Worthington youth wrestling team wins region tournament
The wrestling team had an excellent season with a record of 23-2, and will be competing in the state meet in Rochester which starts on March 30.
TRACY — The Worthington youth wrestling team won first place in the NYWA Region 2 team tournament on Saturday.
The team is composed of wrestlers from kindergarten to sixth grade who attend school at District 518. The team is coached by Dusty Neugebauer, Brandon Riemersma-Feit, Jesse Larson, Travis Dagel and Leif Dominguez. Neugebauer is the head coach.
The wrestling team had an excellent season with a record of 23-2, with the only losses coming against Northfield by three points and then six points.
The Worthington team earned the top seed at the region tournament. In the first round Worthington defeated Le Sueur 72-18. Worthington won 51-31 against eighth-seeded Red Rock Central. Fourth ranked Minneota lost 46-18 to Worthington. In the championship dual Worthington bested second-ranked Adrian, 51-27.
Wrestling for the Worthington youth team at the region meet were Armanni Sanchez at 45, Khamari Wood at 50, Gio Sanchez at 55, Harrison Larson at 60, Tayton Thiner at 65, Lincoln Graber at 70, Dominic Larson at 75, Jace Riemersma at 80, Sam Dagel at 84, Dyson Neugebauer at 88, Bly Scott at 93, Kian Ling at 102, Keegan McCuen at 115, Jack Linder at 130, and Baylen Teerink at the heavyweight.
Alternates were John Kremer at 45, Alex Sanchez at 60, Hayden Briggs at 65, Marik Their at 80, Ethan Nixon at 93, and Juan Palma at 102.
The youth wrestling season started in the second week of November and will come to a conclusion at the state meet, which is in the final week of March. The Minnesota state meet will be hosted from Thursday, March 30 to Sunday, April 1 at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.
The Worthington team has 35 kids regularly show up for practices, which are hosted Monday and Thursday night at the Worthington High School wrestling room. The Worthington team is part of District 518 Community Education.
The team includes many experienced wrestlers, but also welcomes newcomers, with two new wrestlers playing big parts in the winning season.
The Region 2 team tournament meet was wrestled at 15 weight classes, starting at 45 pounds, and working its way to 130 pounds. The maximum weight for the heavyweight is 215 pounds.
“Most of the team is pretty veteran,” said volunteer coach Brandon Riemersma-Feit. “We had four state champions last year.”
The Worthington team is open for all that are interested. The youth program had two girls sign up, and one of them qualified for a team at the girls' state meet.
“We hand out fliers at the beginning of the year,” said Riemersma-Feit. “You can also sign up on the (District 518 Community Ed) website. It is free of charge — we cover that as a club so that kids don’t have to pay any fees.”
The wrestling families have also created a recycling program for outgrown shoes. The program has been a big success, said Reimersma-Feit.
“We have a big tote at the beginning of the year and if kids don’t have any shoes and there are some in there that fit them — then the kids can take them,” said Riemersma-Feit. “Every pair of shoes that I have ever put in there has been taken the next year.”
Wrestling is a sport that not only bonds the team, but also the parents of its members. When searching for individual tournaments, parents often work with one another to attend the same ones and that way coaches can help out there as well.
“Wrestling is a very tight community,” said Riemersma-Feit. “It takes a lot of dedication there, it is what they always say — it takes a village to raise a kid.”