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Two earn state titles in AAU wrestling


Two earn state titles in AAU wrestling

By JEFF STAHLHUT

For the Call

Two local youths recently came away state champions in the Amateur Athletic Union wrestling championships.

James Pirtle and Luke Vogel, who both wrestled in the Cadet Division, both came away state champions for the first time. Both had placed at previous AAU state events, but neither had won first place. Tim Vogel, one of the coaches of the team and Luke's father, said both were very excited.

"Both kids really enjoy the sport, and are enthused about continuing," Tim Vo-gel told the Call. "And winning the AAU championship was a big thing. They were both thrilled to win."

Pirtle, who wrestled at the 160-pound weight class, placed first out of 10 wrestlers in his class in the championships that took place in February at Northwest House Springs High School.

He was, according to Tim Vogel, abso-lutely dominating.

"He did really well," Tim Vogel said. "He dominated every match, and he could have even wrestled at a lighter weight. He is going to be a good high school wrestler."

Pirtle, who is currently in the eighth grade, will get that chance next year.

Luke Vogel, meanwhile, won first place at the 130-pound class. Like Pirtle, Luke has been wrestling since the first grade, and this was his first AAU state championship. "He's come along at his own pace," Tim Vogel said. "He came on really strong this year and was very strong in this tournament. He won in a class of 12 wrestlers and showed a lot of confidence."

Luke won the championship match via a pin, and Tim Vogel believes both his son and Pirtle have a future in the sport.

"Luke will also be a good high school wrestler," he said. "He's only in seventh grade right now so he has another year to wait, but both are mature and ready to wrestle in high school. They really did a great job to win first place in this tournament."

The AAU championships used to take place over a two-day period at Forest Park Community College, but were moved to Northwest and converted to a one-day event. Tim Vogel likes what they have done. "Northwest did such a great job with it," he said. "There was not a lot of down time at the tournament. It was very well run."

For more information about AAU wrestling or other AAU sports, you can visit the organization's website at www.aausports.org.

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