Freedom Youth Wrestling: How the season is going


Hannah Shaffer

Freedom youth wrestling program’s mats at the Big Knob Grange.

Hannah Shaffer, Managing Editor

Many more kids have joined the Freedom wrestling team than any last year. Students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade participate in the Freedom Youth Wrestling Team which is currently practicing at the Big Knob Grange due to COVID-19 restrictions at the school.

The Freedom Wrestling coaches are the structure for the program; we wouldn’t be able to wrestle for this program at all without them. The head coach, Jon Shaffer, has been a coach for a couple of years now, but this year is his first year as the head coach. The other coaches that help with the program are Mike Perrio, Bob Roache, and Matt Stromberg.

“I joined because my dad did wrestling and he liked it,” said Thomas Henry, seventh grade.

There are two practices, one for the younger kids and one for the older kids. The younger kids practice from ages 4 through 6 and they have practice from 5:30 to 6:15 which gives them 45 minutes to wrestle. The older kids practice goes from ages 7 to12 and they have practice from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. giving them two hours to practice.

 “It starts wrestlers out at a younger age and teaches wrestling before they get to the high school level,” Shaffer said.

Wrestling benefits kids in general because it teaches them discipline, it teaches them to work hard to get what they want, and it also teaches them how to win and lose. 

During practice we do stretches and then do a workout, which then goes on doing drills. Most of the practice consists of doing drills and just getting better and better at moves that we need to know. At practice, we also do live wrestling, which is just wrestling your partner that you have been working with the whole night. 

Then before and after practice we play games and have fun. We play games like snakes, which is where there are two kids who start in the circle and try to get kids down onto their knees, as more and more wrestlers get down it is harder and you just try to be the last one standing. 

We also play games like dragon tails where you try to grab other people’s tails and be the last one with their tails. We also play wrestling football, which is just like what it sounds like, but you just try to get to the touchdown zone and to tackle the person you have to pin them to the ground.

“I have an uncle that’s a freshman in college that does it, and I also enjoy doing it,” said Brayden Reynolds, sixth grade.

Due to COVID-19, there are restrictions in place so that everyone can stay safe and also have a good time at the same time. When they come in, the wrestlers have to fill out a form that has questions about if they have been feeling any of the coronavirus symptoms in the last 24 hours. Their temperature is also taken.

Then after practice like always, you have to clean the mats, but this year instead of just cleaning with a mop and water, they have a spray thing that sprays a germ-removing liquid and they have mops but larger ones this year also.