MRH Youth Sports Wrestling Building Champions
The MRH Youth Sports Wrestling program has produced several champions throughout its tenure, none better known than Alfred "Skip" Wakins. He is a National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee who helped start the program when it was the Maplewood Athletic Association.
The tradition continues through his son, Jason Watkins, who leads the program of roughly 45 kids ranging from early elementary age through middle school. Jason and his two older brothers came through the program under the coaching of their father and were all 3-time state placers at MRH. Jason's passion has shifted to coaching Maplewood students the sport that has been so near and dear to his family for years.
"I tell parents wrestling is a very emotional sport... you will see tears, but that doesn't mean he is done, its building character to continue on," said Jason.
The Youth Sports Wrestling program focuses on more than shaping young wrestlers and teaching them skills. It also shows kids that adversity is a challenge to become stronger. Jason's goal throughout the program is to spark the interest of Maplewood youth in the sport, interest that will hopefully carry on through the years building up the High School program to prominence once more.
However, if the kids don't become a Hall of Famer like his dad or even an all-state wrestler like himself, Watkins says values instilled through the lessons they learn in wrestling will leave them equipped to be champions in life.
For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.