Arlington Youth Wrestling is composed of wrestlers ages 4-14 from Arlington, Lakeland and the surrounding communities.
AYW capped off this year by outscoring all other Memphis area teams in the Mid-South Championships in January, the Tennessee Amateur Athletic Union (TNAAU) Regional Tournament on Feb. 23 and the TNAAU State Tournament on March 2.
On Feb. 23, wrestling teams from all over West Tennessee converged onto the campus of St. George’s for the TNAAU Region 4 State qualifier tournament. Wrestlers who placed in the top four of their age division weight class would qualify for the chance to compete for a State title the following weekend. Arlington placed third overall (first from Memphis), qualifying 20 of 20 wrestlers for the State tournament in Knoxville on March 2. Bruce Fowler, Nate Spradlin, Tyrez Jenkins and Derek Corbin all placed first in their brackets.
State Championships were held in Knoxville this year, and there are rumors of this pendulum swinging toward Memphis next year. The top four wrestlers from each of the four regions for each weight class all competed for state honors in a 16-person bracket. The top six were awarded State-placer medals.
Arlington had 19 Tigers stepped up to challenge the best Tennessee had to offer and finished the day placing 11 of 19.
“These guys wrestled tough,” the Arlington coaches agreed, “Bruce Fowler, second; Nate Spradlin, third; Hunter Heflin, third; Tyrez Jenkins, fourth; Chase Buckalew, fourth; Taylor Hunt, fifth; Gabe Nettleton, fifth; Orion Kammerer, sixth; Kaleb Reaume, sixth; Derek Corbin, sixth; and Ayden Hanumaiah, sixth.”
There were several new team records for Arlington: 11 State medalists vs. eight in 2018. And the team placed 11th this year, compared to 12th in 2018 and 23rd in 2017.
The Tigers also placed the highest among Memphis area teams for the first time in the team’s history. With nine of these 11 State medalists returning next season, coupled with a strong group of local Arlington wrestlers, the future of wrestling in Arlington is looking bright.
If wrestling is a sport for your young athlete, check out the youth camp season. It is just around the corner, starting in Arlington and followed by Collierville, Christian Brothers, Bartlett and a few more. You can follow “Arlington Youth Wrestling” on Facebook or find out what clubs are near you by following “Midsouth Youth Wrestling Association.”