Mat Club hosts wrestling tournament

Hundreds descended upon Sweet Home High School Saturday, Nov. 25, for this year’s Sweet Home Mat Club Tournament. The tournament brought young wrestlers from all across the state.

Energy ran high for competitors and spectators alike in SHHS gym. The wrestling started at 9:00 a.m. In addition to wrestling, the meet offered a snack and coffee bar, as well as a raffle. Wrestlers were required to be members of USA Wrestling.

Steve Thorpe, who heads the Sweet Home Mat Club, oversaw the event. A long-time part of Sweet Home’s wrestling legacy, Thorpe said he’s eager to lead the club through another ambitious season.

“Both our men’s team and our women’s team have goals of winning a state title this year,” Thorpe said. They came in second place last year.

“We come in with a lot of experience,” Thorpe said. “We have a great senior group. But we also have 26 freshmen.”

“I think we’re going to be a good tournament team,” he added. “We’re returning multiple state placers.”

For the women’s team, he mentioned the return of Bailey Chafin, who won a state championship title last year, and Alyssa Peterson, who came in second. On the men’s team, he noted the return of state placers Kyle Sieminski, Ryker Hartsook, Jayce Miller and more.

“We’ve got that experience. And when you’ve got that number of really good kids in a room, it kinda forces the level to rise up,” Thorpe said. He also pointed out that many of the incoming freshmen have prior Mat Club experience, adding even more promise to an encouraging season.