State’s oldest youth wrestling club right here in Edmonds

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    Teacher and long-time Rhino wrestler Matt Floresca poses with Rhino Folkstyle wrestlers who have placed 1st through 4th in tournaments from November 2011-January 2012. The boys, ages 5-9, are Kadon Gentry, Addison Matix, Jordan Sims, Alex Rust, Liam Fitting, Peter Grimm, Hunter Thibadeou, Cooper Kim and Thomas Rhodes.

    Edmonds has a variety of youth sports teams, clubs and leagues, but there’s one club that may not be as well known: Wrestling Rhinos, the oldest and longest-running wrestling club in Washington state.

    Started in 1974 by Mike Hess, Bruce Cook and Bryce Cook, the club is still training youth ages 5 to 14 years Mondays and Wednesdays at Edmonds-Woodway High School. Now led by president Brian Alfi (head coach of the EWHS wrestling team), head coach Jon Floresca and assistant coaches Mike Floresca, Matt Rapelji and Tim Hester, there are currently roughly 60 kids participating in Folkstyle wrestling. And at least that many youngsters are signed up for Freestyle, which began Feb. 13.

    Rhinos are open to both boy and girl wrestlers. Visit  www.wrestlingrhinos.org for more information.

    — Story and photo by Joleen Sims

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