Tom Checks Out Youth Wrestling And Its Big Crowds
January 24, 2019
The SPVA Conference Basketball Tournament play was completed this past week and the Bridgeport boys and North Platte St Pats girls emerged as champions.
The Kimball boys finished 7th after losing 60-59 to Perkins County in double overtime, and the Kimball girls wound up 5th thanks in large part to Carli Wurdeman tying a school record for 3 point field goals in a game with 8! The sharp shooting junior guard wound up with 29 points in that 61-26 win over Perkins County, which also tied her for 8th in the tough weekend of games with Sutherland and St Pats.
Then we turn our attention to the Western Trails Conference Tournament, which runs January 31 through February 2. After first round play at the seeded home sites, the last two days are at Cougar Palace in Scottsbluff. A much shorter drive than to North Platte and I like the atmosphere of Cougar Palace personally.
Area Youth Wrestling Is Big Time
It seems like I have been spending a lot of time in the Bridgeport High School gym lately following the Kimball High Basketball Teams to games played there. This past Sunday, there I was once again, this time to take in a Youth Wrestling Tournament that the Kimball Wrestling Club was involved in. If you have never attended one of these tournaments, and you enjoy young kids, and wrestling, you owe it to yourself to attend, one time at least.
The attendance at these tournaments far surpass the attendance at basketball games. I usually can park right up by the front door at the ball games, but I had to walk a couple of blocks after parking on a side street, and I was there on time! The number of kids, from a lot of different towns, and clubs, is big. There are many age groups, and weight classes, and it seems like every young wrestler, and this includes not only boys, but many girls as well, is accompanied by their entire family of siblings, parents, grand parents etc. If you find a place to sit, lay claim to it and share it with others.
The concession stand is busy at all times. The bracketing is well organized and the announcer keeps everyone informed. Those in the know follow the format on their smart phones, and will tell us uninformed dummies what is going on.
The Kimball Wrestling Club is impressive.
Bob Culek, who is one of the main coaches and organizers, informed me that they have about 20-35 wrestlers who are involved, and this starts way down in pre-K and kindergarten age on up through junior high age. I never got the final points scored as a team, but Kimball won a lot of matches and scored a lot of points. What impressed me more than anything was how all of the coaches were so supportive of their young wrestlers. At any match a Kimball wrestler was involved in, you would see several coaches giving encouragement and instruction. All of the wrestlers supported each other as well.
As mentioned, Bob Culek and his dad Joe are both involved heavily, and both have served as Kimball High and Kimball junior high coaches in the past. They have a lot of other men with experience also helping with the coaching. It is a good solid program … and did I mention the tournaments are well attended? That being said, Kimball will be hosting its own tournament on Feb. 3 at the Kimball High School location. See you all there!
Mike Daum Update
An update on Mike Daum and his latest contributions to college basketball. In a 78-74 win over North Dakota, Mike led his South Dakota State Jackrabbitts with 34 points and a career high 21 rebounds. Big Mike was 14 of 24 from the field and he had his 44th career double-double by halftime. Following this game, Mike was now listed at 20th in NCAA career scoring with 3.740 points.
Another interesting story to share with you readers this week concerning Mike and a couple of former Kimball residents. Betty Barrett (Hamzy), class of 1960 from Kimball High, was thoughtful enough to send me a picture she took of her sister Judy Barrett, class of 1962 and Judy’s friend, who as a graduate of South Dakota State, was posing with none other than Mike Daum at a game played in Cheney, Washington. Betty took the picture. Betty said, “We got Mike’s attention with the red-all class polo shirt Judy was wearing. A cool picture and thanks for sharing this with us you Barrett sisters.
Kimball Sports Schedule
The Kimball High wrestlers are at the Mitchell Tournament Saturday with an 8:30 start time.
The KHS cheer team is at the Grand Island Cheer Showcase on Sunday, January 27.
Junior High boys basketball is at Gering Monday, January 28, for games beginning at 4:30 p.m.