Legendary wrestler and coach Dan Gable summed up the commitment and dedication it takes to be successful in the sport like this, “Once you’ve wrestled, everything in life is easy.”
More than 520 kids, ages four and up, tested their courage and strength on Sunday, January 14, 2018 at the annual Tea Youth Wrestling Tournament.
In addition to individual trophies and medals, clubs could select a “team” of wrestlers to compete for awards. The Yankton Jr. Bucks claimed third place in the team competition, the Tea Titans took home second place, and the West Central Trojans captured first place honors.
Among the highlights of the day was witnessing South Dakota’s first-ever quadruple amputee wrestler compete in a live wrestling match. Austin Schoppert has been a fan of wrestling for years. However, when he was three, a fast-moving case of bacterial meningitis required doctors to amputate to save his life. Despite this, Austin figures out how adapt and put his dreams into action. Tea coaches have worked with him to discover wrestling moves that work to his benefit. Austin went 1-2 on the day taking home third place in his bracket and inspiring all who witnessed his courage and determination.
The Tea Youth Wrestling Board would like to thank the dozens of parents, fans, and community members who contributed to a successful wrestling tournament – the only fund-raiser the club does each year.
Tea Titans Wrestling is working hard to build a strong tradition that positively impacts the community because as Gable says, and Tea Titans believe, “Once you’ve wrestled, everything in life is easy.”