For the first time in 11 years, Trigg County has a youth wrestling program. The team of about 30 kids consists of students from first to fifth grade. They competed in their first tournament on March 3 in Calloway County and hosted eight schools in the high school gym for another tournament last Saturday.
Walls said it was his intention to start a feeder program with the youngest children so that he can later have experienced wrestlers at the middle and high school levels. He said it was a good idea to start the team with young students because they will have comparable skills to the kids from other schools with whom they will compete. In about two years, he said he hopes to have a middle school team started and possibly a high school team in four.
So far, the program seems to be going well. Walls said that after two days practice, his kids won 75 percent of their matches at their first tournament.
Wrestling is in Walls’ blood. His father, Dennis, is the coach at Union County. He has an uncle who coaches for Calloway County and another with Caldwell County. All three brought their teams to the Trigg County tournament on March 10. Walls wrestled for four years at Union County and was a runner-up in the state tournament his senior year. He got a wrestling scholarship to go to Missouri Valley College.
Ralph Stevens is the assistant wrestling coach. He said he’s glad Walls decided to get the new program off the ground. Stevens’ background in wrestling is extensive as well. In 1982, he became the first Trigg County student to become Kentucky state champion.
“I don’t mind being the first, but I don’t want to be the last,” Stevens said.
Stevens said that one of the great things about wrestling was that, unlike football and a few other sports, kids of any size could be competitive. High school has 12 weight divisions, with 103 pounds being the lightest. The divisions at Saturday’s youth tournament were, from lightest to heaviest: bantam, midget and novice.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.