The future of Fowler Grizzly wrestling is bright if the Rocky Ford Junior Wrestling Tournament is any indication.

The Rocky Ford High School gymnasium was a packed house during the competition Saturday.

Thirty-three young Fowler wrestlers competed against athletes from across the Arkansas Valley and the state. Several walked away with awards and top finishes in their respective age and weight divisions. However, it's not just about winning, said Fowler Wrestling Club coach Travis True.

"Grady (Fowler's wrestling head coach) tells the wrestlers it’s not about winning, it’s about having fun. When they learn to go out on the mat and have fun, winning follows," said True. "It’s not the winning that gets us excited as a club, it is the large number of kids that are showing interest in the sport."

Several FWC coaches and parents flocked to the mats to cheer for the kids and give them advice and encouragement after each match, and True credits that support for making the program a success.

"We are lucky to have a great group of members who donate many hours coaching the kids. It takes a small village to keep the program running, between the board members, all the moms and dads who help run concessions, coach, run tables. It would not happen without them," explained True.  

The Fowler Grizzly wrestling program has produced numerous state champion athletes over the years, including the 2019 2A 106 lb and two-time state champion Seth McFall.

The Fowler Wrestling Club exists to encourage and develop the next generation of Fowler Grizzly wrestlers.

"The goal of FWC is to introduce boys and girls to wrestling and to support their continued growth as a student-athlete," said True.

While many Fowler youth participate in the club, the FWC has proven to be a popular place to explore and learn the sport of wrestling, attracting youth wrestlers outside of the Fowler community.

jhamilton@ljtdmail.com