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About RRW

The River Rival Wrestling Club (RRWC) is a non-profit organization founded to teach the sport of wrestling to youths in the towns of Amesbury, Georgetown, Groveland, Merrimack, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, West Newbury, Salisbury and surrounding areas.

RRWC exists to introduce the sport of amateur folk-style wrestling to students in grades 5 through 8. Our volunteer coaches work with boys and girls to teach the rules, moves, strategies and tactics needed to compete in local wrestling events.

Our Coaches

Gabriel Kasper

Wresting Experience:
Otter Valley Union High School, VT

Years with RRWC: 8

Favorite Wrestling Move:

Why Wrestle:
As a kid wrestling was an opportunity for exposure to positive role models. It taught me how to work hard both physically and mentally. I learned how to set goals for myself and put a plan in place to achieve those goals.

Probably the most important thing wrestling has taught me is how to deal with adversity. Learning at a young age that sometimes you give your best effort and don’t get the outcome you want is an opportunity to learn and improve has been an invaluable life lesson for me.

Scott Yewell

Wresting Experience:
Cornell University, NY
Los Altos H.S., CA

Years with RRWC: 7

Favorite Wrestling Move:
Front Head Lock

Why Wrestle:
Wrestling is awesome. It’s a whole body sport, and a great workout. More importantly, it’s a hell of an education in focus, self discipline, and personal achievement.

It takes discipline to build your endurance, learn moves, and put together strategies.

When you win, it’s all you. When you lose, it’s also all you. Sort of like life for responsible people. And with either outcome, your team/club is there to help you get better.

Stephen Beaudoin

Wrestling Experience:
River Rival Wrestling Founder
Pentucket HS Vol. Asst. Coach

Years with RRWC: 25

Favorite Wrestling Move:
Near Arm Far Leg Dump

Why Wrestle:
The sport promotes personal responsibility , delayed gratification, emotional resilience and leadership.

The training can help a student athlete develop strength, fitness and agility that can be translated to all of their activities

Jack Purdy

Wresting Experience:
Susquehanna University, PA
Gettysburg H.S., PA

Years with RRWC: 21

Favorite Wrestling Move:
Fireman’s carry

Why Wrestle:
The sport of wrestling develops body strength, coordination and endurance. Wrestling also develops mental strength, self-discipline and concentration.

For young wrestlers, the sport will have an everlasting positive effect on diet, sleep, fitness and goal-setting. Plus, it’s fun and an easy way to make friends!

Paul Hughes

Wresting Experience:
Michigan State University, MI
Pentucket High School, MA

Years with RRWC: 21

Favorite Wrestling Move:
All of them

George Bossi

Wresting Experience:
National Wrestling Hall of Fame
Lowell High School Head Coach

Years with RRWC: 21

Favorite Wrestling Move:
All of them

Frequently Asked Questions

What towns can participate in RRWC?

We welcome wrestlers from the towns of Amesbury, Groveland, Georgetown, Merrimack, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, West Newbury, Salisbury and surrounding areas. Feel free to reach out to us to inquire.

Is wrestling only for boys?

Heck no. Women’s wrestling has been an olympic summer sport since 2004, and women’s wrestling is one of the fastest growing sports in the US. RRWC is committed to coaching all genders in the sport of wrestling.

What equipment does a wrestler need?

  • Wrestling Shoes – Wrestling shoes offer more ankle support than traditional shoes and are designed to be lightweight and tight to the foot, promoting freedom of movement. We can’t allow street shoes on the wrestling mat as they can tear or otherwise damage the mat, and mats are quite expensive. You can find wrestling shoes at Dick’s, Amazon, and other sport equipment retail outlets for less than $50. Contact us if you have any questions about finding wrestling shoes.
  • Practice Clothes – T-shirt and gym shorts are standard for wrestling practices. Competitions may require wrestling singlets which the club will provide.
  • Headgear – Highly recommended for all mat practice and required for competitions. Headgear can prevent outer ear injuries and bruises during practice and competition.
  • Mouth guards – For any wrestler with metal dental work on the outside of their teeth, mouth guards are recommended for practice and mandatory for competitions. If there is metal dental work on the upper and lower teeth, then the mouthguard must cover both the upper and lower teeth. A moldable mouthguard is recommended.

What do wrestlers learn at wrestling practice?

At RRWC, we try to make practices educational and fun. Each practice includes warm up and stretching, tactical instruction, functional drills, live wrestling, and usually a game or two. We welcome complete novices through intermediate wrestlers, and match wrestlers with partners of appropriate size and skill. Club members will learn:

  • The Rules of folkstyle wrestling
  • Effective takedowns like double-leg and single-leg take downs
  • Defensive tactics like the sprawl and spin
  • Pinning combinations like the half-nelson
  • Mat wrestling escape moves like the inside standup and sit out

Can my child get hurt wrestling?

Wrestling is a physical sport and injuries do happen, not unlike soccer, basketball, hockey, or any other youth sport. At RRWC, we do our best to teach and enforce safe wrestling practices. Our coaches are attentive during drills and live wrestling to correct potentially dangerous activity or behavior.

Do wrestlers have to lose weight?

No. The sport of wrestling relies on the concept of weight classes to allow wrestlers of similar sizes to compete. At RRWC, as a youth focussed organization, we do not suggest any sort of weight management for wrestlers to target specific weight classes (i.e. no “weight cutting”).

What are weight classes?

One of the great attributes of wrestling is that it welcomes participants of all shapes and sizes. Everyone’s body is different which leads to different advantages and challenges when competing with somebody else’s body. In wrestling, weight classes were established in an attempt to create an equal opportunity for wrestlers to compete at their best level.

The Massachusetts Wrestling Association defines the weight classes as follow:
12U –  (lbs) 63, 69, 73, 77, 81, 86, 91, 97, 103, 111, 123, 138, 160
15U –   (lbs): 74, 81, 88, 94, 100, 106, 112, 118, 124, 130, 136, 143, 154, 169, 188, 215, 250

For example, if a wrestler is in the 86 lbs weight class, it means at the time of the competition weight-in, they weighed more than 81 lbs and less than 86 lbs.

Competition organizers may sometimes group wrestlers less formally in an attempt to even out the number of wrestlers per competitive group. For example, if 24 wrestlers weighing 100 to 105 pounds, five wrestlers weighing 98 to 99 pounds, and 3 weighing 106 pounds weigh in, the pairing officials may split these 32 wrestlers into three groups instead of having such unbalanced numbers.