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AUGUST 29, 2021




Coaches and Leaders,

Welcome to a brand new membership year.  After all we fought through, what a finish we had to the 2021 campaign.  After our all-time greatest Olympic performance, our Juniors hammered their World Championship.  Let’s not forget the success our Cadets found, in their own World Championship.

I choose to view this level of success as a testament to depth… and that means you, me, us.  Clearly, our ‘Roots” are healthy and producing some “Damned Tall Grass” !  On behalf of our entire National Coaches’ Council, please accept my heartfelt congratulations and thanks.  USA Wrestling’s system of development is working, thanks to you.

With that success, I believe we owe it to our constituents… Athletes, Parents, Peers…  to roll out our 2022 Membership Year with a tone of gratitude and responsibility.  The 2022 Membership portal opened August 20th.  

Start with this:  USAW’s Board of Directors approved a Membership Price Increase.  While each state manages their own autonomy, in the presentation and disbursement of their membership fees, most rounded the increase to the nearest five.  Most also rounded Leader Cards (Adults) up, in order to save every penny for Athletes.  Please check with your State Leadership to learn your exact cost and that for your kids.

As you process, prepare and present to parents and peers, let me challenge you with this:  I renewed my USAW membership, the morning of August 21st.  Living in New Mexico, I paid $60.  I CANNOT REMEMBER GETTING A BETTER BARGAIN !

I have friends with kids / grandkids in other youth sports.  Listening to their membership / participation fees makes me cringe !  New Mexico offers High School Team Memberships (Check with your state leaders).  Knowing, first hand, how many high school wrestlers have little, or no, primary insurance protection, I always appreciate USAW’s philosophical approach to protecting and enabling mainstream families.

Just a few years ago, I purchased TWO memberships per year:  A Coach’s Card and an Official’s License.  Now, I get BOTH for sixty bucks.  If you have checked the depths of the website (, you know how many resources we have access to.  There can be no doubt that our National Coach Education Program has a huge role in the success we enjoyed, this summer.

I appreciate the core leadership of USA Wrestling, our Board and our Staff.  Think about what the organization just survived !  We funded TWO years in a row that demanded preparation for both Olympic Games and World Championships.  The organization remained strong and solvent through a period of reduced membership, with almost no events.

Yet, service and opportunity for us and our kids never faltered.  We have to credit our leadership for long-standing fiscal responsibility.  Clearly, our leaders take the responsibility of being the National Governing Body very seriously.  And, then, they argue for hours about handing us a card increase that amounts to a few dollars.

USA Wrestling is not in business to “Sell Insurance” or to “Sell Trophies” !  Parents deserve to know that their membership dollars are being respected.   Every member of USAW, in 2021, contributed a few pennies to Gable Steveson’s back flip and Tamyra Mensah-Stock’s tears.  But, each kid’s contribution was respected and managed professionally.  Sorry, but our “Entrepreneurial Friends” never considered contributing to those memories !

USAW finds itself on solid ground, financially and philosophically.  Our medal production taps into USOPC funding, in a big way. Our Elite Athlete Programs are self-sufficient.  They’re not squandering little Buffy and Jodi’s hard earned membership dollars for glory and really cool warm ups.

Wow !  I’m glad to get all that off my chest.  I don’t perceive myself as a Kiss Ass or a Company Man.  But, I believe in giving credit where it’s due.  Our Board and our Staff are doing things right, when it’s not easy.  (Isn’t that what we ask of kids, every day ?)

I believe parents need to know… need to be told… that their kid is really part of something larger than themselves.  I believe it’s up to me, and up to you, to tell ‘em.  So, if I’m guilty of spewing a ‘Sales Pitch’, I’ll live with it… and sleep well tonight.

Love You, 


July 24, 2021

Congratulations to both of New Mexico's ALL-AMERICANS!!

These two wrestlers both stepped it up big time while representing Team New Mexico! The 16U & Junior Nationals is the largest and toughest tournament on the planet for this age division!

Jonny Gurule 4th

(69 man bracket)


Junior 120 lbs

Tristain Martinez 7th

(32 lady bracket)

Woman's Freestyle

Junior 180 lbs

Team New Mexico has a Greco-Roman All-American!! Jonny Gurule battled a stacked field to go 6-2 finishing at 4th in the nation!

Other notable performances came from Santiago Lopez and Adan Benavidez both going 2-2.

This concludes the 9 day event in Fargo, North Dakota!


Jonathan Gurule 4th 6-2

Santiago Lopez 2-2

Adan Benavidez 2-2

Naithan Gurule 1-2

Brendon Olsen 0-2

Diego Snell-Martinez 0-2

Connor Cole 0-2

Noah Gurule 0-2


Noah Gurule 1-2

Connor Cole 0-2

July 20

Team New Mexico has an All-American!! Tristian Martinez went 4-1 today placing her in the top 8 of her bracket! 

She will continue to compete in the morning on her quest to battle back for 3rd place.


Tristain Martinez 180 4-1

Yele Aycock  132 2-2

Lorianna Piestewa 106 1-2

July 19

Today Team New Mexico finished its run in the Juniors Men's Nationals in Freestyle. The elite competition was very tough and all participants learned valuable lessons! Everyone who wrestles here is better for it.

Tomorrow is Junior Woman's Nationals and NM will have three wrestlers competing. 


Jonny Gurule 2-2

Adan Benavidez 1-2

Brendon Olsen 1-2

Rys Sellers 1-2

George Piestewa 1-2

Diego Snell-Martinez 0-2

Santiago Lopez 0-2

Day One in Fargo concluded with Team New Mexico's three cadets(16U) going a total of 2-6.

Today 8 Juniors are competing in the first day of their Freestyle Nationals. 

16U Freestyle Day 1 

Lorianna Piestewa 1-2

Noah Gurule 1-2

Connor Cole 0-2


USA Wrestling's Kids Nationals has concluded and Team New Mexico has one All-American in Freestyle!

This very competitive field, comprised of wrestlers from 43 states, came together in Wisconsin Dells, WI. These athletes either qualified through Regional Championships or their respective State requirements.

Saturday's competition was very challenging and provided valuable lessons to all the New Mexico National Team members.

Congratulations to All-American Tyler Reinhardt (Cornerstone WC) and the other 4 competitors (505 WC) Valentine Popadiuc, Vivienne Popadiuc, Cash Bachicha and Maddox Martinez for stepping up against the best in the nation to represent New Mexico!


Team New Mexico finishes the Greco-Roman Kids Nationals with 3 All-Americans!

The outstanding performance of the day was from Tyler Reinhardt of Cornerstone WC. Reinhardt made it to the Semi-finals before finishing 5th overall.

Good luck to these five athletes who are competing in Freestyle today!

Greco-Roman Results:

Tyler Reinhardt 14U 5th

Valentine Popadiuc 14U 8th

Cash Bachicha 14U 8th

Maddox Martinez 14U DNP

Vivienne Popadiuc 12U DNP


Today Team New Mexico competes at the USA Wrestling Kid's Nationals in Greco-Roman wrestling!

Best of luck to the NM athletes wrestling in the most prestigious Freestyle and Greco-Roman event in the country!

Vivienne Popadiuc 12
505 WC 

Valentine Popadiuc 14
505 WC

Maddox Martinez 14U
505 WC

Cash Bachicha 14U
505 WC

Tyler Reinhardt 14U
Cornerstone WC

#newmexicousawrestling #nmusawrestling            #usawrestling #grecoromanwrestling #teamNewMexico



Jennesis Martinez - 101# All-American - 4th @ Collegiate Women's Wrestling Championships for Colorado Mesa (Manzano)


Daniel Vargas - All-American - 5th @ NAIA National Championship for Doane (Rio Rancho)

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