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Alaska wrestling is making weight– and noise

By Dave Goldman Photojournalist: Dave Leval - 8:26 PM May 2, 2017

Alaskan wrestling has a good problem: it’s grappling with growth.

This weekend at their annual Alaska USA tournament at the Menard Center in Wasilla, more than 1500 wrestlers traveled from across the state to compete.

“It brings them all to one central location where they can enjoy camaraderie of seeing their teams or other teams participate in wrestling,” said Mark Wolff of Alaska USA Wrestling.

He says the benefits last a lifetime.

“[It’s] a great sport that builds character, builds technique and life skills that will help these kids as they grow up into mature adults.”

Of course, 14-year-old Jeremy Bockert likes the competition.

“I just like how it’s very intense, you just get to wrestle new people,” he said.

And, Alaska Wrestling is seeing the results. More kids are earning All-American honors. One youngster recently took first in the Greco division in U.S Open for juniors in Las Vegas.

“We’ve grown pretty quick” said Wesley Bockert, Team Alaska’s director.

It’s a good sign of the growing times in Alaska.

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