Richmond, IL: The Richmond Rockets Wrestling Club is holding its first tournament at Richmond Burton Community High School Sunday, Jan. 29 – the R.W.C. Rocket Open. Weigh ins start at 6:30 and run to 8 a.m. The wrestling, on 14 wrestling mats, starts at 9 a.m.
Brian Hutchinson, vice president of the club, one of its three coaches and the father of two of its wrestlers, said that they anticipate at least 250 wrestlers. The wrestlers are in five age groups – Tots, Bantam, Intermediate, Novice and Senior. Within each group, the wrestlers wrestle by weight. He said that, among the youngest wrestlers, they have some wrestling at only 35 pounds.
The Richmond Rockets Wrestling Club has 46 members. There are additional clubs throughout McHenry and Lake County that are expected to participate in the event. The tournament may also draw wrestlers from Southern Wisconsin.
“If we run it right, we could finish up by 2 p.m.,” said Hutchinson. “Since it’s our first tournament … it may run a little longer.”
The event is sponsored by Conlon & Thompson Orthodontics, of McHenry, and Guardian Material Handling, of Spring Grove. All age groups will wrestle round robbins.
“Our mission statement is the development of youth wrestling throughout Northern Illinois,” said Hutchinson. “We believe it’s a really good foundation for other sports, individual development and, ultimately, dealing with winning and losing – learning to keep going even when you lose.”
He said that the club also serves as a feeder program for the high school wrestling team. Numerous former members of the Richmond Rockets Wrestling Club have had considerable success at the high school level, including three-time state champion Jordan Blanton. Numerous RWC wrestlers have gone on to wrestle at the college and university level.
The club will wrestle in about 10 tournaments this season. The tournament in Richmond is the first of the area for the season. They run virtually every weekend from December through the end of March.
“What’s nice is that it’s self-paced,” said Hutchinson. “The kids can participate in one tournament or they can participate in all 10.”
The cost of the tournament is $20 per wrestler and a $5 entry fee for spectators. Children 5 and under are $3. Wrestlers can register for the event by going to www.trackwrestling.com.