The past two seasons, Newton has been dominant in a sport most don’t spend a lot of time watching, at a level even fewer go to see.




The past two seasons, Newton has been dominant in a sport most don’t spend a lot of time watching, at a level even fewer go to see.
Junior high wrestling.
The Railers have lost one dual meet at the junior high level, and just finished up not only an undefeated dual meet season but won the Pioneer League title on the mat.
“We finished off the year 12-0 in duals and won by an average of 42 points,” said John Werner.
At the Pioneer League tournament, the team competed in 17 weight classes, winning five and finishing second in nine.
“We were pretty dominant,” Werner said.
But he doesn’t take credit for the success of the team — even though as a third-year coach, he’s known nothing but success.
“It’s a team effort,” Werner said. “It comes from support from the high school and the Newton Wrestling Club.”
The Newton Wrestling Club is getting elementary-aged kids involved in the sport and teaching fundamentals.
That’s helped the team grow from around 20 members to more than 40 in the last two years.
“One coach came up to me and said ‘You know what you have going on? You have kids thinking it’s cool to wrestle,’” Werner said. “He’s right. I hope it lasts for a while.”
Werner said parental and fan support of the junior high team has been key during the successful run as well.
Even though the team has only one home meet each year, and start times for junior high meets are early enough that people have to take off work to go watch, parents and fans are following the team.
“The support is phenominal,” Werner said. “It’s not easy to get there, meets start early and people have to take off work. They do that, they still show up, and these kids feel supported.”