Members of the Warrensburg Youth Wrestling Club — and their coaches — celebrate their victory shortly after winning the championship of the Warrensburg Duals meet March 17, defeating far-larger schools. The young Burgher wrestlers have achieved an 8-0 duals meet record this year, and a half dozen of them are now competing in top-level tournaments across the northeastern U.S. The wrestling team includes (not in any order): Kalijah Duell, Cameron Carpenter, Zack Olden, Robert Smith, Tanner McKenna, Dylan Winchell, Kellen Duell, J.J. Giron, Zach Carpenter, Zach Shambo, Jason Lapelle, Landon Templeton, Hunter McKenna, Jackson Corveau, Sierra Simpson, Jesse Griffen, Giron Griffen, Tristen Hitchcock, Justin Hoffman and Kayden Allen. Coaches include Scott McKenna, Brian Winchell, Lenny Baker, Mark Trapasso, and Dan McNeill. Courtesy photo
Young local wrestlers are compiling a remarkable record, and some of them are making their presence known in regional and national competitions.
Twenty members of the Warrensburg Youth Wrestling Club have worked hard to achieve a 8-0 record this year in regional dual meets, A number of them, despite their youthful age, have already racked up more than 100 wins.
The wrestlers, most all of them in grades 1 through 6 at Warrensburg Elementary, have also been beating their counterparts from far larger schools in regional tournaments.
On March 29, the Warrensburg team won the championship of the Queensbury Duals tournament. Placing second was Averill Park; third, Ballston Spa; 4th, Queensbury A team; 5th, Corinth Central, and sixth, Queensbury A team. Averill Park, Ballston Spa and Queensbury are all far larger schools.
In the Warrensburg Duals held March 17, the young Burghers won the championship, Queensbury was runner-up, Glens Falls took 3rd place, and Corinth Central, 4th.
Most of these young Burgher wrestlers are also working out and competing through the Journeymen Wrestling Club, a travel team which features the best wrestlers from elementary schools in Section II. The Journeymen wrestle competitively from November through August — nearly year-round.
A few of the Burgher grapplers have also been traveling across northeastern U.S. and entering regional and national-level tournaments.
In recent months, Warrensburg Club wrestlers have competed in New Jersey, Connecticut and Long Island.
Last weekend, they competed in the Gene Mills Eastern Nationals in Syracuse. Tanner McKenna, 9, son of coach Scott McKenna, took fourth place. Dylan Winchell, son of coach Brian Winchell, took 6th place.
This weekend, a number of the young Burghers will be competing at the Brute Nationals in Brockport. Earlier this season, they competed in the New York State youth wrestling tournament.
“We’re traveling all over, and the kids are working their tails off and winning a ton of matches,” Scott McKenna said. “Their competition in the region doesn’t even come close to what they are accomplishing.”
The Warrensburg Youth Wrestling Club includes Kalijah Duell, Cameron Carpenter, Zack Olden, Robert Smith, Tanner McKenna, Dylan Winchell, Kellen Duell, J.J. Giron, Zach Carpenter, Zach Shambo, Jason Lapelle, Landon Templeton, Hunter McKenna, Jackson Corveau, Sierra Simpson, Jesse Griffen, Giron Griffen, Tristen Hitchcock, Justin Hoffman and Kayden Allen.
Coaching the Warrensburg Youth Wrestling Club — in addition to McKenna and Winchell — are Lenny Baker, Mark Trapasso, and Dan McNeill, a standout wrestler for Warrensburg High School in the 1990s, McKenna said.
“As a coaching staff we’re really excited about how our program is working out,” he said. “Our kids are dedicated to the sport and they are being exposed to the best wrestlers in the Northeast, but we have to continue to work hard developing skills — that’s what it’s going to take to develop a championship Varsity program.”
Coach Brian Winchell said that not only the youth wrestlers but their parents are due credit for the wrestlers’ remarkable accomplishments — as they are driving them all over the Capital Region an average of two times per week for practices and meets. The adults are also taking them across the state and the northeastern U.S.. Many of them have been conducting this routine for up to six years.
“The wrestlers’ success is a matter of dedication of both the kids and their parents,” Winchell said. “Considering their experience and accomplishments, the future is bright for the Warrensburg.
McKenna offered a similar thought.
Our kids are wrestling and winning in national-level competitions,” McKenna said. “This is a good indication of what’s in the future — I believe that several years from now, we’ll have a Varsity team that’s almost impossible to beat.”