Youth Wrestling Club Trains Wildcats of the Future


Nala Shearer

Coach Shearer helps his athletes with a new move.

Nala Shearer, Reporter

Having quality youth sports is an important factor in the successes of high school athletics. Starting kids early gives them enough time to learn and grow to love the sport, and by the time they get to high school they are experienced enough that they can be positive contributors to the program.

In recent years, the wrestling program at RCHS has been growing. However, some of these athletes have never wrestled before they entered high school. With focuses on strength as well as flexibility, and an emphasis on body awareness, wrestling is a difficult sport to pick up quickly. the qualities of a good wrestler excellently translate from many other sports. 

Washington and Lee’s head wrestling coach, Nathan Shearer, has noticed a lack of opportunity for youth interested in the sport of wrestling. With two elementary school sons, and a hope that they will be surrounded by a quality high school program, Coach Shearer has started a new youth club in Lexington. 

“My passion to grow wrestling extends beyond just the work I do as a collegiate coach,” said Shearer. “My goal is to grow an inclusive community between all levels of the sport; from youth to high school to college.”

Wrestling is not only a sport that instills good physical skills in children, but it also teaches them things outside of a strength perspective. 

Tim Braddick, a parent of a first year wrestler at the youth club values these mental qualities. 

“Instilling a sense of hard work, discipline, and camaraderie is important to us,” said Braddick, “The sport of wrestling accomplishes that.”

Teaching the future of high school athletics the intangible qualities of perseverance and determination at such a young age will make these kids even better athletes in the future. 

Having a strong youth program that feeds directly into the middle and high school wrestling programs will ensure that the programs continue to grow and thrive. Educating young athletes early in their careers sparks a love for the sport that can carry them all the way through their athletic journeys.