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Pratt hosts youth wrestling tournament

Kahrie Stegman
Pratt wrestler Noah Ricke works on a takedown against his opponent from Smoky Valley in the 6 and under, 61 pound weight division Saturday.  Ricke won the match and went on to place second in his division during the Pratt Wrestling Club's Ground and Pound Tournament.

More than 500 kids from all across the state of Kansas, ages 5-14, gathered in Pratt for the Ground and Pound Wrestling Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 4. More than 51 of those competitors were kids from the Pratt Wrestling Club, coached by Daniel Prater. 

One of the older kids on the team, Dalton Slaughter, stood out to Coach Prater. 

On the same day as the home tournament, three PWC athletes were competing at a national competition, the Junior Open Championships, in Oklahoma City. Blake Winsor, Taye Wilson, and Logan Copus each competed with Wilson placing 5th nationally. 

Prater said he was especially thankful for Cullan Wilson, PWC’s board president, for organizing the home tournament in Pratt. 

“I’d hate to know how many hours he volunteered to put on this tournament,” Prater said. 

Wilson’s son was one of the boys who competed in Oklahoma City, and he stayed in Pratt to run the tournament instead of going to watch the nationals. 

“That had to be hard for him,” Prater said. “He’s very dedicated. He’s not just dedicated to his son, he’s dedicated to the whole team.” 

“We had a tremendous amount of support,” Prater said.

Pratt wrestlers began their season at the beginning of November and will end with their state competition on March 14. From now until the end of the season, the team will go to 11 more tournaments. For the rest of the season, Prater’s specific goals change for each age group, but his main overall goal is to help the kids learn from their strengths and weaknesses.