The numbers at the Mauston Youth Wrestling Club continues to grow. Tom Miller, wrestling club president, said there are over 90 youth wrestlers involved in their club this year.
The wrestling club is composed of three groups: one group is pre-k through first grade, one is second and third graders and the third group is made up of fourth and fifth graders.
He said wrestling is a “nice sport to get involved in right away” because there isn’t a lot of pressure to perform.
“It’s not really about making them competitive wrestlers at that time,” he said. “It’s just trying to get them transitioned into the sport a little bit just to see what the logistics are and (teach them) what it’s all about.”
Besides introducing youth to a new sport, Miller said it is a way for parents to get their kids involved in some type of activity, especially when some other sports may be restricted do to age or even during the winter months when activities may be down a little bit due to the weather.
“Our society now a days is all in front of a screen,” he said. “Whatever sports they choose to go into it’s a fabulous activity for anyone involved.”
Colin Dolata is one of the coaches for the youth wrestling club. In 2011, Dolata won a state championship for Mauston High School at the WIAA State Wrestling Tournament. He participated in youth wrestling when he was younger and credits it to helping him figure out “how to practice” when he continued in his wrestling career.
“Wrestling practice is so good because it teaches you to be quiet when you’re supposed to be quiet, listen to someone that’s trying to help you out,” Dolata said. “Then it teaches you to work hard and you see success once you start working hard.”
For now, the club is currently practicing at Olson Middle School in Mauston, but with so many new athletes joining Miller said the wrestling club is in the process of selling their old building on East State Street and looking into moving into another facility.
Since the transaction is still ongoing, he didn’t want to mention where the new building will be or release any more details.
“Hopefully everything will be put together very soon,” he said.
The club has been doing some fundraising with selling landjaegers right now made by Wisconsin River Meats, with the club goal to sell 1,000 bags between the youth and high school wrestlers. The team also has a youth tournament at Mauston High School on Jan. 15 which he said will have 400 youth wrestlers participate.
With all the fundraising they do, the club also gives back to the community which Miller calls “the backbone” of the organizations in this community. Miller said the club doesn’t put Mauston Wrestling first, but always tries to help out other organizations when needed.
“We’ve donated to basketball clubs and things like that over the years,” he said. “All these youth organizations are giving kids things to do and giving them outlets and doing positive things whether it athletics, academics, music, arts whatever it is,” he said.
Miller said those interested in joining wrestling can still sign up and can contact him at his cell phone 608-469-7535 for more information.