YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- Yorktown's Youth Wrestling Program is on the rise.
More than 50 kids have joined the program, which is run by John Tornambe and Joe Bucello. Bucello said they are able to attract kids, who range in age from 1st grade to 8th grade, because they try to keep the program fun.
"We don't force competition," Bucello said. "We emphasize the fun of the sport. But the kids who go to competition have had success."
Bucello said every wrestler who has competed has won at least one match but even those who don't compete still find the program rewarding. Our program is fully refundable within the first two weeks. All we ask is that you come to six practices."
"We play a lot of contact games like mat polo and mat chess," Bucello said. "We do a lot of sum wrestling and tug of war type games."
The wrestling team competes throughout the state and into Connecticut, with Bucello making sure he finds the right tournament for his kids skill level.
Wrestling teaches discipline, dedication and is a phenomenal builder of self esteem, Bucello said.
"If you win a match, it's only because of you, not because someone else scored a touchdown, or someone hit a home run," Bucello said. "There's no one else to share the glory with. A wrestler is going to know how to do things by themselves and doesn't need other people."
Bucello said some of his kids get a crash course when they come in wearing their CM Punk shirts.
"They start talking about suplexes and elbows," Bucello said. "They learn that's not what the sport is. Some of them are okay, some of them not so much. They can be a little disappointed."
Bucello said there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a novice wrestler transform on the mats.
"It's the best feeling as a coach to see a wrestler who is not an athlete work hard and keep trying and get a win or two," Bucello said.
For more information on the program, visit http://yacsports.com/
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.