Freeman, Benning committed to Spartan wrestling revival

The Aplington-Parkersburg/Grundy Center wrestling team warms up before practice on Monday, Dec. 4. Grundy Center is looking to break away for an independent wrestling program next winter, which would be the first solo Spartan wrestling season since the 1987-88 season. (Jake Ryder/The Grundy Register)

PARKERSBURG – Nolan Freeman won't see the fruits of his labor first-hand.
 
But it gives the Grundy Center senior pride to know that he has the Spartan wrestling program on the brink of a rebirth.
 
As part of Aplington-Parkersburg/Grundy Center wrestling for the last two seasons, Freeman has been hard at work recruiting Spartans to come up to Parkersburg and prove that Grundy Center has the numbers to restart a solo wrestling program.
 
The process is nearing completion, Freeman said. Singlets and warmups have been designed, money is coming in for those items and other needed supplies, and the level of support for Spartan wrestling is only growing. Colby Grothoff is on staff at A-P/GC as an assistant coach and Grundy Center Activities Director Dan Breyfogle said in July he expects Grothoff to transition into the head-coaching role should Grundy Center's program be finalized.
 

Grothoff's wrestling acumen from experience as a wrestling coach at Hudson and a former wrestler at South Hardin is as valuable as one of the other reasons he was hired: to drive the shuttle bus and transport Grundy Center wrestlers up to Parkersburg and back.

 
The travel has been a big hurdle in Grundy Center's extended drift from shared program to shared program, whether it be BCLUW, Gladbrook-Reinbeck/North Tama, or A-P.
 
"We had a few guys that couldn't stick it out (this season), and I really think traveling was the problem," Freeman admitted.
 
A-P head coach Brian Benning has been an active participant in creating some more competition for the Falcons in the NICL. He said it starts with making wrestling worth the drive.
 
"These kids are scrappers," Benning said. "Most of them have been out of wrestling for at least a year, and they probably didn't have the best experience the last time they were wrestling. We want to have kids enjoy wrestling, and it's not an easy sport to enjoy. … But there's not one slacker in the room. Their hearts are in it for the right reasons and we want to give them a good experience."
 
Read more in the Dec. 7 Grundy Register. Subscribe by calling (319) 824-6958 or clicking here