Yokota Middle School grapplers finish strong
Yokota Middle School wrestler Luke Alexander, pictured above in the blue stripe singlet, runs a classic Cradle move to win by Pin versus his American School in Japan opponent at the Jan. 30 tournament hosted by St. Mary’s International School (SMIS) in Setagaya, Tokyo. Other wrestlers from Yokosuka Naval Base, Christian Academy in Japan, and KAIS International School participated in the annual competition. There were both rookie and experienced wrestling skills on display throughout the day which turned out to be an exciting season finale tournament for all in attendance.
As one of the 8th grade experienced wrestlers for YMS, Alexander had an exceptionally good tournament and season. Despite missing the season opener due to another sport commitment, he went undefeated this year with a 10-0 record, all by Pin. Although this is Luke’s first Freestyle season, he has three years Folkstyle experience in the Belgium military youth sports program followed by two years in Texas before he joined the White Tiger wrestling team. “After winning, I felt proud, accomplished and like all of my hard work had paid off,” he said when asked how it felt winning a 1st Place medal on Saturday. Luke will carryover his talents into the high school ranks next season as a member of the Yokota High School Panthers wrestling team.
Other White Tigers who earned a medal include 1st Place, Kai Fisher (2 Pins), Caleb Heino (4 Pins), Owen Lambie (3 Pins), and Tarik Patterson (3 Pins); 2nd Place, Matthew Hoffman (3 Pins), Jacob Dangcil (Pin), Ian Davis (2 Pins), Trinity Pendleton, and Ridley Toale (Pin); and 3rd Place, Christophe Cadet (2 Pins) Todd Martin, Josh Peche (Pin), and Lane Vanega (2 Pins). Head Coach David Horne in his inaugural season, and his assistants, did a great job getting the White Tigers "competition ready" in a very short period of time.
The opportunity for Yokota Middle School wrestlers to compete against multiple international teams in Japan makes for life-long memories. The good sportsmanship displayed throughout the season amongst wrestlers and coaches reaffirms why living in Japan is such a truly wonderful experience—only 10 more months until the 2016-2017 season.