The Juneau Youth Wrestling Club will be competing at the amateur state wrestling tournament in Wasilla May 2-4.
The JYWC will have three different wrestling style tournaments to participate in: folk style, Greco-Roman and freestyle.
Each tournament is held on consecutive days.
Last season the Tornados took 19 wrestlers to the tournament and will be traveling with 40 grapplers this year, that number coincides with the 31-percent increase in the club’s membership, according to JYWC coach Josh Houston.
“The crew that we are bringing up to state this year is made up of mostly elementary school kids,” Houston said. “Just under a dozen middle school kids and a handful of high school wrestlers. These are the kids that are going to make a difference in Juneau’s high school wrestling programs in the future.”
Four of JYWC are returning state champions: Jahrease Mays, Ben Ng, and coach Chad Requa and his son Cody.
The state tournament is also the qualifier for the regional and national tournaments.
Last season both Jahrease Mays and Ben Ng did well at both those venues. Ng was regional champion in Greco and folk style and runner up in freestyle. Mays place fifth in both folk style and freestyle and fourth in Greco.
At nationals Ng placed third in all styles and Mays fourth.
“We encourage tournament participation,” Houston said. “It is the best way to test what you have learned. It is hard to grow as a wrestler if you continue to wrestle the same person over and over again. You need to wrestle a variety of kids with different style and get out of your comfort zone of practice.”
JYWC will take 21 elementary grapplers, 11 middle school, seven high school, and one open wrestler to the venue. They are: brothers Kayden and Terrance Hawkins, their cousin John Hawkins, Keenan Howard, Camden Erickson, Micah Hay, Jamal Johnson, brothers Malakai Nichols and Lincoln Johnson, Spencer Stratton, Sam Nolan, brothers Matthew and Joshua Quinto, Connor Norman, Tosh Robinson, Nate Van Sickle, Deven Mason, Cody Morehouse, Tyler Cole, Hunter Boyer, Dominic McDonald-Cox, Brylie Yadao, Rick Johnson, Cody Requa, Henry Davis, Lianno Vejar, David Dumesnil, brothers Caleb and Jace Emerson, Sam Smith, Kailer Lindley, siblings Jahrease and Tatyana Mays, brothers Daniel and Blake Phillips, Royce Whitehead, Ben Ng, Nate Houston, JT Nell, and coach Chad Requa.