BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – It’s iconic…and loud and exciting. And it happens every year right here in Fort Madison with talent from all over the region.
The 47th Annual Mick Pickford Freestyle/Greco Roman Tournament will be held Saturday at the Fort Madison High School. The event is sponsored by the Fort Madison Wrestling Club & Pickford Wrestling Club.
Fort Madison Head Wrestling Coach Ryan Smith said they added the Greco Roman category back to the tourney for the first time to help boost numbers.
“I’d say over the 47 years of this tournament, we’ve only had Greco a couple of times,” Smith said. “This used to be a national qualifier, it’s not anymore, but it’s still a quality tournament.”
He said fans will see a little bit different wrestling style than what they see in a regular high school meet.
“90% of the takedowns and turns are the same, but there is some different strategy and philosophy in freestyle and Greco-Roman. The scoring’s a little bit different too. But for the most part it’s turning people and take downs.”
Smith said the tournament also serves as a fundraiser for the high school wrestling program as it funds the team’s summer opportunities and camps.
He also said local fans will get the opportunity to see some of their favorite wrestlers as well.
“We should have a pretty large contingent of our kids wrestling,” he said.
There are six divisions at the tourney: Bantam (Born in 2009-2010), Intermediate (born in 2007-2008), Novice (born in 2005-2006) Schoolboy (born 2003-2004) Cadet (born 2001-2002) and Juniors (born Sept. 1, 1997 or after and in 9th -12th grade)
Entry fee is $10 for Greco and $15 for Freestyle for those preregistered @ trackwrestling.com by today (March 9). Entry fee is $20 at the door. A USA wrestling card is required and may be purchased at www.usawmembership.com. Cards are not available at registration.
The tournament is governed by the 2017 International Freestyle Rules and membership in the USA Wrestling is mandatory, so you must have your card or you won’t be able to compete.
Medals will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places at each weight. Coaches are being asked to serve as officials during the tournament.
For more information or details, email Ryan Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.