Adults and youth in the Liberal Wrestling Club take a breather from practice in the Liberal High School gym.
By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
A new season will soon be under way for the Liberal Federation Wrestling Club, and coordinators are looking for some new, as well as the return of some old, grapplers.
On Monday and Tuesday, LFWC will be taking sign-ups for the club in the Liberal High School gymnasium.
Coordinator Stan Seibel said Tuesday’s sign-up period will also feature a parents meeting somewhere on the LHS campus.
“We’ll discuss everything that’s going to happen through this season, our wrestling tournament fundraiser,” he said.
Youth from age 4 to 18 can likewise practice on Tuesday after signing up.
“I’m going to get some parents to get their background check and their coach’s card,” Seibel said. “That’ll get us some more help.”
Wrestlers of all ages in the group can compete in weekend tournaments in Kansas from January through March. Seibel said, though, the club isn’t just about Liberal.
“I’d like to include some from Tyrone and Turpin and Hooker,” he said. “They don’t have a wrestling club down there. They can come here. If you live in Oklahoma, you’ll have to get an Oklahoma wrestler’s card, but you can wrestle Kansas, Colorado, Missouri. It doesn’t matter. Same thing in Kansas, you can go down in Oklahoma and wrestle in their tournaments.”
Naturally, Seibel wants to see as many kids as he can involved in wrestling through LFWC.
“You do lose a few during the year,” he said. “We’ll gain a few when the junior high’s finished up at the end of December. We’ll pick up some more when the high school ends at the end of February.”
Seibel said the club wants to have bigger tournaments than took place last year, and this includes getting more teams from the surrounding area.
Tournament competitions are organized by weight and age, with typical age brackets consisting of 6 and under, 7- and 8-year-olds, 9- and 10-year-olds, 11- and 12-year-olds and ages 13 to 18.
Weight classes are blocked into groups after all wrestlers have sent in their weights for each tournament.
Sign-ups will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday in the LHS gym. Parents are asked to bring a copy of their child’s birth certificate and $42. Checks can be made out to Liberal Wrestling Club.
“We’ll get them signed up and get them sent off for their wrestling card,” Seibel said.
Practices for LFWC normally run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, but Seibel said shorter practices take place for younger kids.
He said sign-ups for the wrestling club are taken all year long.
“This is the main time for setting up and getting our initial group of kids in there,” he said.
Seibel said he is hoping to get more involvement this year from parents.
“I’d like to have all the parents have something to do with the organization, no matter what it is,” he said. “I will be pushing for all the parents to help during the tournament.”
LFWC also has some success stories with members winning state tournaments, and Seibel said a new crop of talent should help the club continue its winning ways.
“We’ve got a good group of 6-year-olds that hopefully we can send four or five of them to 6 and under state,” he said.
Wrestling shoes will be required for the first few weeks of practices. Some shoes are available at Hibbett Sports or may be purchased online. Seibel said parents may also need to look for some head gear.
“I have some wrestling shoes, but if they can go out and buy their own for their kid, that’d probably be better,” he said. “They’ll probably fit better.”
Seibel said warm ups are likewise available from LFWC. For more information, call Stan Seibel at 620-391-1515 or Kerry Seibel at 620-660-8180, or e-mail