Orono Youth Wrestling Receives National R.E.A.C.H.E.S. Funding

Orono Youth Wrestling, Minnesota has been awarded a national grant from the R.E.A.C.H.E.S. organization. This organization (Rewarding Educational Athletic Choices Helping Each Sport ) was created in an effort to promote, protect and preserve the integrity of amateur athletics by providing athletic and educational opportunities to all athletes of all ages and abilities. The generosity of this grant will continue to allow Orono Youth Wrestling (OYW) to build on its strong community tradition as well as grow and train new athletes to the sport. Orono wrestling success began in 1969 and continues to be a unique part of the community. Such examples include fathers who wrestled at Orono, only to have their children do the same as in the example of Mike Arne (Class of 1979) and his son Ryan, and Tex Ostvig (Class of 1984) and his daughter Tessa and his son Marcus, all families became state entrants and beyond. Tex Ostvig has supported the program in numerous ways including coaching yearly, since 1991. And most recently the “Orono Band of Brothers” from the Jeff and Michelle Striggow family have now produced three Minnesota State High School champions in the last five years, starting with the oldest, Jackson (2015), then Bobby (2018) and most recently Danny (2019). Danny is currently ranked #15 in the national InterMat High School Rankings. Such examples and strong community have all come from the beginnings of youth wrestling. OYW, has been the foundation of support, encouragement and access that not only produces future state champions but even more importantly outstanding young men and young women.

From the generous support of the R.E.A.C.H.E.S. organization, youth new to the Orono community and the sport of wrestling will be able to participate as they begin their journey in one of the most dedicated and committed sports in the world. Much like other wrestling programs around the nation, to be as a team and become as a team, you must look like a team. This was the hope and vision of Ostvig who pursued the grant. “I applied for the R.E.A.C.H.E.S. grant in hopes of gaining a start that would provide our youth wrestling program with the basics of shoes, headgear and maybe wrestling gear and hoped for the best. Well, the best came when I was contacted by the Executive Director, Walt Fisk. This was one of the “best” days of our program.”

Ostvig who was one of the original three charter members of the Orono Wrestling Club with (Tom Winkels and Kelley Shaughnessy in 2005) had the hope that such a program would continue to grow and provide opportunities for success. It has done that and more and will continue to get stronger because of the support of the community, its members and now the R.E.A.C.H.E.S. grant. Orono Wrestling and all involved are grateful and thankful for Walter Fisk, Bob Hartman, Jr., Matt Lee and everyone at R.E.A.C.H.E.S. for their support and belief in our program. We will be a better program because of these individuals and their commitment to us, the sport of Wrestling and all sports locally and nationally. We are Spartan Strong because of you. For more information about Orono Wrestling please visit: https://oronowrestling.org/

About R.E.A.C.H.E.S.

R.E.A.C.H.E.S. (Rewarding Educational Athletic Choices Helping Each Sport) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2007 in an effort to promote, protect and preserve the integrity of amateur athletics by providing athletic and educational opportunities to all athletes of all ages and abilities. This unique experience will provide educational, technical, and lifelong lessons for athletes, coaches, parents and fans that seek to capture meaningful, compassionate, harmonious, interesting and active lives. All profits from R.E.A.C.H.E.S. will be used to support specific needs in each sport to ensure future generations of athletes, fans, parents and coaches will continue to learn from valuable lifelong athletic lessons.