DV youth wrestling hits the mat

| 29 Sep 2011 | 10:41

WESTFALL - DV mat masters got busy over Thanksgiving weekend. While most folks in the tri-state area were enjoying sleeping in on the long holiday weekend, a dedicated group of parents, coaches and athletes made the pilgrimage from Delaware Valley out to Randolph, New Jersey to participate in the 13th Annual Randolph Thanksgiving wrestling tournament. “I think this tournament at the beginning of the season is a pretty good indicator for what we have,” said Delaware Valley head coach Joe Lucas. “I mean, I know what kids are coming up from the program so I know who some of the better ones are. And I am getting to know some of the younger ones who are good club wrestlers.” With such a variety of ages and experience levels to manage, it might seem overwhelming to some coaches, but Lucas has the right combination of experience to take it all in stride. “I wrestled for Delaware Valley when I was in high school until I graduated in 2000,” the coach said. “From there I went to wrestle at the University of Kentucky.” But it was upon returning home that the wrestler saw his new calling for coach. “Once I came home I decided to get involved with the program here,” Lucas said. “This is my second year and I enjoy it. I like working with kids. I like being able to watch them be successful. Not only at the youth level, but at the high school level as well.” Monitoring the kids at all their level of wrestling development gives Lucas a good look at the big picture. “I think we have a good crop of kids coming. From what I see they are good workers and we have enough to fill all of the weight classes, which is nice,” the coach said. “That can be a problem because we have so many weights that we have to fill.” Another thing DV has going for them is their strong feeder program. “Our feeder programs are great. We have about 70-80 kids in our feeder program. And that helps out because our feeder programs are the lifeline for our high school program,” Lucas said. “They’re successful because they are hard workers and I think they are going to do well as they continue and feed into the high school level where we are one of the better teams in the state.” With their first tournament under their singlets, Lucas has a better chance to set goals for the winter. “Goal wise we set them as we see where are strengths are and our weaknesses are once we see where our weights are,” the coach said. “And then we move forward from there.” Russ Crespolini is the Online Editor for Straus Newspapers and can be reached at 845-782-4000, extension 352 or at webmaster@strausnews.com.