By Daniel Thompson
Reporter 

Kimball wrestling hosts first-ever event at football field

 

Lauren Graziano

Two wrestlers battle on the mat at the Kimball football field last weekend.

The sun was hanging high in the sky as two large wrestling mats were lined up along the football field at the Kimball Junior/Senior High School, setting up for the day’s event to raise awareness and interest in the school’s wrestling program on Saturday, June 29.

At 5:00 p.m., wrestlers starting pouring into the stadium to get weighed in and sign liability waivers, as Assistant Wrestling Coach Bob Culek and his fellow organizers made up brackets for the kids to compete in.

The event not only drew a wide number of participants from local students, but it also was shown support in the number of community members that came out to watch the event.

“We had around 50 to 55 kids involved. I think it went really well for the first year and getting it out there. Hopefully, we can build on that and have an even bigger crowd next year... it was something different and something people around here haven’t really seen before,” Culek said.

According to Culek, the event was the brainchild of himself, Junior High Wrestling Head Coach Klent Schnell, High School Wrestling Head Coach Wade Brashear, and several members of the community including Mayor James Schnell who spent the evening making burgers on the grill for the crowd.

“We have some good support within the community. Mayor James Schnell is a big supporter. It’s just one of those deals where everybody got together and we came up with the idea. Without the volunteers, it would have been tough to do,” Culek said.

The original idea of the event was not only to promote the sport of wrestling but to also give kids of the town something fun to do on a Saturday night, according to Culek.

“It was just to give the kids a fun activity to do, and to get some interest in the sport again down here. It seems to be a little lacking compared to years past, and we just wanted to get it out there and to get people involved,” Culek said.

Though the inaugural event has just wrapped up this past weekend, Culek is already looking forward to next year, even planning to increase the number of participants through lowering the required age for the event.

“We’re hoping to build on this and increase our numbers. Next year, we’re going to get some more mats, and we’re going to add an age group. We’ll be going 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th and then high school so we’ll be adding 3rd and 4th next year,” Culek said.


With the success of the event this past weekend, Culek is already expecting to reach nearly twice as many kids next year.

“Hopefully, next year we grow. We’re hoping to get up to between 80 and 100 kids next time,” Culek said.

 

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