The Boonslick Heartland YMCA wrestling program competed in Macon on Saturday.
Boonslick Heartland YMCA Wrestling Club Eric McNeal said 10 wrestlers made the trip and all competed well, many for the very first time.
“For many of the kids, they had to find out what it is like,” McNeal said. “It is difficult to just come in to a practice room when you’re a youth wrestler trying things out for the first time. These kids are your friends and it’s difficult to understand that you have to go hard and to try and beat them. This tournament was the first time many of them had the opportunity to wrestle kids who they do not know. We competed well, got our feet wet, and learned a lot about what we need to do moving forward.”
McNeal said half of the kids were in the 6U division.
Bradley Bishop and Sam Gander were in the 6U 65 pound division and competing in their first tournaments, McNeal said. Bradley went 1-2 and took third. Sam went 0-3 and took fourth, but got better every time. Henry Brownfield wrestled 6U 60 pounds and came away with second place. McNeal said Brownfield’s two wins were both by fall. Gabe Gander also wrestled his first wrestling tournament in the 6U 65 pound class. He went 0-2, took third, but narrowly lost both matches. Xavier Cantrell put in a great performance in the 6U 45D bracket, where he pinned all three opponents to take first place.
“It is great to see these kids out and enjoying themselves,” McNeal said. “They are having fun wrestling. If we will be able to provide a strong crop of kids if we can keep the sport fun for them and guide their development in the technical aspects of the sport”
Carson Renfrow took third place in the 8U 55 pound bracket, going 0-2 on the day. In the 10u 85 pound bracket Cash Stock also took third, going 0-2 on the day. Molly Davidson took third place in the 10U 70 pound bracket, going 1-2 and coming very close to a second win early in the day, while Ryder Comegys rounded out our day with a second place finish in the 10U 110 bracket, pinning two opponents before falling in the finals. He turned in a solid performance on the day and had a good start to the 2016-17 youth season.
“All of these kids are learning the sport and wrestling,” McNeal said. “My goal is to keep the basics strong for them and to guide them forward in the sport. If we can do that, we can continue to grow the sport in Boonville and help foster a strong foundation for the middle and high school programs. We have a great staff in place to make that happen. We have three alumni in myself (Eric McNeal), Jason Comegys, and Joey Bishop that are helping full time, along with high school assistant coach Kyle Newham.
“Every week we have had different alumni come in to help out as well, including several former state medalists. These faces who have had success in the past are critical to getting some traction in the program and giving kids something to look forward to as they move forward in their careers.”