2018-05-17 / Community News

Rumble at The Ballpark to be held July 21

High school and college wrestlers will head to The Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach Saturday, July 21 as the Rumble at The Ballpark returns to the historic venue for the second straight year.

The second annual tournament will be held under the lights with wrestling scheduled for a 6 p.m. start.

“We are excited to bring this event back for another summer. Last year was our first try at wrestling at The Ballpark and it was a great start,” said Pat McDonald, tournament director. “We believe holding the tournament under the lights will make it even more special for the wrestlers and fans.”

There are new additions to this year’s event that will include a clinic held before the tournament. The clinic, which will be run by University of Southern Maine coach Mike Morin, will be held from noon to 2 p.m. at the Old Orchard Beach High School gym. The clinic is for wrestlers of all ages, youth through college.

College wrestlers will are welcome to participate in a college-age division in addition to the high school division.

“We wanted to give wrestlers who recently graduated high school as well as current college wrestlers an opportunity to get some mat time in during the summer,” added McDonald, who said there will be 10 college weight classes that range from 125 pounds to 285 pounds.

The high school division is for wrestlers who will be in grades eight through 12 in the 2018-2019 school year. The weight classes will be the same as during the regular high school season.

Wrestlers can either pay $20 for the clinic only or $20 for the tournament only. Cost for wrestlers who want to go to the clinic and compete in the tournament will be $30.

“We are trying to keep the prices down for wrestlers and their parents. No one is making money off this tournament as all proceeds will be donated to local high school wrestling programs and The Ballpark,” McDonald said.

Last year the tournament had 50 wrestlers compete at The Ballpark. McDonald expects that number to more than double in its second year.

“The first year of any event is pretty unpredictable. We were happy with the amount of wrestlers we got last year, but we are expecting to exceed that amount by a lot this summer. I have already heard from a lot of wrestlers who want to give it a try this year as well as wrestlers and teams who competed last year who are ready to come back,” McDonald said.

Sanford High School assistant coach Paul Rivard is happy to see the tournament come back for another year.

“The first annual Rumble at The Ballpark was a great experience to witness as a coach seeing dedicated wrestlers come out on a hot, sunny day and grind out matches to better themselves for their quest of state titles,” he said.

Rivard is a firm believer in wrestlers getting plenty of work in during the offseason.

“As it is has been said by many coaches ‘summer wrestling makes winter champions,’” Rivard said. “For the pool of wrestlers we had (last year) we fielded many state placers, state champions, New England qualifiers and New England placers. I can’t wait to see what this year will bring for wrestlers. It’s vital for a wrestler to get matches in the summer to have a learning experience to put towards their season.”

Wrestlers can sign up for the event at https://form. jotform.com/80376931857165. For more information, contact McDonald at rumbleatballpark@gmail.com.

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