Exchange wrestling team to visit Flathead Valley

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The Daily Inter Lake

Kalispell will be the third Treasure State stop this summer for a traveling cultural exchange wrestling team from Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany.

The main event will be a dual with Flathead Valley wrestlers held at Legends Stadium on Aug. 7. Gates open at 5 p.m. with wrestling at 6:30.

The event is free, but donations to help the German team cover expenses will be accepted. The Flathead Valley Wrestling Club (FVWC) is sponsoring the event.

The Germans wrestled in Billings and Sidney last month. Their final event is Aug. 10 in Missoula.

Jason Barnes of the FVWC is coordinating the dual and all the activities here. His son Brendan, a two-time state placer for Flathead, was on the Montana team last year that visited Germany. Brendan is on the Flathead Valley squad this year.

“Brendan enjoyed his trip last year,” Jason Barnes said.

“They went to Dachau (Concentration Camp), water parks, zip lines, visited castles and a clock factory.”

Jason Barnes said the wrestling exchange not only brings the two countries together, but it’s about much more than that.

“Wrestling is a tool to grow young men and women,” he said. “This is a reward for their hard work. It’s another opportunity for them to experience something special.”

And the friendships developed, he said, are lasting.

Jason Barnes said this will be the first time a German team has been in the Flathead Valley. On a trip four years ago to Ronan, Germans spent time on Flathead Lake near Polson.

The wrestling dual was originally scheduled to be held at Flathead High School, but the school’s two gymnasiums are not ready for use. Thus, the switch to Legends Stadium.

The ages of the German wrestlers are 5-23. For the Northwest Montana team it is 14-17.

The German team will arrive in Kalispell on Sunday from Bozeman and stay with host families. There will be a combined wrestling practice in the FHS wrestling room on Monday. After that event, the wrestlers will head for Whitefish Lake.

Tuesday’s schedule is all out of the gym — a trip to Glacier Park.

Wednesday morning is set aside as recovery time. The mats will be rolled out at Legends Stadium at noon with a trip planned to Foy’s Lake in the afternoon. Then it’s the big event that evening.

On Thursday, the Germans will practice with the Flathead High School soccer team. That afternoon, the Germans head to Missoula.

The Valley team will be coached by Flathead’s Justin Whitman and Jeff Thompson.

Flathead Valley Team

Wrestlers: Anders Thompson, Kalispell Middle School; Justin Windauer, Columbia Falls High School; Cole Eastwood, Flathead; Cade Troupe, Flathead; Aaron Gaitan, Flathead; Bridger Beach, Glacier High School; Asher Kemppainen, Flathead; Brendan Barnes, Flathead; Lance Fretwell, Glacier; Archie Brevik, Bigfork High School; Zarek Lee, Flathead; Noah Poe-Hatten, Flathead; Chase Youso, Flathead; Kael Willis, Glacier; Dakota Flannery, Whitefish; Paxton Boyce, Flathead; Gaige Winter, Flathead; and Tanner Russell, Flathead.

Team Germany

This List Appeared in the Billings Gazette for the Billings Dual

Wrestlers: Jannis Weisser, 115; Jonas Stark, 115; Luis Aschauer, 121; Adrian Maierhofer, 132; Nils Krautsieder, 132; Paul Niemann, 132; Leon Liedgens, 132; Lorenz Rompp, 146; Gabriel Hils, 146; Max Klein, 146; Kai Krautsieder, 155; Jonathan Kempf, 155; Leo Winter, 155; Jonas Broghammer, 159; Adrian Jauch, 159; Hans Hackel, 177; Marvin Roth, 188; Marcus King, 188.

Team leader: Jurgen Trinkle.

Coaches: Steffen Blocher, Andre Wuchenauer.

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