Waukon wrestling team returns six letterwinners, welcomes competitors from Kee through cooperative agreement for 2020-2021 mat campaign

2020-2021 Waukon wrestling team ... Left to right - Front row: Olivia Marti, Meridian Snitker, Tristian Dundee, Bralin Regan, Skyler Dugan, Wyatt Gulla; Back row: Lucas Byrnes, Carter Goetzinger, Jakob Regan, Marcus Gibbs, Cullen Dickson, Justin Murphy, Alex Goetzinger, Kaedyn Anderson, Ryley Burington. Not pictured: Owen Frieden, Tanner Kiel, Owen Malone, Tristen Heckman, Jacob Homp, Drake Baures, Jada Bushaw.

The 2020-2021 Waukon wrestling season will be one filled with new experiences as the wrestling Indians get set to take on a bit more than just their fellow mat opponents during this winter campaign. In addition to the challenges posed by those standing directly across the mat from the Tribe grapplers, this year’s wrestlers will also be battling an opponent that can be all around them, on or off the mat, in the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing teams to also focus their preparations on overcoming that foe as well on a daily basis.

Guidance handed down by State of Iowa Public Health officials and the Iowa High School Athletic Association will impact everything from practices, meet and tournament competition, and even weigh-in procedures, among other facets. However, Waukon wrestling head coach Mason Berns and his charges know that all of these changes being made are in an effort to keep everyone healthy and to allow the season to be able to take place.

“We  support the adjustments handed down by the State of Iowa and the Athletic Association,” Coach Berns shared. “Keeping young people busy in healthy ways is important, having a varied wrestling season still allows this for the athletes in the community. Good communication and stringent protocols between all programs involved is an absolute necessity. Student athletes come first in all decision making, there are  no other options here.”

In addition to the new challenge of battling COVID-19 this season, the Indians will benefit from another of this season’s changes, as Waukon and Kee High School are participating in a cooperative agreement that opens the Waukon wrestling program to Kee student-athletes this winter. At this point, two Kee High School brothers, junior Alex Goetzinger and sophomore Carter Goetzinger, have been participating in the wrestling Tribe’s early-season preparations.

The Indians were scheduled to get their 2020-2021 campaign underway Tuesday, December 1 in a multi-team affair at Postville. The mat Tribe will then prepare to compete in the Chris Davis Invitational Varsity Tournament hosted by Wapsie Valley High School - where no spectators will be allowed but wrestling will be live streamed on the TrackWrestling website, located at www.trackwrestling.com, under the Events tab - this Saturday, December 5 before opening up that Northeast Iowa Conference schedule at Waverly-Shell Rock Thursday, December 10.

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