- Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 February 2010 18:36
- Published on Wednesday, 03 February 2010 18:36
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Thanks to the efforts of the King George Youth Wrestling Club (KGYWC), the tradition of wrestling in King George is alive and thriving. For the past 21 years, the sport of wrestling has extended beyond high school into the feeder system associated with the KGYWC in the format associated with practice sessions on the weekends and a tournament at the end of the season.
However, after competing with rival teams with more experience during the end of the season tournament, former KGYWC president Dave Kreider urged the club to join the Northern Virginia Wrestling Federation (NVWF). Kreider, along with former King George High School wrestling head coach Rick Buckwalter and John Frederick were the original founders of the club.
“We felt that kids in King George had a severe disadvantage against more experienced wrestlers,” Buckwalter said. “Now our wrestlers are getting wrestling room experience during the week, and the opportunity to compete on the weekends.”
Since the start of the club season in November, the KGYWC has met three times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) for practice at the old King George Elementary School. Current KGYWC director, Jeff Kraiser is complemented with a staff of assistants who are eager to share their knowledge of the sport, with the hope that each kid will someday pass on the tradition to the next generation of wrestler in the King George Community.
NVWF rules comply with providing each wrestler an opponent of similar age, weight and experience. On any given weekend of NVWF tournaments there are more than 1,000 wrestlers competing from 35 different clubs. Wrestlers are allowed to wrestler three opponents during the tournaments.
NVWF is the only starters wrestling organization for the D.C. Metropolitan Area, featuring 38 wrestling clubs with more than 1,700 coed wrestlers ages 5 to 14 from 12 different cities and towns in 10 Virginia counties are NVWF members.
The club has competed in five tournaments — Osborne High School, James Madison High School, Lake Braddock High School, Colonial Forge — since the start of the season.
“These tournaments that we’re competing in every weekend are helping our coaches become better coaches, because we’re realizing things we need to emphasize more,” Kraiser said. “It’s good for the kids, because they realize how much more effort they need to put into practice.”
The atmosphere associated with the club is a fun filled learning environment, where club instructors demonstrate a variety of wrestling techniques to members, either by group or one-to-one sessions.
“It’s still fun for the kids, because they consider it extreme fun — we feel that we’re providing a solution to the communities wrestling needs,” Buckwalter said.
Parents interested in entering their child into the KGYWC may apply though the King George Parks and Recreation during the fall months. The deadline for registration for the current season was in November.
Leonard M. Banks