Glasgow AAU wrestling is back on the mat for another year with coach Jory Casterline leading some feisty newcomers and veteran youngsters who look learn and sharpen their wrestling skills in a town rich with wrestling tradition.
The program takes kids as young as 4 all the way up to high school ages although Casterline says that the high school aged kids won't usually participate until the bigger tournaments later in the season.
Casterline says the turnout every year for the AAU program isn't a surprise to him.
"That's a testament to wrestling in our community," Casterline said. "We're seeing some lineage come through now. To start seeing those names come back through [the program] that's huge."
Casterline is adamant when he speaks about how the techniques learned on the mat can translate to any other sport.
"Your wrestling stance, is your basketball stance, your baseball stance and your football stance," Casterline said. "Everything you do in wrestling will prepare you for any sport."
The program raises its own funds for its wrestlers to participate in tournaments and even has its own bus to travel to tournaments out of town.
The fundraising the club relies on evolves around two events that take place annually.
The first event is a raffle in which tickets are sold to members of the community to win prizes provided by local businesses.
"The local businesses help us out tremendously," Casterline said. "We couldn't do it without the support of the local businesses."
The second event is just as important and has its own cult following. The spaghetti feed and pie auction.
Casterline said that the date for this year's feed hasn't been set yet, but says the turnout is always big.
"The people that show up to that function are the parents and members of the community that have supported us for years," Casterline said.
Casterline explained that in past events, the pie auction will see pies going for as much as a couple hundred dollars.
All for a good cause.
Casterline was born and raised in Glasgow and is entering his fifth year as coach of the AAU program.
Before coming back to Glasgow, he spent time in the Billings area coaching at Shepherd/Laurel.
Besides coaching for the AAU program here in Glasgow, Casterline is also the Greco Roman chairman for the state of Montana and an AAU board member for Montana as well
"Once you're involved in wrestling, you tend to give back," Casterline said.
With a huge variety of ages and learning levels in his program, Casterline says that the values he expects each individual wrestler to learn while on his mat remain the same.
"I want each kid to learn the importance of accountability and hard work," Casterline said. "This isn't a glamorous sport and these kids come down here and work their butts off."
Even with the final day of signups taking place this past Monday, Casterline will never turn away a kid who wants to learn to wrestle.
"A kid moves to town and he wants to wrestle, I don't tell him 'you have to come next year'," Casterline said. "I'll bring a kid in right away. That's how you build a program."
The AAU program meets three times a week on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at East Side School. Wrestlers in the third grade and younger practice from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and wrestlers in the fourth grade and above practice from 6:30-8 p.m.
For more information on what is required to sign your kid up, contact Jory Casterline at 228-8341 or stop by East Side School on one of the practice nights.