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ALL RESPECT, NO FEAR: Young Outlaws Wrestle from Sligo Rec Center

Monday, November 27, 2023 @ 12:11 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

outlaws wrestling aSLIGO, Pa. (EYT) – With a club name of “Outlaws” and a motto of “Respect All – Fear None,” you might think someone is talking about a motorcycle club.

Instead, it’s an independent youth wrestling club, training out of three rented rooms at the Sligo Rec Center.

After witnessing a practice session when they operated out of Zack’s in New Bethlehem, Andrea Greenawalt said she became fascinated with the club.

“I fell in love with the club and how coach Rob Buzard runs his practices–the intensity and how he knows when to push and when not to push.”

Greenawalt is now the treasurer of the club, and her son is one of the wrestlers.

Along with dedicated parents, the guiding force behind the Outlaws is Rob Buzard, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at Compassionate Care Nursing.

“We fell in love with it (the club), and from there, we just kind of went with it and helped Buzard grow the club to essentially what it is today,” Greenawalt added.

In its third year, the Outlaws had an impressive showing at a tournament in Export, Pa.

“We took 16 of our 27 wrestlers to compete, brought home 14 medals total, and team tournament champion plaque out of 93 teams,” Greenawalt said. “It was a great day to be an Outlaw.”

The Outlaws accept wrestlers from all school districts, typically between the ages of four to 15. When they turn old enough, they can wrestle for their school team. Youth wrestling also accepts girls.

Fundraising is used to support the young wrestlers, or parents and guardians can pay $30 per wrestler monthly, $50 for two siblings, or $75 for three siblings. Parents pay the entry fee if the wrestler wrestles in a tournament.

Coaches and volunteers are not paid.

Outlaws Origins

While Buzard was a student at Keystone High School in 2009, he had to do community service hours for his senior project.

Although Buzard was a wrestler in elementary school, he had to quit wrestling before high school for personal reasons.

“There was a tournament one weekend, and I signed up to do stats for the tournament. When I entered the door, the coach threw me a coach’s shirt and said he needed me to help him coach. He said he didn’t have any other coaches with him,” Buzard explained.

“I started coaching, and by the end of the day, I was an assistant coach, and that’s how my coaching career started.”

Buzard eventually took over as the youth wrestling coach for the Keystone youth program.

Originally from the New Bethlehem area, Buzard moved to Knox and then graduated from Keystone.

He emphasized that his roots as a youth wrestler come from Redbank. He moved back to the Templeton area and tried to start a club in 2018.

“I bought wrestling mats and tried to start it from there but couldn’t get anything going because of where I lived. I ended up moving to the New Bethlehem area, closer to home and ran into Mitch, the youngest Blose brother, a gym trainer.

“I asked him how he would feel about me starting a wrestling club at the gym. He had everything we would need, including mats. He said yes, and that’s why I started my club because I just needed a good place to put my mats in 2020.

Buzard’s mats went into the gym in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We got the Outlaw name because Redbank and other places were shut down, and we kept going. I said the heck with it. We’re still competing. Ohio did not shut down, and we went there and some spots in Pennsylvania.

“My son, Xander Kunselman, 8, is a good wrestler. He’s pretty much won anything and everything you can win, other than the state tournament because he’s just getting to the age to compete at the state tournament. He started when he was four years old, and that ramped up my interest in getting my club.”

A Structured Program

Buzard said they run a very structured program.

“We’re just trying and making sure that our bodies are limber and that we’re ready to go, and then we run four to five times a week, depending on the week and what we’ve got going for the weekend,” Buzard explained.

“We drill every scenario live, and we’re wrestling live by the night’s end, so that’s another part of the conditioning,” he added.

“The wrestlers are also kids, and you must keep it fun, but we work before we have fun, so we are big on ‘We work before we play.’”

According to Buzard, the team participates in wrestling matches practically every night.

“These kids and parents put a lot of time, money, and effort into this sport. I love what I do.  I love being a nurse.  I put in a 12-hour day at work and come to wrestling practice at 6:00 p.m. I love giving back to these guys.”

Acting as “Mama Outlaw” l, Greenawalt looks at the club and says she loves watching them compete.

“The minute you join the Outlaws, you become part of a family,” Greenawalt added.

Check out the Outlaws Facebook page here.

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