Going into regionals: A-J Wildcats achieve personal milestones - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Going into regionals: A-J Wildcats achieve personal milestones

President Rollie Hawk, 1st place Jace Turner, Vice President Jay Kisat and 1st place Nate Kisat. (Source: A-J Junior Wildcat Wrestling Club) President Rollie Hawk, 1st place Jace Turner, Vice President Jay Kisat and 1st place Nate Kisat. (Source: A-J Junior Wildcat Wrestling Club)
Kaden Lincoln and father Anothony Lincoln. (Source: A-J Junior Wildcat Wrestling Club) Kaden Lincoln and father Anothony Lincoln. (Source: A-J Junior Wildcat Wrestling Club)
Dylan Smith, Kaden Lincoln, Brett Smith, Nile Chotner, Noah Chotner and Jayce Turner. (Source: A-J Junior Wildcat Wrestling Club) Dylan Smith, Kaden Lincoln, Brett Smith, Nile Chotner, Noah Chotner and Jayce Turner. (Source: A-J Junior Wildcat Wrestling Club)
Dylan Smith takes second at Pinckneyville. (Source: A-J Junior Wildcat Wrestling Club) Dylan Smith takes second at Pinckneyville. (Source: A-J Junior Wildcat Wrestling Club)
Brett Smith takes first at Pinckneyville (Source: A-J Junior Wildcat Wrestling Club) Brett Smith takes first at Pinckneyville (Source: A-J Junior Wildcat Wrestling Club)
JONESBORO, IL (KFVS) -

As the A-J Junior Wildcats Wrestling Club prepares for the IKWF Regionals in Carbondale on March 1, many of its wrestlers have achieved personal milestones of note.

"We're proud of all our kids that stick with it. It's a long season and anyone who goes from start to finish and keeps competing deserves our respect," said club president Rollie Hawk. "But in an era of participation trophies and some sports not keeping score, we think it's important to recognize and model examples of success."

Hitting the 20+ win mark for the season are Drew Sadler, Caleb Mays, Zoee Sadler, Blake Mays, Brett Smith, Noah Chotner, Jayce Turner, Catie Mays and Nathan Kisat. Hawk feels that having nine wrestlers with 20+ season wins and one more knocking at the door is a big indication of the team's strides this year.

"We're no longer a team that just has three or four standouts," he said. "We've got a strong roster with a lot of experience. This is the most improvement we've seen so far as a team in any season."

"You can always expect to see the Mays and Sadler kids with a lot of wins," he continued. "These are year-round wrestling families that put an enormous amount of time into the sport. Catie and Caleb Mays both made major improvements this year and moved into the upper echelon of our team."

"Brett Smith broke 30 season wins over the weekend. We're really proud of him getting to that point. Nathan Kisat Broke 20 for the first time. Noah Chotner and Jayce Turner are first-year wrestlers and also broke 20 wins. Nile Chotner is another first-year wrestler and is at 18 wins and has a good shot at hitting 20+ in the regionals. Jayce will be moving up to high school next year but the rest of our 20+ winners will be forming the core of our team for the next few seasons."

Tate Miller and Kaden Lincoln are both currently at 15 wins for the season.

"You just know these two are going to be great wrestlers. Tate is one of our youngest and in his first year and wrestles very tough. Kaden is all heart when he wrestles and I don't know if he's ever missed a practice. I know they've had some frustrating moments this year but I also know it will pay off in the end."

Kane Buchmeier, Madi Hawk, Dylan Smith, Clayton Ramage and Aiden Jacobs are all still just shy of hitting 10+ wins for the season.

"Every one of those kids is a better wrestler than their records reflect and most of them just moved up in age divisions this year," Hawk said. "We expect big things out of each of them in the coming seasons. Wrestling is one of those sports where you never know when things will start clicking for a kid but if you keep doing the right things the success will eventually arrive."

Hawk credits the coaches and parents as much as the wrestlers for the year's successes.

"I've watched Grover Mays improve as a head coach every year, both in terms of his wrestling knowledge and his approach to the kids," he said. "We've got more people actively coaching than we've ever had. The more coaches we have, the more attention each kid gets and the more improvements we're going to see."

"Parents willing to take their kids to a lot of practices and a lot of tournaments is the final piece of the puzzle," Hawk said. "It's a lot of long drives and longer days and I can't thank them enough for believing in what we're trying to accomplish."

  • Drew Sadler - Age: 7, Division: 7&8, Weight: 45.7, Wins: 43, Losses: 19, School grade: 1st
  • Caleb Mays - Age: 8, Dvision: 7&8, Weight: 61.5, Wins: 36, Losses: 14, School grade: 3rd
  • Zoee Sadler - Age: 7, Division: 7&8, Weight: 45.9, Wins: 33, Losses: 22, School grade: 1st
  • Blake Mays - Age: 9, Division: 9&10, Weight: 68.3, Wins: 33, Losses: 21, School grade: 45h
  • Brett Smith - Age: 8, Division: 7&8, Weight: 66.3, Wins: 30, Losses 8, School grade: 3rd
  • Noah Chotner - Age: 6, Division: 6&U, Weight: 48.5, Wins: 24, Losses: 13, School grade: K
  • Jayce Turner - Age: 14, Division: 13&14, Weight: 163.1, Wins: 23, Losses: 18, School grade: 8th
  • Catie Mays - Age: 13, Division: 13&14, Weight: 99.9, Wins: 22, Losses: 23, School grade: 7th
  • Nathan Kisat - Age: 12, Division: 11&12, Weight: 90.1, Wins: 20, Losses: 15, School grade: 7th
  • Nile Chotner - Age: 8, Division: 7&8, Weight: 64.3, Wins: 18, Losses: 11, School grade: 2nd
  • Tate Miller - Age: 6, Division: 6&U, Weight: 57.3, Wins: 15, Losses: 10, School grade: 1st
  • Kaden Lincoln - Age: 9, Division: 9&10, Weight: 74.9, Wins: 15, Losses: 26, School grade: 4th
  • Kane Buchmeier - Age: 8, Division: 7&8, Weight: 64.3, Wins: 8, Losses: 12, School grade: 2nd
  • Madi Hawk - Age: 9, Division: 9&10, Weight: 120.3, Wins: 8, Losses: 27, School grade: 4th
  • Dylan Smith - Age: 11, Division: 11&12, Weight: 67.0, Wins: 7, Losses: 18, School grade: 5th
  • Clayton Ramage - Age: 13, Division: 13&14, Weight: 82.3, Wins: 7, Losses: 24, School grade: 7th
  • Aiden Jacobs - Age: 13, Division: 13&14, Weight: 114.5, Wins: 7, Losses: 13, School grade: 7th

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