According to Juneau Youth Wrestling coach Josh Houston, the team’s season was one of the best in history.
“We have had a fantastic season,” Houston said. “At the beginning of the year we had a goal to attend at least two tournaments prior to the state tournament. We were able to beat that goal and we attended four tournaments outside of Juneau. Last year we only attended the state tournament. Our kids have been developing their wrestling skills at these tournaments and I feel we are ready to make an impact at state. Tournaments are great tests of the wrestler’s skills.”
Houston, coach Chad Requa and coach Paul Davis have been focusing on fundamentals of wrestling, being patient, and steadily improving the quality, both as athletes and young men, of the JYW participants.
The club will be attending the state wrestling tournament in Wasilla on May 3 -5.
“We are bringing 18 wrestlers to state with the possibilities of bringing a few state championships home” Coach Davis said. “We aren’t so concerned with winning or losing, but what is gained in the process of the tournament. Character, hard work, sportsmanship and the changes a parent sees in a wrestler over time are more important measurements for us, verses if they win or not. However, with this being said, winning is also nice!”
The following wrestlers will compete in the Folk Style, Free Style and Greco tournaments at state: Blake Phillips, Daniel Phillips, Ryan Reid, Tosh Robinson, Connor Norman, Ron Hansen and Edwin Meyer. The following will battle in the Free Style and Greco tournaments: Henry Davis, Cody Requa, Connor Scalf, Camden Erickson, Jahrease Mays, Nate Houston, Malakai Nichols and Ben Ng. Caleb Emerson, Keenan Howard and Dawson Isaak will wrestle in the Free Style tournament.
The kids that are 10 and older will be participating in three tournaments at state: Folkstyle, Free Style and Greco. Kids 8-10 years old will participate in two styles: Free Style and Greco. And the three that are under 8 years old will participate in only Free Style. Anyone can follow the progress of the wrestlers at the state tournament at Trackwrestling.com. Choose “ Alaska” for the state, click on the three tournaments listed by the day of the event. It can be customized for “Juneau Youth Wrestling Club” and all their matches will be listed. For more information about the Juneau Youth Wrestling Club go to their web site at JuneauWrestling.net.
Said Houston, “We want to thank the Juneau community for supporting the sport of wrestling. We know there are a lot of people who love this sport in this town and want to keep it alive. Without the community’s support of the raffle ticket sales, we would not have been able to do all of the travelling necessary to get the kids prepared for the state tournament.”
Wrestlers traveled to Sitka in late February, Petersburg early in March, and Wasilla and Anchorage in April.
Wrestlers Jahrease Mays, Ben Ng and Daniel Phillips took first place in all the tournaments they attended. Medaling performances came from Henry Davis, Nate Houston, Camden Erickson, Cody Requa, Malakai Nichols, Chase Foster, Connor Scalf, Tosh Robinson, Connor Norman, Caleb Emerson, Blake Phillips, Edwin Meyer, Bradley Hanes, Ryan Reid, Keenan Howard, Trent Lee, Lincoln Johnson, and Dawson Isaak”.
Said Parent Phil Isaak, the 1986 JDHS state wrestling champion, “I started wrestling when I was in eighth grade and it took four years for me to win the state title. They didn’t have this type of program around when I was a kid. My son Dawson is seven. By the time he starts middle school, he should be a top contender at the state level with a lot more experience than I ever had at his age. He loves to wrestle!”
The JYW club attended the Alaska Battle Cats tournament this past weekend.
“Although we didn’t take home the team trophy, we made an impact and put the club on the map,” Houston said. “There were over 600 hundred wrestlers from all over the state at this tournament. Five of our seven wrestlers that went, brought back medals.”
Brother’s Blake and Daniel Phillips showed their strength and determination as Blake took second place in his bracket and Daniel, in his first official wrestling tournament pinned all four of his opponents to finish first.
“This was a great test to see what the state brackets would look like,” Houston said. “We were really pleased with the results.”