Community funds local wrestlers

 

Brian Fogg/News Advocate From left to right: Cindy Parrington, Chris Codden, Brysen Jensen, Junior Sarabia, Annette Beach, Andy Beach, Sharon Monnot and Rob Florian.

Brian Fogg/News Advocate
From left to right: Cindy Parrington, Chris Codden, Brysen Jensen, Junior Sarabia, Annette Beach, Andy Beach, Sharon Monnot and Rob Florian.

MANISTEE — Anyone who has had kids that play sports knows how much the expenses can pile up quickly.

Manistee wrestler Junior Sarabia knows this all too well, but with the help of some in the community he will be able to attend the J Robinson Intensive Wrestling Camp in Forest City, Iowa after gaining help from a group called The Struggles is Real and Sports Ink, who donated t-shirts, among others.

“I have to thank Andy Beach and coach (Chris Codden) for making this all possible,” Sarabia said. “He (Beach) started a website called The Struggles is Real and it’s about how everyone goes through their up’s and down’s.”

Looking for sponsors is all too familiar of a problem for athletes who are looking to break into the top level in their trade. Sarabia’s teammate Bryson Jensen and Benzie’s Jeff Crouch also had to had sponsors to go to the camp.

“Jeff was able to get his funding, but I was really worried for Junior,” Codden said. “Andy called and started talking to me about this program. It was unbelievable. He spoke about The Struggles is Real and told me what he was going to donate. At that point we knew that he was going to be able to go to this camp.”

The overall money raised came out to be about $1,100.

“It’s amazing. I have no words,” Sarabia said. “It’s a great thing just knowing that someone is there watching your back is a good feeling.”

Sarabia points to the family environment built in the wrestling program that encourages everyone to lend a helping hand.

“It’s just like a big old family,” Sarabia said. “I don’t think it would be (possible). They bring me up. They make me cheerful and do the things that I do.”

Sarabia will go to the camp with Jensen and Crouch, who all look to take their next step as wrestlers.

“I think wrestling is the closest group where everyone comes together as a family,” Jensen said.

The camp is 10 days long and will host top wrestlers from all 50 states. They will go through three practices a day with the top talent across the country.

“The kids that go to these camps are kids that come out and are going to be your regional champs, state qualifiers and champions,” Codden said. “It’s a phenomenal camp. They will not noly go through the physical part, but also the mental.”

124 state champions attended the camp a year ago and 99 did the year before.

“Since my first year wrestling I’ve progressed a lot, but I think I can do a lot more and I think this is going to help,” Sarabia said.

“I think it will greatly help me and make me a better wrestler than I am now,” Jensen said.

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Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or bfogg@pioneergroup.com.

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