By Lukas Eggen Ely Times Staff Writer

With high school and USA wrestling done for the season, White Pine middle school wrestlers are looking to make a big impact this year. The team sent six wrestlers to a tournament in Lowry last weekend and the results left coaches excited about the final few tournaments of the season.

“They improved quite a bit in a short period of time,” coach Mike Gamberg said. “They’re rewarded because they grow so quickly. Coach Wooldridge has been doing most of the coaching with them and he’s done a good job getting them ready for the high school program.”

Of the six wrestlers who traveled to Lowry, four placed, including Monty Moore, who took first place in his respective weight class. But it’s not just their finishes in tournaments that coaches have seen growth in.

“Making sure they understand the basics of wrestling and the basics of the program,” Gamberg said. “When they come into the high school program, they know exactly what they are supposed to do and there’s no questions about what’s going on. We try to treat the middle school program like the high school program. It’s much more technique driven, because they have to learn the moves, but as far as getting them ready (for high school), we treat them a lot a like.”

Wrestling has a long and illustrious tradition in White Pine. The high school team won its fourth-straight division title in 2013 and wrestlers have experiened success at all levels. Now with elementary, middle school and high school students embracing the wrestling program, Gamberg said watching wrestlers grow and start to grow both phsyically and in terms of wrestling skills, is a joy to watch.

“When they take them in, they’re like a little piece of clay and we help mold them into becoming a wrestler,” Gamberg said. “They grow so quickly, it’s fun to watch.”

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