Courtesy Kim Peters
A group of the younger wrestlers, ages 5-7, pose for a photo.
RUTLAND— A new youth sport program was introduced this winter season in Rutland. Rutland Recreation opened up registration for youth co-ed wrestling for grades kindergarten-6th grade hoping to get 10 interested athletes; however, the program got 40 athletes to sign up! The team (made up of boys and girls) practiced on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Rutland High School directly after the Rutland Varsity Wreslting practice. High School athletes Dakota Peters, Hunter Cameron, and Dan Rodriguez helped coach the youth program.
At their first wrestling meet at Otter Valley they won three firsts, five seconds, and over 10 others finished in the top six. The Rutland team also received overall best team sportsmanship.
“I was impressed with the amount of first time wrestlers we had at the first meet, and then to have so many top finishers and then to win the trophy for best sportsmanship. I knew we had started something special,” said Shane Warner, head coach.
“The initial purpose was to get kids involved in wrestling, have two practices a week, and maybe participate in one wrestling meet, however, the kids and parents wanted more,” said Superintendent of Rutland Recreation and Parks Kim Peters. As a result, “We added three more meets, and sent wrestlers to States in Essex. I am so proud of the wrestlers and the coaches who dedicated so much time and anxious for next season.”
The youth wrestling banquet is this Sunday, April 22.