Longhorn wrestling coach Casey Woodall is taking on an ambitious project that he expects to pay big dividends during the regular season.
It involves jump-starting the Payson Junior Wrestling Club that he hopes, “will give the youth of Payson the opportunity to get involved in the sport of wrestling at an early age.”
Woodall, who just wrapped up his first year as head coach at Payson High, believes the club will, “provide a foundation for continued growth and success in the sport, build character and work ethic and provide the same type of positive influence that wrestling has provided each one of us.”
There will be no fees or costs for those who participate in the new club, but Woodall would like for the club members to join USA Wrestling, “so they can attend the numerous freestyle tournaments throughout the state.”
Club gave sport depth in past
In the glory days of Payson wrestling, under former coach Dennis Pirch, USA Wrestling was a huge part of the off-season program. Pirch often attributed the success of PHS wrestlers to the training and experience they received on the USA Wrestling circuit.
Assisting Woodall with the new club will be former Payson High wrestlers Rocky Berry and Zach Lee.
“Rocky has been instrumental in working with the community to get sponsorships and raise some funding,” said Woodall.
The trio of coaches is currently scheduling matches for the new club team. Thus far, tournaments are scheduled on April 9 vs. Holbrook and April 16 against a Flagstaff team.
The club team held its first practice last evening, March 31 and will continue to hold them at 6 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday in the Wilson Dome wrestling room.
Youths interested in participating in the sport are invited to attend.
Youngsters in the third-grade and above are invited to check out a practice and see if they would be interested in participating.