No rest for weary in summer - July packed with wrestling in Michigan
BY JEFF CHANEY
Back in the old days, the 1980s, when I use to wrestle, the month of July meant getting ready for football season.
The high school wrestling season was long over, and the freestyle season was just wrapping up its late spring season.
The Dog Days of Summer were here, time to swim and think about fall football camp, which was about to start in early August.
For wrestlers now, June and July can feel like January and February.
Training facilities are located throughout the state, giving wrestlers workout times all year. And tournaments are taking place just about every weekend.
At the end of June, close to 560 wrestlers of all ages, competing in all three styles of folkstyle, freestyle and Greco-Roman, took part in the Meijer State Games of Michigan at Sparta High School
That same weekend, MYWAY ran its first freestyle state championships on the east side of the state.
And the weekend before that, 14 summer club teams headed north to take part in the 2012 Northern Exposure Summer Duals. The tournament was won by Team Michigan Chub Chub with a 44-33 victory over Flat River Wrestling Club, while Thumb Elite defeated St. Ignace 33-29 in the consolation finals.
Now its time for a trips down south.
First, a few talented teams from Michigan will be making their way to Orlando, Fla. for the Disney Duals at Walt Disney World. Team Michigan Blue took seventh last year at the prestigious tournament.
Then Shark Bait Duals at Tiffin University in Tiffin, Ohio on July 7. There will be teams from Iowa, Illinois, Pennsylvania along with a few teams from the Buckeye state, and for fun, the tournament is not located too far away from Cedar Point.
Then the big weekend of the summer will take place July 21 and 22 in Battle Creek for the Grand River Rumble.
According to Tournament Director Rob Stehley, who runs all of MYWAY's tournaments “This event will host all age Team Divisions and Individual Wrestlers for what's building up as one of the better Summer events East of the Mississippi River.”
It's both and individual and team tournament, with the open individual tournament taking place July 21, followed by the team tournament July 22 at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.
The summer schedule will then wrap up four days later at Lowell High School for the Border Wars Midnight Madness Individual Tournament, a tournament for all ages.
“There is a 10-day stretch in (July) that is very big,” Stehley said. “The Grand River Rumble will have teams from coast to coast coming, including multiple teams from California all the way to teams from New York.
Stehley says that additional summer events hosted by Border Wars Wrestling will provide competition from late Summer into the Fall Schedule, including events Sept. 9 at Flint Kearsley High School, and Battle at the Bridge Sept. 22 at Little Bear Arena in St Ignace.
Then, the premiere fall wrestling event in the Midwest will take place on October 13-14 when Michigan Grappler hosts the Grappler Fall Classic in Battle Creek.
The old days of packing it in for spring/summer/fall are over. Nowadays you can wrestle 12 months a year, and thanks to the folks at MYWAY and Border Wars you can do most of that wrestling without having to cross the state lines.
Be sure to follow the Border Wars Schedule, NUWAY or check for future Michigan Grappler news on upcoming events.
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