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1979 Wrestling Freestyle Club

Fundamentals of Wrestling Stressed at Bay City Western

March 22, 2006       Leave a Comment
By: Julie McCallum, Entertainment Editor

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In March of 1979 Bay City had a wrestling program that taught fundamentals of freestyle wrestling. The Bay City Western Freestyle Wrestling Club was made up of more than 75 area youngsters ages 5 through high school. The team was coached by Clarence Pease and wrestles in tournaments around the state. The club had been in existence for 3 years.

(Pictured Above) Tournament Medal winners are (Front row, left to right) Zac Pease, Jim Forgash, Jay Forgash, Ryan Morley, Bob LaFramboise, Mark Mahler, Danny Smock and Justin Spewock. (Middle Row) Jeff Holm, Kurt LeVasseur, Steve Syring, Jeff LaFramboise, John Rozeck , Joe LaFramboise, Jeff Berthiaume and Fred LaFramboise. (Back Row) Mike Smock, Al Curtis, Mark Draves, Paul DePeal, Greg Stokes, Steve Spewock, Ron Gorney and George LaFramboise.

The wrestlers were divided into 2 groups for training and competition purposes. The 5 through 14 year-olds were classified in one group and the over 14 through high school age are in another. It was not unusual for one group to wrestle in one meet while the other wrestles in another. The team had traveled a great deal around the state gaining experience.

(Left) According to Coach Pease, the club had been very successful. "In seven of the eight tournaments we've entered this season," Pease said, "more than half of the team has received medals." Medals were only awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.

The club had started at Western High and had retained the name, although it had no affiliation with the school. Practices were held at Central High School twice a week. Members of the club came from Bay City, Auburn, Bangor, Essexville and even Saginaw.

The wrestlers competed in 3 different sanctioned meets. The club was one of 42 teams in the Southeast Michigan Wrestling Association and some members have wrestled in Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) meets. The club was also involved with the United States Wrestling Federation.

The club was made up of all volunteer help. Many parents took interest in the sport and offered assistance in transporting the team to tournaments.

NOTE: This is one of a continuing series of flashback article to be taken from the archives of the Bay County Sports Page & Bay City Enterprise newspapers published from 1976 through 1984 by O.J. Advertising, Inc. This Publisher hopes you enjoy the time travel as much as he does! If Sports Page and Enterprise are the grandparents of our newest arrival - - then they are (as expected) very proud grandparents, indeed.

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