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Youth wrestlers learn discipline, control.

Byline: Bill Marsh

BOLTON - Youth wrestling has been part of the local sports scene for many years, and this winter will be no exception.

The Nashoba Youth Wrestling Club (NYWC) has been active in the area for the past 15 years. Thirty wrestlers from kindergarten to middle school have been practicing at the Emerson School on Tuesday and Thursday nights in preparation for the upcoming tournament season.

The club coaches are Randy Batson and Bill Fateiger, who are both former high school wrestlers.

Interested youth from Bolton, Clinton, Lancaster, Stow, and Harvard are participating in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) aligned program. The wrestling club has been a strong feeder program for local high school wrestling teams, particularly the Nashoba Regional squad, which has a cooperative arrangement with Clinton High.

Nashoba Regional has built a top-notch wrestling program under head coach Matt Schiller. The Chieftains finished last year with a 20-3 overall record, and they were the top seed in the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 Central Wrestling Team Tournament.

According to Batson, the success of the high school team has been helpful to club wrestling.

"We help each other," Batson said. "He (Schiller) has done a great job with the program there. We feed into them and, the better they are, the more kids it draws here."

The NYWC is not part of any organized league. Rather, it plays several scrimmages over the course of the season, and it takes part in two large tournaments. The wrestling club will participate in a tournament in Andover, and host one at Nashoba.

Fateiger, who wrestled for the Chieftains and in the United States Army, is hoping the young wrestlers will commit themselves to a sport that teaches self reliance.

"We think this sport teaches a lot of self-discipline and control," Fateiger said. "Wrestling is a very mental sport. It is also physical, but it is extremely mental.

"We want the kids to come away from this (the NYWC) with some wrestling skills," he said. "We want them to learn the sport.

"Overall, wrestling did a lot for me in high school, and I'm hoping it will do a lot for them in the future," Fateiger added. "We teach the kids many valuable lessons. They have to rely on themselves."

When the NWC is entered in a tournament, each wrestler is placed in an age, weight, and experience category. There are no specific weight classes in a tournament, but no wrestler will face anyone more than 10 percent above his weight.

"You have to keep things fair," Fateiger said. "You have to keep the kids motivated. You don't want them to be discouraged."

The NYWC will be hosting a Big East Club tournament in February, which is a fundraiser for the youth wrestlers. It is a highlight for the local club.

"We will have about 500 wrestlers (at the tournament)," Fateiger said. "It is a huge club event. A lot of the money we raise goes to the high school team."

The members of the NYWC are Aaron Newell, Andrew Vittorioso, Brandon Radziewicz, Brendan Gray, Chad Hinkley, Christian Milioto, Christopher Stamos, Derek Robidoux, Federico Ernst, Gareth Corey, Greg Comas, Jack Reilly, Jacob von Linden, Jesse Batson, Joseph Thibault, Kevin Bowser, Lincoln Fay, Luke Fateiger, Marcus Lavoi, Mark Farrell, Matt Farrell, Matt McEvilly, Max Drugge, Michael Lavoi, Richard Stamos, Robert Atwood, Sean Kilcoyne, William Phaneuf, Wilson Fay, and Zachoree Sorenson.

The club meets in the Emerson School gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 until 7:30 p.m. For additional information, contact Batson at (978) 779-5561, or via e-mail at batson@gmail.com.

ART: PHOTOS

PHOTOG: Item photo/GRAHAM ENTWISTLE

CUTLINE: (PHOTO 1) Nashoba Youth Wrestling leader Randy Batson (right) shows Will Phaneuf, of Bolton, proper form for preparing to take down a opponent. Back to camera is Federico Ernst, of Clinton. (PHOTO 2) Clinton's Kevin Bowser (top) and Aaron Newell prepare to wrestle.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Dec 7, 2007
Words:653
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