Special needs kids wrestle with the Trojans - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Special needs kids wrestle with the Trojans

The Challenger League has enjoyed wrestling with the Trojans (Source: WALB) The Challenger League has enjoyed wrestling with the Trojans (Source: WALB)
William Back (Source: WALB) William Back (Source: WALB)
Head coach Tom Matheny carrying one of the kids (Source: WALB) Head coach Tom Matheny carrying one of the kids (Source: WALB)
Senior wrestler Juan Alaniz (Source: WALB) Senior wrestler Juan Alaniz (Source: WALB)
LEESBURG, GA (WALB) -

The Challenger League gives young people with special needs an opportunity to compete in sports.

Their latest adventure was with the Lee County High School wrestling team.

On the wrestling mats in Leesburg, kids were allowed to be kids. The Trojans wrestling team trained the challenger league one last time ending a 2-week camp. 

Senior Juan Alaniz has been a buddy for the challenger League since its first year as a program that provides social and sports activities for special needs kids.

He's loved every moment.

"When you see a lot of kids like this they're not able to do these things," said Alaniz. "It just means a lot to see them have a smile on their face, leaving wanting to come back the next day."

Lee County's wrestling team is one of the best in the state, and they make sure to take out time to teach the kids.

Jacob Cordle is very appreciative and had a message for the Trojans.

"Thank you for helping out with us and teaching us how to wrestle," said the 19-year old challenger league member.

The Trojans head coach says these training sessions are mutually beneficial.

He's proud of the way his teenagers are maturing into young men. He even says the challenger leaguers are giving his Trojans a run for their money.

"(We) Make them do push-ups, and make them do sit-ups and run them a little bit to get them tired so our kids can kind of hang with them," said Tom Matheny.

After warm ups, they learned basic wrestling moves. 

13-year-old William Back says he's practiced a few on his mother at home and has big plans this fall. 

"Get myself hooked up with these muscles," said Back.

If you have a young person with special needs interested in joining the challenger league, they will take on kickball next.

Visit their website to find out how to sign up.

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