Local UM Wrestling Club giving youngsters a boost on the mats
Youth get a grip on hard work and fun through the Upper Moreland Wrestling Club
The Upper Moreland Wrestling Club is giving local grapplers a chance to learn the sport at a young age. However, there is one requirement.
The club is for young wrestlers ranging from age five to 12. It provides the opportunity for children to learn the basics of the sport at an early age. Upper Moreland Wrestling Club president Trey Patterson said while his wrestlers are able to flourish in the program, the club also provides a fun and entertaining environment for everybody involved.
“It’s a non-competitive way to introduce kids to wrestling,” said Patterson. “We don’t want a five or six-year-old at a young age getting discouraged. Certain kids advance at certain paces. We match the more competitive and advanced kids with each other.”
The Upper Moreland Wrestling Club offers classes for beginners, as well as a more competitive set up for its advanced wrestlers. There are also matches with other clubs set up by the age, weight and years of experience of the wrestlers. The youngsters participate in tournaments that don’t involve keeping track of wins and losses. The focus is on the progress of the wrestlers and how much they are enjoying their time on the mats. The next novice tournament for the club will be on Feb. 13 at the Upper Moreland Intermediate School. The wrestling gets underway at 9 am.
For the more serious wrestlers who are hoping to one day wrestle on the high school level, the Upper Moreland Wrestling Club gives them a head start over much of the competition across the area.
“It’s huge,” said Patterson. “We wrestle one school that doesn’t have a program. Our middle schools are far more prepared than theirs, because we start at an early age. We sent three kids to the state tournament last year and they all spent time at the club at an early age.”
While the coaches enjoy themselves as much of the wrestlers, there is plenty of patience involved.
It is understandable that some of the program’s younger wrestlers have a shorter attention span than the older wrestlers. It is something the coaches are well aware of when they go to work.
“You do have to have patience,” Patterson said. “It’s amazing, because they get so sidetracked. But we have patience with them and, hopefully, they stay with it.”
The Upper Moreland Wrestling Club primarily consists of Upper Moreland children. However, Patterson said everyone is welcome to participate in the program.
“We’ll take kids from any town,” said Patterson. If somebody doesn’t have a program, they’re welcome. We have Lower Moreland kids that come to our club because they don’t have a club in Lower Moreland. We have somebody from Upper Dublin, but it’s predominantly kids from our town.”
There is much more involved with the Upper Moreland Wrestling Club than teaching wrestling. The organization has become active throughout the wrestling community in Upper Moreland. Even when the students leave the program, the program remains tied to the students in their future wrestling endeavors.
“It’s really fantastic,” said Patterson. “We don’t abandon the kids once they are done. We support their parents and help with their hotels in the state tournament. We help with buying uniforms in high school and help the middle school kids with their tournaments. We are a booster club. We take the money we raise and help as many of the kids as we can.”