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Stars and Stripes teach junior wrestlers

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I love to watch young kids having fun learning a sport, and Feb. 23 I was able to attend a practice of the Stars & Stripes Wrestling Club practicing at Miyamura High School. This club is for all kids from age five to 15 by Sept. 1, as long as the older ones do not yet wrestle for high school.

The president of the club is Phillip Lopez, a two-time placer for Gallup High, fourth at 138 pounds in 1987 and Champion of the 145 pound class in 1988. Assisting him are VP Paul Gutierrez, Secretary Natasha Sellers, Treasurer Chewy Morales and board member Anthony Garcia.

“We had 52 to start the season (from Octobr to May) and we have about 35 now.” Lopez said. “Most of them will be attending the NM AYW Unified Youth Championships at Johnson Gym on Feb. 27.”

In the 6U division will be: Kashis Whitman, 43#; Matthew Lopez, 46#; Nicholas Pinedo, 46#; Zachariah Benally, 43#; Elias Martinez, 49#; and Israel Olguin, 55#. Competing in the 8U division will be: Gage Sellers, 50#; Marcos Chavarria, 62#; Ethan Scott, 62#; Javier Flores, 66#; and Levi Nattonabah in the Heavyweight class.

For the 10U division, Gallup will send Talan Davis, 77#; Tyler Griego, 89#; and Chandler Whitman, 89#. 12U contestants will be: Rhys Sellers, 70#; Sean Matt Garcia, 82#; Drake Santiago, 98#; Yele Aycock, 106#; Devon Negale, 146#; and Dominic Gutierrez, 165#.

The team practices at least twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and sometimes on Friday as well.

For more information, find them on Facebook. Email: StarsAndStripes­ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Phone: (505) 862-4031.

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by Tom Hartsock
Sun Correspondent