In preparation for a rapidly approaching wrestling season, the Dee-Mack wrestling program has decided to host “Open Gym Practices” every Tuesday and Thursday this summer, from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. During the open gym practices, aspiring wrestlers of any age and ability level will have the opportunity to practice with both senior wrestlers and Dee-Mack coaches. Practices will run like a typical practice during the wrestling season and will consist of a warm up routine and then work on basic fundamentals of the sport.
The Dee-Mack wrestling program, which consists of 12 high school wrestlers and 17 junior high wrestlers, is looking to add to their ranks for the coming season which will start in November under the banner of the IKWF (Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation), which includes 18 different weight classes for wrestlers of all sizes. The Dee-Mack program has also been approved for a Girls Wrestling program which will start this year. Since there are numerous open spots on the team along with a brand new program starting up, high school Coach Thomas tells The Mail “This is why we need kids on the mats now.”
Wrestling mother and program volunteer Jocelyn Standley goes even further saying, “We are so excited for what’s in store for our wrestling programs! I am proud to support Coach Thomas, Coach Watters, Coach Brand, and Coach Maurer as they open the doors for the opportunity to pour into our community. It’s so much more than a sport, it’s a family.” Jocelyn should know, as her son Casen has been wrestling in the IKWF program since he was 6 and had a record of 27-7 last season. Just last week, Dee-Mack wrestling helped supply mats for the Midwest Nationals at Illinois Wesleyan in Bloomington-Normal. During that tournament, Jocelyn volunteered to help run the scoring tables and came away with a new appreciation for coaches, refs, and fellow volunteers, after running her table for 12 hours straight. As it turns out, wrestling can be exhausting even for those who aren’t on the mat.
Our readers with young loved ones who might be interested in trying the sport are greatly encouraged to stop by the Old Gym at the Dee-Mack High School on Tuesdays and Thursdays this summer to see what wrestling is all about. If there are any questions, you may contact Coach Brand directly at 309-445-0264