Created on Thursday, 18 January 2007 08:20
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 January 2007 08:20
By Charlie Brown
"You'll burn more calories wrestling for six minutes than if you played an entire basketball game," so says program director Kevin Streeter. Streeter, along with Tim Durant and Jay Lavanway, head up the program that started about 25 years ago throughout Vermont.
Last night approximately 10 kids showed up for the initial meeting of the program that will last from now till the first weekend in April. The group meets twice a week at Harwood from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the upper gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Kids from kindergarten to sixth grade are eligible, and they hope to eventually have 20 kids in the program this winter.
The kids will participate in four tournaments throughout the season with approximately eight schools represented in each tournament. Then at the end of the year there will be a statewide tournament with all 25 schools participating. Mount Anthony totally dominates the state; they have won "the states" for over 20 years. "They must have over 60 kids in their program and they rock," says Streeter. This program is open to all in the community and can be easily learned, but it takes a lot of dedication and discipline to get proficient at the sport, the coaches report.
The three coaches, all ex-Harwood wrestlers, move easily around the gym lending helpful hints about techniques and positioning. Once the kids are paired off into working groups, a coach will instruct them on certain moves which they practice under watchful eyes. Once they get the idea, they are left to practice each move with their training partner. The coach moves on and starts the procedure again with the next pair until everyone in the gym is "on the same page."
The kids have a lot of fun, but they are also learning a sport, which is a great physical conditioner. Far better they are out here participating than sitting at home watching what they call "professional wrestling" on TV.