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Battle in the Creek

(Youth1 Wrestling) – The 2012 Border Wars All-Star National Christmas Duals will kickoff this weekend in Battle Creek, Michigan. Wrestlers from sixteen elementary teams and fourteen middle school teams will participate in the yearly event that is held at the Kellogg Arena. xmas duals rotator

The all-star teams, which are composed of top wrestlers from their state and surrounding areas, will battle it out on the mats with the hopes of receiving a championship trophy as an early Christmas present.

Kevin Piggott, who coaches the MYWA West team says, “Participating in this event is a great opportunity for the kids to wrestle together as a team. Usually the kids are wrestling against one another in individual events so it’s going to be fun to watch them work together as a team for once.” 

This will be the second time in three years that Piggott and the MYWA West team have attended the Border Wars Christmas Duals and he believes this year’s team may have a chance to win finish in the top three. Although the coach doesn’t like to show his hand when talking about his team, he says, “We have eight state champions or state runner-ups from last year’s MYWA season and we feel these kids are the greatest seventeen kids the state of Michigan has to offer when putting together a team.”

Tournament Director Rob Stehley enjoys meeting the coaches and parents that work hard and make a strong effort in getting teams organized. The event, which began in 2006 with sixteen teams is now in its seventh year and will play host to thirty clubs from 5 power house states. “We are excited to welcome some very talented teams from many of the Midwest power states,” says Stehley. “This is a great chance for these wrestlers to face some high quality opponents that they don’t normally run into and a chance to get 5-6 challenging matches for each competitor.”

Coach Darin Wass of the Michigan Gold Pitbulls will be bringing back his team for a second consecutive year and he says his team is looking to win it all. Wass says, “This is a great chance for kids to get some good mat time and wrestle some quality competition. We have a number of great wrestlers on our team so our expectations are very high heading into the event.”

Regarded as one of the tougher tournaments across the Midwest, be it a dual or individual event, the Border Wars Christmas Duals provides a great test for every grappler. “It’s a great event to see where you stand going into your junior high season and how you stack up against not only the best in your state but also the Midwest,” says Michigan Rampage coach Eric Moon. “This is my third straight year bringing a team and we know that when teams travel all the way from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois or Indiana that they aren’t coming to lose, so our kids have to be prepared to wrestle hard every single time they step on the mat.”

Brandi Cash of the Indiana Mad Jacks has been attending the event since it started 7 years ago. Cash says, “We change our team name every year to reflect the team single that year. Last year was Cornstalkers and the year before that we were Fire and Ice.”

The Indiana Mad Jacks are loaded with talent on both the elementary and middle school levels. The elementary team will be led by two returning state champions in 40-pound Luke Rioux and 45-pound Peyton Moade. The middle school team is lead by 3x state champion Ty Mills and anchored by the likes of Mason Miranda and Breyton Bailey.

Another team from the Hoosier state that will be making the trip is the Indiana Outlaws. This will be the sixth time in seven years that Coach Bryan Bailey has brought his team to the duals. Bailey likes that the event is close to home and provides tough, quality competition. “I want all of my kids to get a good challenge and have success while doing it,” says Bailey.

The Burnett Trained Wrestling team will be making the trip in from Ohio because they wanted to add a new event to their schedule and Coach Scott Burnett believes this event meets the level of competition his wrestlers need. “An event of this caliber will help our kids see and participate in good matches to get them ready for the state tournament and high school wrestling. This will be a good event for them to get some mat time and wrestle against quality competition,” Burnett says.

The Michigan BattleCats who are lead by Dominick Lomazzo, Tanner Culver and Hunter Assenmacher participate in the event because it provides a great look at where the kids are at early in the season and what the kids need to work on to get better. The team usually travels between 3 to 4 times a year and this event is used to jumpstart them towards further success at the national level.

Coach John Anderson, who’s Tinley Park Bulldogs, is lead by 4x Illinois State Champion Austin O’Connor says the event toughens his wrestlers both mentally and physically. Anderson says, “We chose to participate in this event because the competition is top notch and our kids will get plenty of tough matches.”

The common theme here seems to be that the competition this weekend will not disappoint as these all-star laden teams battle it out match by match. With the margin for error being so small, coaches and athletes alike will have to be on top of their game if they want any shot of standing atop the podium as the 2012 Border Wars All-Star National Christmas Duals Champions.

Check back next week to Youth1.com for a recap and complete results from the All-Star National Christmas Duals.

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About the Writer

Ryan Lance

Ryan Lance manages business development for Youth1 Media and the site’s wrestling content. His responsibilities include expanding the company portfolio through new partnerships and leveraging the company’s assets. Please share your questions, comments or stories with Ryan at rlance@youth1.com or call 973-878-0132.

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