Maritime Wrestling and McCracken Middle Win Big
By Eric Roberts
PADUCAH, KY - Maritime Wrestling Academy took 1st Place and McCracken Middle School took 2nd Place in the Middle School State Tournament.
Maritime Wrestling Academy competed against 30 teams across the state to win the KY State Youth Wrestling Tournament on Sunday. McCracken Middle School wrestling team was edged out by Johnson County on Saturday to take Second place in the state wrestling tournament.
Coach Jason Nickal started in August of last year with 5-10 kids. This past Saturday and Sunday they had about 110 kids that had been practicing 5 days a week for two hours since October. Their hard work and dedication was rewarded with 38 individual medals. These kids were competing against the best across Kentucky. The Maritime Wrestling Academy won the state tournament by more than 70 points, according to Coach Nichal. McCracken Middle School was edged out by Johnson County to finish with 2nd Place in the State Middle School Tournament.
There’s more to look forward to as Coach Nickal says he is confident that within 2 to 3 years McCracken County and Maritime Wrestling Academy will both be considered as top wrestling programs in the state. Coach Nickal is awaiting completion of the High School season to begin a program of free style Greco-Roman wrestling, which will be available to Kids from five years old all the way up through High School seniors. Regional and State finals for the High School are starting next weekend.
Wrestling in Kentucky is open to both boys and girls who compete together. It’s also the only sport where they compete against others by weight class so that regardless of a child’s height or build they have an equal chance. This means that the 11 state champion medals, four second place medals, five third place medals, three fourth place medals, Seven fifth place medals and two sixth place medals were earned through practice and determination of the kids involved.
Starting March 1, Maritime Wrestling Academy will be hosting a spring league for first and second year wrestlers from sixth grade on down to first grade. This is open to any children in the surrounding counties who want to attend. It’s a six week program with practices twice a week to welcome any kids who want to try wrestling. It has a fee of $25 and is a great way for both the kids and their parents to see what wrestling is all about. Listed below is the website where kids and parents can learn how to attend and check the West Kentucky Star in the event section as we will be adding the information there.
Coach Nichal said they will soon be moving to a larger facility which will allow them even more room to grow the outstanding wrestling program. When asked about the secret of the program's success, Coach Nichal said it was the dedication of the kids first and foremost with the help of Assistants Scott Raney, Seth Livingston and Youth Football Coach Josef Vlach. He said it was also all the parents who supported the kids and coaches. He also credited Jeff James of James Marine, who Nichal says avoids taking any credit for his very generous support.
On the Net: Maritime Wrestling Academy