Area youth wrestlers take first at state
By Micah Knebel

Jesup elementary students Carver Hinz and Bentley Jacobsen recently placed first at the Iowa AAU Kids State Championship wrestling tournament.

Carver Hinz, who is in second grade and wrestles for the Knights Wrestling Club, has been wrestling for four years. He and his older brother Cooper, who is in fourth grade, began wrestling together and the interest has continued.

“Each year he has made tremendous progress,” says Carver’s father Soloman Hinz. In first grade, Carver reached second at the state tournament. This year, he secured first place at state with a pin in every match, except for one that was a technical fall.

“Carver’s experience at state was a lot of fun,” Hinz says. “He was very focused and determined to get first place after falling short last year. Winning state was something he wanted very badly. As a father, it was a great moment to watch him achieve a goal he set out to accomplish. I was very proud of him.”

The second grader also wrestled in the third and fourth grade divisions at the AAU state tournament this year. He placed fifth at the tournament and placed fifth again at the AAU winter national’s tournament.

Not only does Carver match-up against some older wrestlers, he’s outweighed at practice as well. “He’s the smallest and the youngest. He really has to battle hard to be able to keep up with his workout partners,” his father says. “Between these kids and his brother, they really push him to get better.”

Bentley Jacobsen, a kindergartner, has had an interest in wrestling ever since he was three and began following his father Chris Jacobsen and older brother Keyten to wrestling practice. Chris Jacobsen, who was a coach for the Iron Hawks wrestling club, recalls Bentley taking an interest early on.

Jacobsen moved both of his sons to the DC Elite Wrestling Club to help build on their skills and prepare for tournaments. This has been the first year Bentley has competed in tournaments.

“It’s been a lot of time spent practicing, a lot of late nights, and lots of travel,” says Jacobsen. In addition to the state tournament win, Bentley won two national tournaments at the Midwest Tour. These included winning a belt at the Hawkeye Nationals in Iowa and Gopher State Nationals in Minnesota. He won a second place belt in the Badgerland Nationals in Wisconsin too.

“He’s determined,” says Jacobsen. “He wants to be the kid the other kids don’t want to wrestle.”

Even in the off-season, where their regular three nights a week of practice has been cut down to one practice a week, Bentley still has the desire to get in the gym. “Recently he told me, ‘Dad, I want to go to practice and kick some butt!’” Jacobsen says. “He has the heart.”

Chris Jacobsen sees a lot of positive things coming from his son’s early exposure to extra curricular activities. “It builds character and teaches a lot of life lessons,” he says. “You’re not always going to win. You’re going to have to work to win.”

Soloman Hinz agrees. “It helps kids develop teamwork and leadership skills,” he says. “Regular physical activity improves a child's fitness and helps them to stay in shape. Also, most importantly,” he adds, “the kids have fun. The memories made playing youth sports will last a lifetime.”
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