Big showing for Readlyn's Grapple in Grump Town - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Big showing for Readlyn's Grapple in Grump Town

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At 40 years old Justin Decker can still get after it. The Wapsie Valley assistant coach and former 2-time state champ at West Central was the oldest wrestler to take the mat at the Grapple in Grump Town. Decker won his match on a late reversal.

“I pulled it out there at the end,” said the former Iowa and Upper Iowa athlete, “It didn't go the way I wanted it to, but I'll take a win at this stage, 40 years old.”

Decker, along with 3-time Wapsie Valley state qualifier Rhino Cox, helped start the event which was first competed in Fairbank (under a different name) two years ago. This year in Readlyn the crowds just got bigger.

“I don't really know what to say,” said Cox, “It's just simply amazing, and they're passionate.”

They're also passionate about helping out. This year's event raised money for the Wapsie Wrestling Club, as well as youth wrestler Brody Kleitsch. The Wapsie Valley 6th grader has to sit out the next year while undergoing chemotherapy treatments after a recent diagnosis of bone cancer.

“It just breaks your heart when a young kid's got to sit out a year without playing any sports,” Cox added, “They're a great family, great kids, they work hard.”

That's a big part of why several older wrestlers, most of whom had highly successful high school careers at Wapsie Valley or Jesup, put themselves on the line despite a lack of recent experience.

“Some of these guys haven't wrestled in 15-20 years and they're getting out here,” said Decker.

Some, like Decker, may not compete again. The coach left his shoes on the mat signaling his final match, but to him, making the effort was worth it.

“Everything here goes back to the kids, so I figured one more time I'd get back on the mat. Everything goes toward a good cause.”

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