There is a movement happening in Anchor Point involving the sport of wrestling. With strong wrestling roots, the Anchor Kings Wrestling Club reestablished itself three years ago in a grass roots effort to be an all-inclusive, kid focused, program where wrestling is secondary to providing a healthy, character-building activity for anyone who wants to put in the time. In a community where names like Poindexter, Neland, and Roderick are synonymous with wrestling excellence, they are quickly being accompanied by names like Newman, Wells, and Nyvall. The result of the effort to reestablish wrestling in Anchor Point? A state championship at this past weekend’s USA Wrestling State Championship in Wasilla.
Under the tutelage of head coach Bubba Wells, the Anchor Kings showed up in Wasilla 29 wrestlers strong with a goal to do the best they can. What followed after three days of competition was a State Championship in the small team division, two triple-crown winners in Wayne Newman and Kyle Wells, and 40 individual medalists.
Day one of competition in the Folkstyle Tournament produced champions of Newman in the cadet 113 pound division and Wells in the Junior 220 pound division. Newman solidified 1st place with a 5-0 win over Alex Logsdon of the Arctic Warriors Wrestling club. Wells followed Newman’s lead of securing 1st place with a 7-1 win over Tanner Clark of Interior Youth Wrestling Club. Other placers in the Folkstyle Tournament were 2nd place finishers Russell Nyvall in the Novice 100 pound division and Tristen Cook in the Junior 195 pound division. Finishing 3rd were Newman’s younger brother, Blake, and first year wrestler Craig Levi. Finishing 4th in the Junior Division were Seth I’nama and Levi King. King, a contender in the Junior 195 division, suffered a tournament ending elbow injury against teammate Cook. The Anchor Kings ended the Folkstyle Tournament with 5th place finished from Intermediate 87 pounder CJ Burns and first time state place Carter Woodhead in the Intermediate 80 pound division.
The Anchor Kings showed up on day two to continue their momentum in the Greco and Women’s Freestyle Tournament. Newman and Wells continued their dominating road to the triple-crown with 1st place finishes, while Cook and Nyvall earned another 2nd place finish, along with Levi. The younger Newman received his second medal of the weekend finishing 3rd, and Woodhead, in his first Greco tournament of the season, finished in 4th place. I’nama finished with a 5th place finish, and sisters Saoirse Cook and McKenzie Cook finished 6th.
In the Women’s Freestyle Tournament, Alysha Nyvall finished 1st in the Intermediate 60 division, along with Alexandrea Moseley in the Cadet 122 division and McKenzie Cook in the Cadet 152 pound division. The Wells sisters, Mischelle and Allison, both finished 2nd on the day, along with Saoirse Cook and first year wrestler Hayley Blaine.
In the Freestyle Tournament on Day 3, Newman solidified the triple-crown with a 14-4 technical fall win over Juneau’s Connor Norman, and Wells wrapped up his stellar triple-crown performance with a 15-4 technical fall over Chugach Eagle’s Alex Rumfelt. Tristen Cook received a 1st place medal with a win over Brandon Antesberger of Interior Youth Wrestling Club. A tenacious Justus Grimes placed 2nd in the Intermediate 55 division, and Russell Nyvall finished his outstanding State performance with 2nd place. Levi and I’nama finished the last day of competition with 3rd place finishes and Burns, Aidan Gaedecke, Tyler Johnson, and Moseley all finished 4th. Woodhead finished his weekend with another 5th place finish, and Levi’s older brother and first year wrestler, Corey, finished his weekend with a 6th place finish.
Though wrestling is often thought of as an individual sport, a vibrant club, quality practice partners, coaching, and volunteering is a team effort. Together, the Anchor Kings beat out teams throughout the State and has reestablished itself as one of Alaska’s top wrestling clubs. The team effort that the Anchor King’s Wrestling Club depends on includes volunteer coaches and runs under a volunteer board of directors. In addition to the many hours that coach Wells dedicates to the club, notable contributions to the club include assistant coach Todd Cook, Club Treasurer Cindy Burns, and Secretary Aurielle Newman. The club would also like to thank the Homer American Legion for their generous contributions and the many individuals who have contributed to make its season possible. If you or your organization would like to contribute to the Anchor Kings Wrestling Club, contact club president Conrad Woodhead at 907-625-1358.