The future of wrestling in Canadian County is bright with the C4 Wrestling Club taking off two years after it got started.
The youth wrestling club was started by Derrick Fleenor, Chad Whitney and Nick Brooks. All three are also coaches for the club.
C4 stands for Canadian County Champions Club and is made up for mostly Canadian County youth, including many young grapplers from Yukon and Mustang.
The C4 Wrestling Club competed in the 42nd annual United States Junior Open Championship on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 at the State Fairgrounds Arena in Oklahoma City.
There were roughly 2,200 youth wrestlers competing in the event ranging from ages four to 16. Numerous states were represented in the tournament, including Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Maryland.
C4 Wrestling sent 38 wrestlers to the tournament and 12 of those grapplers placed in their respective weight classes. There were six C4 wrestlers that placed in the open division and six that placed in the novice division.
“It was a great experience,” Fleenor said. “It was great for these kids to have the opportunity to compete at the State Fairgrounds Arena. I think it was eye-opening for them. We have gotten used to competing in high school gyms every weekend, so this was quite a bit different and obviously much tougher competition.”
Below are the C4 Wrestling Club wrestlers that placed in the open division at the USJOC:
- Knox Schulte, third place, heavyweight, Division 3
- Hudson Brooks, fourth place, 80 pounds, Division 3
- Conner Columbus, fourth place, 200 pounds, Division 5
- Noah Majka, fifth place, 46 pounds, Division 1
- Luke Stuart, sixth place, 55 pounds, Division 2
- Van Smith, sixth place, 61 pounds, Division 3
Below are the C4 Wrestling Club wrestlers that placed in the novice division at the USJOC:
- Tyler Pecha, second place, 76 pounds, Division 4
- Liam Shriver, third place, 43 pounds, Division 1
- Remy Whitney, third place, 43 pounds, Division 2
- Max Hembree, third place, 67 pounds, Division 2
- Kayson Smith, third place, 131 pounds, Division 3
- Isaiah Derksen, fifth place, 105 pounds, Division 4
There are approximately 100 wrestlers on the roster for the C4 Wrestling Club. According to Fleenor, C4 Wrestling takes around 60 wrestlers to compete in the local tournaments.
C4 Wrestling practices out of the Yukon Middle School wrestling room. Yukon High School wrestling coach, Joe Schneider’s, son is a part of C4 Wrestling and has come to the room and watched the up and coming wrestlers in the area.
“That’s something we have considered doing, is bringing in some high school coaches to talk to our wrestlers,” Fleenor said. “Joe Schneider has come in a couple times because his son is a part of our program, but he is really busy with the high school program, so he doesn’t have a lot of free time.”
The next tournament for the C4 Wrestling Club will begin Thursday at the Tulsa Nationals and run through Saturday at the Fairgrounds Arena in Tulsa.
There will be approximately 40 states represented at the event.
“The national tournament in Tulsa is going to be the biggest and toughest one yet for us,” Fleenor said. “There are going to be a lot of really good wrestlers there, so we are looking forward to going and competing. I know the kids are really excited.”
The C4 Wrestling Club will have an offseason program for its wrestlers beginning in March and ending in June. During that time, the wrestlers will have a chance to practice and focus on what they need to in order to improve and not worry about having to prepare for a tournament.
“That will be a great time for our kids to work on themselves and not have to worry about preparing for a tournament every weekend,” Fleenor said. “That’s where we expect our wrestlers to make the most improvement heading into next season.”
For more information on the C4 Wrestling Club or if anyone is interested in joining the club, they have a Facebook page called C4 Wrestling Club and they have an email at [email protected]. Anyone may also call Fleenor at 802-2652.