Pope Junior Wrestling

About the Program
Welcome to Pope Wrestling!  The purpose of our program is to build a solid foundation and have fun at the youth level with the long-term goal of producing the best high school wrestlers in the nation.  Pope Wrestling is a strong community with a proud tradition.  Our middle school and high school programs have won multiple state titles and produced several individual state champions, with many high school wrestlers currently ranked in the nation.  Pope High School won the Individual State Tournament in 2011, 2012 & 2013 and State Dual Championship 2011 - 2014 with many of the team members having wrestled in the junior program.  We hope to continue and build on this tradition this season.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How are kids matched up?
A: Wrestlers are divided by both age groups and weight class.  Age groups are 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 & 13-14. Weight classes are typically separated by 3-5lbs and increase in the heavier weight classes.  A full list of divisions can be found through this link.  In addition, wrestlers will be separated in the practice room by experience level.

Q: What is your coaching philosophy?
A: Our job is to teach the fundamentals and help kids develop a love for the sport.  While we work hard and have had great success at the junior level, our focus is to build a foundation so that kids can become champions in high school and beyond (whether in wrestling or in life).

Q: Who are the coaches?
A: Our coaching staff is made up of volunteers and parents, of which several have had experience wrestling at the high school and collegiate level.  Head coach Blaine Hess has been coaching wrestling for 20 years.  We are always looking for additional coaches. Let us know if you are interested in helping.

Q: When/where are the practices?
A: Practices are staggered based on age and experience (see below)

Monday (6:30-8:30): All Wrestlers
Tuesday (6:30-8:30): Beginners and Novice wrestlers.
Wednesday (6:30-8:30): Advanced Wrestlers
Thursday (6:30-8:30): All Wrestlers

5-6 year olds will practice 6:30 - 8pm on Tuesday & Thursday only.

Practices start on Monday, Nov. 9th in the Pope High School wrestling room (head toward the football fields and it is the last entrance to the main school building on the left; the room is the first on on the right). 

I play football/fall sport.  Can I start late?
A: Yes!  We have football players and other sport athletes on the team every year.  We will always review the basics.  You can start practice as soon as playoffs are over. But, if you can make it on a night off you should try.  The more time on the mat the better. 

Q: What does it take to be successful in wrestling?
A: While it helps to be naturally athletic, the hardest working and most competitive kids are typically the most successful.  Every kid "clicks" at different stages and it can sometimes take a couple of years before they start to win consistently.  There is not one specific formula that wins.  Some kids are strong, some are fast and some are more technical.  But the ones who work hard and strive to improve every day are the ones who become the best.  Download The Progression of a Wrestler for more info.

Q: Are there many injuries in wrestling?
A: While there can be bumps & bruises just as in all sports, wrestling is actually safer than most other contact sports such as football.  Wrestling is a very controlled sport focusing on technique with very few "collisions" that would cause injuries.

Q: Do I need to buy any equipment?
A: Wrestlers will need wrestling shoes and headgear which are available at sporting goods stores like Dick's or online at www.takedownshop.com.  Those with braces will need a mouthpiece.

Q: How long is the wrestling season?
A: Our practices start Monday, Oct. 21, and the season will end with the state tournament on Feb 29-Mar 1.

Q: When are the competitions?
A: Wrestling tournaments are typically held on Saturdays.  Ages 5-10 will compete in a morning session that will last from approx 8:00 am - 12:30 am and ages 11-14 will last from approx 12:30 pm - 5 pm. There are also beginner tournaments for 1st and 2nd year wrestlers on Sundays.  There will also be opportunities for middle school wrestlers to travel out of state this year. You can find a list of which tournaments we will attend as a team on our Schedule page.  

Q: How much does wrestling cost?
A: $195 for the first wrestler, $165 for the second wrestler, and $165 for each additional wrestler

The registration fee includes a singlet and/or combat shirt and shorts, hooded sweatshirt, and long sleeve T. In addition the team will host team building activities and an end of year banquet.

All wrestlers will also need to have a USA Wrestling card, which is $39.  Tournaments will also typically have a $15 registration fee. 

Q: Do they need a physical from a doctor?
A: No. 

Q: Where do I register?
A: You can go to our registration website at http://popejrwrestling.sportssignup.com to sign up.  Registration will run through November 30th.  It is highly encouraged to sign up before practice starts to ensure basic techniques are not missed.  You will also need to purchase a USA Wrestling card prior to practicing.  Cards are $37 and starting Sept 1st can be purchased on the Team Georgia Website.
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