Western Tidewater Wrestling Club wants you

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Joshua Johnson looks to see if he’s going to get credit for putting Patrick Sheehy down. -- Cain Madden | Tidewater News

Joshua Johnson looks to see if he’s going to get credit for putting Patrick Sheehy down. — Cain Madden | Tidewater News

Do you live in Franklin, Southampton, Isle of Wight, Suffolk or on the border in North Carolina? Well, if your son or daughter has an interest in wrestling, then Daniel “Bull” Johnson thinks the Western Tidewater Wrestling Club AAU organization is for you.

“Whoever wants to learn about wrestling is welcome to come,” he said, adding that the club, which will meet at least twice a week, can be as active as desired. “The AAU has local tournaments every weekend, and we can go to as many as the kids want.”

The Western Tidewater Bears club is for children aged from kindergarten to rising seniors. If interested, the organization is set to have an interest and sign up session on Thursday in the Charles Street Gym at 5:30 p.m. The Charles Street Gym is next to J.P. King Jr. Middle School.

Johnson said participating in wrestling can also help you become better at other sports, as it’s one of the most physically demanding.

“It really pushes athleticism,” he said. “To be a wrestler, you have to be in better shape than you do for the other sports that high schools offer.”

Being stronger can help you in almost every sport, as can having more endurance, and Johnson said those are key to being a successful wrestler. It’s not all about weight, either, as there is a category for wrestlers of almost every size.

“It gives one more option for kids to do,” Johnson said. “And you are guaranteed to wrestle. If you sign up to wrestle in a tournament, you will not be riding the bench.”

Wrestling also teaches discipline and self-accountability, which is important in the classroom and into life beyond sports. With the broader future in mind, the Western Tidewater Wrestling Bears will also provide tutoring to children who need it.

“We will have people who can help you in subjects if you need it,” Johnson said. “We’d also like to provide more formal tutoring, once we are able to get our own building.”

Johnson said the wrestling club is a non-profit for tax purposes, and they are trying to raise money for a facility of their own outside of the gym. And if you want to give in other ways, such as sponsoring a trip or helping feed the children at tournaments, then that would be great too.

“And if you are a former wrestler, and you aren’t using or don’t want your old equipment, we would appreciate it,” Johnson said.

Currently, the 30-40 children signed up are mostly from Franklin, but there are some children from Southampton and Southampton Academy. Johnson said he wants the Bears to represent more of Western Tidewater and even Gates County, North Carolina. He’d like it to help improve the wrestling culture of all of the local schools, not just Franklin High School.

For more information about the club, or if you are interested but can’t make the meeting, contact Johnson at wtwcbears@gmail.com or at 651-8483.