Grapplers’ fun raiser
     2015-12-04      By Frank Marquez    editor@geringcitizen.com
Jinlee Sayloune wrestles Nathaniel VanAnne for a coveted spot on the varsity team. 
Friends and family members filled the stands of the Gering Junior High School gym Monday night (Nov. 30) to support the city’s wrestling programs. Bulldogs’ Head wrestling coach J.J. Behrens and members of the Gering Wrestling Club sponsored a fundraiser.

The “goal was to showcase the program from top to bottom,” Behrens said. Taking to the two mats on the gym floor, about 33 wrestlers from the high school program competed in wrestle-offs, vying for spots on the varsity and junior varsity teams. High school wrestlers competed in wrestle-offs to determine positions on the squads for varsity and junior varsity. Each varsity wrestler was given varsity dog tags.

The teams also boast about 20 wrestlers in the junior high, and 60-70 wrestlers in the Gering Wrestling Club.

The Blue-Gold-Wrestle-A-Thon, which has evolved from a Blue and Gold scrimmage in previous years, started promptly at 6:15 p.m. and involved both high school and junior high wrestlers. Last year, the boys went out and asked for sponsorship for the team. Behrens had not been able to look at the final numbers before press time, but he anticipated the outcome of funding was about the same as last year.

This year, the goal was for teams to wrestle 100 matches, and pledges would pay off accordingly. (Example: 10 cents a match = $10.00). Patrons also received two admission tickets for every $10-dollar donation. The fundraiser helped defray the rising cost of operating a quality program. According to organizers, the event brings every member of the Gering wrestling family together, allowing the community to meet this season’s wrestlers – elementary to high school.

“We had an even better turnout this year than last and the overall support was great,” Behrens said. “We use the funds to travel all over to seek out tough competition. This year the varsity will not only travel throughout Nebraska, but will also make trips to Wyoming, Colorado, and Kansas. Beyond travel expenses, we were able to purchase new warmups and singlets over the last two years, and lastly we use the funds for summer camp opportunities.”

Although the elementary teams wrestled, they did not participate in the actual fundraising. For more information about Gering’s wrestling programs, visit www.geringschools.net and www.geringwrestlingclub.com.

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