It's thanks to the Youth Wrestling Program put on by the Recreation Department. It started in 2006 by a dad who just wanted to help his sons. It's gaining popularity each year. When you think of sports, there's not one more "in your face" than wrestling.
"I've always been a rough, rough, rough person. When I tackle someone, it kind of hurts, so I wanted to join wrestling and see how I did."
David Kinge joined the Rantoul Youth Wrestling Program last year.
"It's fun. It's really cool."
Each day, the 9-year old gets better and better.
"Right now, my record is 17 - 4."
"We're obviously wanting to see improvement each year and we work them hard. We don't try and focus on getting first or second, just improving yourself so that every time you're on the mat, you're getting better."
Mark McCusker is the coach.
"I have a couple of boys and so, when we moved to Rantoul, I was kind of talking to the rec department to see if we can get a program started and they were receptive to that. We're still a small club, but we're seeing our numbers go up each year and that's what we're looking for."
The point of the program is to teach discipline and the basics of wrestling.
"First off, enjoy the sport and have fun."
"You need strong really much and you need fastness to get out of there and you need flexibility to do bridges and get out of pinning and stuff."
Of course, that hard work pays off. The program is for kids kindergarten through 8th grade. It's a good way to prepare them for high school teams.
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