Grebel Brothers Wrestle in the Netherlands

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Special to Times Record
Staff Writer

Koye and Kolt Grebel of VC Express Wrestling Club were excited, focusing more on the experience than their expectations, as they traveled 4,200 miles to Utrecht, Holland on May 17th to compete in a multi-national Greco/Roman wrestling tournament. The two day tournament began May 20 at 10:00 am Netherlands time (2:00 am VC time) and 9:00 am on Easter morning. Both boys had over 20 competitors per division, with undoubtedly more extensive training in their respective style. Koye and Kolt won their two preliminary matches on Saturday with Koye winning his 2nd and final match for the duo on a last second take down to secure a 9-8 victory. The two victories landed them spots in the championship tournament held Sunday.
Koye (age 13) placed 2nd.Wrestling in the age 12-14 (48 kg/105lb) division, Koye won three straight matches on Day 2 en-route to the finals. He defeated athletes from the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden before losing to Joel Adams of Nebraska, USA in the Championship match. Adams is on the USA jr. World team.
Kolt (age 12) wrestled in the 12-14 (41kg/87 lb) division and placed 6th. As one of the youngest competitors in the field, the 6th grader defeated athletes from Israel and Germany on Saturday only to lose 3 straight on Sunday to competitors from Belgium, France, and Bulgaria.
The tournament consisted of 78 clubs from over 30 international countries. Over 450 wrestlers competed in various weights at ages ranging from 7-18. Greco Roman wrestling is widely practice around the world as it is an Olympic sport but is not very popular in America. Typically, American wrestlers will train in Greco for a few months after their season in American style "Folk Style' is over, while youth from the rest of the world train Greco and Freestyle year round. The boys were able to attend training sessions with multi-national wrestlers in an Olympic training center in Utrecht for 2 days after the tournament.
In preparation for the trip, the two attended VC Express Freestyle/Greco practices coached by Tim Miller and Ryan Coghlan. They put in extra sessions with VCHS high school coaches: Davey Zinke, Brandon Larson, and TJ Hanson. Finally, the attended practices at NDSU in Fargo and trained under Asst. Wrestling coach Nick MaGee.
The Grebel brothers, along with several VC Express teammates, will compete this Saturday at the ND Youth FreeStyle and Greco State wrestling tournaments held at the Civic Center in Jamestown. Both were crowned State Folk style champions in March.