Youth USA wrestling ended its season at home last weekend. (Photo courtesy of B.J. Almberg)

Youth USA wrestling ended its season at home last weekend. (Photo courtesy of B.J. Almberg)

By Lukas Eggen Ely Times Staff Writer

It was all smiles last Saturday and Sunday as the White Pine junior wrestling team hosted its season-ending tournament at White Pine High School. With wrestlers traveling from around the area, the tournament capped off a strong 2013 season.

“It was a successful weekend,” coach Joe Sedlacek said. “Some of our kids don’t get to make it to the tournaments so having a tournament at home is special for all the kids.”

This season saw coaches field a team with a significant number of wrestlers who stepped onto the mat for the first time. But that didn’t stop them from growing at a rapid pace.

“About half our team is new this year,” Sedlacek said. “They were able to adapt pretty quick with the experienced kids helping them along the way. This was an easier year in terms of teaching with the experienced kids intermixed with the new kids.”

As the youth squad looks to build a foundation for the White Pine High School wrestling team in the future, Sedlacek said many of the wrestlers made big strides throughout the year and showed some big potential if they continue to wrestle in future years.

“I would say most of them improved a lot,” Sedlacek said. “You want them to be successful but they’re kids and they get distracted. All in all, they did really well this year and I’m happy with all their development.”

The White Pine youth wrestling team saw a strong turnout this year that was large enough to remain at healthy numbers, but small enough to allow coaches to work with the wrestlers extensively throughout the season.

“We had a pretty good turnout this year,” Sedlacek said. “At sign ups, we had around 30 kids. That’s about the right amount. If we have too many, it’s hard to coach each of the kids.”

The number of participants also allowed coaches to get to know their wrestlers and help them become the best they can be. That’s a big reason why Sedlacek said he enjoys coaching.

“I enjoy coaching the kids and I have fun when they’re having fun and stick with it,” Sedlacek said.

As the youth wrestling team said good-bye to its season last weekend, Sedlacek said ending the season at home provided the perfect way to finish the year.

“I really enjoy our tournament,” Sedlacek said. “I enjoy how excited the kids are to their families and friends. That would be my favorite tournament. I would also like to thank the community for their support and thank all the family and friends of the wrestlers that have supported us through the year.”

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