Twenty young Wood River wrestlers are going to remember their June trip to Nebraska for a long time.
"What a ride! For the first time in Wood River wrestling history, 20 young men ranging from grades 7-12 and their coaches headed east 800 miles to a team/dual camp at Chadron State College in Chadron, Neb.," said head coach Tyson Young.
The traveling group from Hailey also stopped off in South Dakota where they visited Mount Rushmore and visited Rapid City Water Park.
It was quite a trip.
Throughout the grueling four-day summer camp June 17-20 the Wolverine wrestlers competed against 10 teams in a dual wrestling format and tallied up 200 individual matches. They were challenged by technique sessions in addition to their dual meet competitions.
In the first pool of the camp Wood River was paired against five tough schools and didn't come away with a dual win, although many Hailey wrestlers posted individual victories and everybody learned a lot.
Wood River had a fighting chance in its next pool, however, and showed its opponents what Idaho youth wrestling is all about.
The dual meets were much closer and Wood River walked away with two triumphs—over Custer County/Simla, Colo. and Maxwell/Elkhorn Valley, Neb. The Idaho team tied Newell, S.D./Valentine, Neb.
All of the Wolverine wrestlers left camp with their heads held high, especially J.J. Thomson who was voted by his peers as Wood River's "Outstanding Wrestler." He battled hard and earned his first career win by a 1-0 score (OT) against Brian Hockenmeir of Elkhorn Valley.
Nick Chase had the team's best record, an outstanding 10-6 mark.
And seventh-grader Andrew Tranbarger earned his first win by pinning Alex Munoz of Newell, S.D. in a quick time of 12 seconds.
Young, Wood River High School head wrestling coach, was joined on the trip by assistant coach Kim Orchard and coach/chaperones Tom Bailey and Gary Orr.
After their post-camp trip to Mount Rushmore and the water park slides, the group enjoyed a huge barbecue at the home of Young's in-laws, Mike and Betty Quasney. The kids all slept in the wrestling room at Rapid City's Stevens High School.
Young thanked the following sponsors and supporters of the team's trip to Nebraska:
A Step Above Landscaping, Anderson Insulation, Thinkerbell Inc./Nextec Consulting, High Country Heating, Morgan's Fine Finishes, Cowboy Coffee, Poggi Bros. Electric Inc., Triumph Tree & Timber LLC, Tooling Express Inc., Wood River Equine Hospital, Ballantyne Corp. (The Car Doctor), Power Engineers, Dr. Cynthia Unger, DBA Mortgage Solutions, Wood River Wrestling Club, Rapid City (S.D.) Stevens High School, Mike and Betty Quasney of Rapid City, Tom Bailey and Gary Orr.