The elementary school wrestling program was a huge hit last season with the young Titans with a lot of positive feedback from the parents and the wrestlers. The tradition continues this season as the program kicked off in September.
“It’s great to see returning kids and new kids; the program is popular for sure,” commented Coach Yabui, the head wrestling coach for the elementary, middle, and high school wrestling program at St. Mary’s. The program is once again popular with 23 elementary students joining. The program has already been getting positive feedback from parents. “They [the wrestlers] see me in the hallway and sometimes they get show me their wrestling stance, or tell me they are ready for practice today; that’s really nice to see,” described Coach Yabui of the culture and relationship built by the program. An extra cherry on top is the high school wrestlers who show up every day to help out with the program.
“They are learning complicated moves quickly and many of them are wrestling with a competitive mindset,” explained assistant coach, Coach Grimberg (or Coach Moshe, as the wrestlers call him). The elementary program this year is a shorter than last year due to the MPH (multi purpose hall) being unavailable after the fall break. Therefore, the wrestlers are learning and going through techniques quicker than normal. In just 6 practices, they have learned a high crotch, sprawl, half nelson, quarter nelson, fireman’s carry, and a single leg. They have also been doing some live wrestling already. “It’s fast and perhaps not ideal for proper technique development, but the the kids are able to keep up with the fast pace and are having a lot of fun with wrestling; that’s most important,” added Coach Yabui
The elementary wrestling program is a strong feeder program into the middle and high school programs. There have been many champions at the high school level who started from the elementary program. The coaching staff are keeping their eyes out for potential talent at the same time spreading the love and passion for the sport. As Coach Yabui says, “fun” is the most part of the sport at any level. For now, the wrestlers come in and leave the room with a bright smile on their faces, which means a bright future for the Titans wrestling program.