coach Trevor Manchester. “We want to expose young athletes in the Sault to the sport earlier than highschool.”
The program will have two separate age groups; 5-8 year olds will practice once per week, and focus on learning basic wrestling and athletic skills, while the 9-13 year old age group will train twice per week with their eyes on competing in the fall of 2018.
“Members don’t have to compete, but they will be training as if they will, and they will still get all of the benefits of wrestling such as improved fitness, focus and self esteem” says Brent Fryia, another coach with the local club.
The AWC has chosen to compete in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Youth Wrestling League. “This league is a lot closer for us than competing on the Ontario circuit” explains Fryia, “it allows us to get more competition closer to home and is a lot more cost effective.”
With several aspiring wrestlers already registered, both coaches are excited to see the program grow. “We’re looking forward to giving kids in the Soo access to a different competitive sport, and having our youth program feed into our local highschool programs” says Manchester.