A new club in Rigby aims to build young wrestlers from the bottom up.
Warrior Wrestling Club, coached by Ed Anderson and Denton Moulton, is a junior wrestling program that takes in children beginning at pre-K. Anderson is a long-time wrestling coach with nearly 30 years of experience and was head coach at Rigby High School for five years. He continued coaching and most recently served as head coach at Jackson Hole High School for two years before moving on.
“I was living here, so the drive was killing me,” he said.
Back in Rigby, Anderson said he decided to focus on “the club side of things.” He said he had already been coaching a few athletes, but said the program really started going in October 2019.
Anderson said he hopes the club will allow children to experience wrestling at a young age, which could feed into the middle school and high school programs.
“If we build this feeder program, these little guys, then bring them up through, we’ll have a good mixture of kids,” he said.
Tony McCarty, Rigby High School wrestling coach, said he is interested in the club because it could help improve wrestling in Rigby and Jefferson County.
“We’re looking forward to the possibilities that are presented when you have club wrestling in the community when there’s school wrestling as well,” McCarty said.
Anderson said he wants young athletes to also be exposed to “world-class coaches” such as Olympic wrestlers Rulon Gardner, Kevin Jackson and Mike Zadick at summer camps. He said he has had Gardner, a gold medalist, speak with athletes before. Anderson said he also hopes to bring in female wrestlers as well and increase the number of girls in the club.
“That’s another thing that I’m really pushing with the club, is to get an all-girls side as well,” Anderson said.
Anderson said currently, 30 children are active in the club, and all are from Rigby. He said in future, he hopes to have athletes from throughout eastern Idaho come to Rigby to train without pressure to affiliate with the club.
“I just got a love for the sport, love for kids,” Anderson said. “Even though I’ve been outside of Rigby the last few years, I’ve still had my heart here, in Rigby. And the way I look at it, if I can promote wrestling in Eastern Idaho and bring kids together, even if they’re not from Rigby, that does nothing but make Rigby better.”