Youth Wrestling Comes to Falls Church City
By FALLS CHURCH TIMES STAFF
May 26, 2012
These athletes often enter the high school program with little or no wrestling experience, and must quickly learn the skills and disciplines they will need to succeed at the high school level. This can be a daunting task given that many of their competitors have been wrestling for a number of years prior to high school and mastered the techniques that provide them a major advantage over a less experienced opponent. Harris and Pitas have embraced this challenge and worked hard to assist the George Mason wrestlers in achieving their goals to include producing many District, Regional and even State Champions over the past few years. However, the one critical element that has been missing from the George Mason program, is now being organized – a city youth wrestling program.
In February, youth coaches Aaron Martinez and Brian Sulc pitched an idea to Coaches Harris and Pitas as well as Athletic Director Tom Horn to see how they could lend a hand with opening up the sport of wrestling to City youth. From that meeting and some essential help along the way from Horn, Chris Madison of Falls Church Recreation & Parks, Seve Padilla of Falls Church City Public Schools facilities, as well as a pivotal helping hand from Falls Church City School Board Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones, the Falls Church Wrestling Club was born.
The program is dedicated to developing a love and appreciation of wrestling in the area youth with the goal of increasing their overall athletic abilities and imparting the life lessons that wrestling teaches like no other sport.
Coach Sulc explained, “We will do this by focusing on having coaches that are committed to following a well thought out and proven template of developing our wrestlers and team. Creating a positive, encouraging environment while maintaining accountability and discipline is our approach. By stressing fundamentals and bringing our teams together in a way that bonds them with each other and the coaching staff, a life changing experience can be the end result. Our goals are to wrestle to the team’s potential, give everyone an opportunity to wrestle, have the best sportsmanship reputation in the League and have fun. We use a Character Development Program to help bring our teams closer together and to develop each wrestler in lessons he or she can use on and away from the wrestling mat. Teaching great fundamentals, teaching character lessons, getting everyone mat time, having fun and winning are not mutually exclusive.”
Coach Martinez also commented that, “Wrestling is such a great sport for developing the overall athleticism of each participant. My wife and I have five boys and they are all been involved with and benefited from the sport. Brian and I are both enjoy working with kids and are looking forward to developing a program that will have a positive impact on everyone who decides to participate.”
The first opportunity for our youth to get introduced to or improve on their current wrestling skills will be at the Falls Church Wrestling Camp which will be held June 25 – June 29, 6:00-8:00 PM in the Husky Gym at Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School, for $75 for the week. 8:00 – 8:30 will be available for advanced techniques. Interested parents and wrestlers can email the Club at Fcyouthwrestlingclub@gmail.com.
Additionally, last week, the Falls Church Wrestling Club was unanimously voted in by the Board of the Northern Virginia Wrestling Federation (NVWF), a beginners wrestling league. The NVWF is comprised of 34 wrestling clubs with more than 1,700 coed wrestlers ages 5 to 14 from 12 different cities and towns in 11 Virginia counties.
The Falls Church Wrestling Club’s first practice will be November 7th in the George Mason Auxiliary Gym. Practice will be on Wednesdays and Fridays, 5:30 – 7:30 PM. Currently, there are more than 20 boys and girls and six youth coaches from the area who have expressed interest in joining the new club.
Both the camp and team coaching staff will be led by Coaches Martinez and Sulc. Martinez wrestled in high school and at the University of Missouri, and has coached at three different clubs in Missouri and Virginia. Sulc wrestled in high school and the Marine Corps, and has coached wrestling since 2003.
Youth wrestling has come to Falls Church and as Coach Harris put it, “The benefit of youth sports programs can’t be overstated. When our kids come to us at the high school level with the fundamentals already established and with an excitement for the sport that I know Brian and Aaron will instill, it makes my job that much easier. This is the type of program that has the potential to make our team much more competitive but more importantly will have a positive impact on the lives of all of the kids involved.”
By Falls Church Times Staff
May 26, 2012