Fall guys finish the year strong

Hannah Gross

The Fall Guys Wrestling team had a great season with several kids placing at the national competition in Spearfish. They also demonstrated good attitudes and received the sportsmanship award in a Sturgis tournament. (Submitted Photo)

Hannah Gross

NLJ Correspondent


Newcastle Fall Guys Wrestling has been around for more than 20 years, and  the community’s commitment to youth wrestling showed when they had six wrestlers place at the Black Hills Nationals in Spearfish, South Dakota, hosted at Black Hills State University. 

This year, the team was composed of 49 wrestlers, including three girls, who ranged in age from four years old to fifth-grade, according to Fall Guys President Ashley Diaz. The season started in the middle of November and ended on March 30, so it was a long haul for the kids, Diaz said.

“We have a good group of kids,” Diaz said, noting that all the wrestlers had a good season. 

One tournament that went particularly well was the national tournament in Spearfish. Nine wrestlers from Newcastle went, which is a small number compared with the approximately 500 wrestlers who participated. The wrestlers represented 15 states, according to Diaz. The Newcastle nine who went were Landon, Colten and Ashlyn Hathaway; Cayson and Bentley Phillips; Roman Diaz; Dylan Hespe; Lucas Sandness; and Adryan Wolfe. 

The Hathaway brothers both placed sixth, while Hespe and Sandness each achieved fifth place. Bentley Phillips earned a third, and Ashlyn took first. 

“Six of the nine kids placed, so that was pretty good,” head coach Matt Gregory said. 

This was Gregory’s first year as head coach, according to Diaz, and the new leader said his first year went well.

“I liked the kids, so it was pretty easy to do,” Gregory said.

The team participated in several other tournaments throughout the season, including several in South Dakota in Sturgis, Boxelder and Rapid City. They even traveled to Crawford, Nebraska, for a tournament. For the first time in eight years, the Fall Guys hosted a tournament in Newcastle, Diaz said, and they plan to do it again next year. 

The young wrestlers demonstrated not just that they could win, but also that they had learned about sportsmanship.

“For the most part, win or lose, our kids came off the mats with good attitudes,” Diaz said. 

Those good attitudes didn’t go unnoticed either. The team won a sportsmanship award at the Sturgis competition, which was a big deal for the young wrestlers, Diaz said. 

While the team had three girls compete this year, Diaz said she hopes even more try it out next year.

“They’re no different than anybody else,” Diaz said, after noting that the girls wrestle and compete with and against the boys.

“I just like wrestling because it teaches self-discipline,” said Angela Phillips, secretary for Fall Guys. Both she and Diaz agreed that although wrestling is an individual sport, it still teaches the kids what it’s like to be on a team. 

Anyone who is interested in competing in the 2019-20 season can register before the beginning of the season in November. To register, contact Diaz at 949-0382 or ashl3yqu1nn@gmail.com.


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