A Message to Cardinals Elite Wrestlers and Parents

A Message to Cardinals Elite Wrestlers and Parents

Hello Cardinals Elite Wrestlers and Parents,

It has been a long time since my last communication to our entire club. That message was the week following our club winning the Ohio Novice State Championships in March. That was such a fun weekend. That tournament was the first time we competed together as an entire team and the results were surprising to many, myself included. Building upon our first season and our surprising success, we were energized to offer more. We had plans for the spring and summer but Covid hit less than a week after our Novice State Championship. Needless to say, everything got put on hold. A lot has happed since then, and the pandemic is still with us. Youth sports have continued, albeit under different circumstances. Wrestling is no exception. Our plans for the Cardinal Wrestling Club is to have a season if we are permitted by the state and schools. I will share with you what our plans are for the upcoming season. What actually transpires is constantly evolving.

First off, I want you to know I am super excited to get to work this season. After the tremendous feedback we got from parents and kids last year, and the remarkable results at competitions, we are extremely energized to build upon it this year. I will bullet point the ideas for our 2021 season and elaborate on them below. These are ideas assuming very little restrictions from Covid. We may not be able to accomplish all these because of restrictions so they are ideas only for now. I do not know what the season will end up looking like. We will do what we can but will also follow heath and safety protocols placed upon us by the state and Olentangy school. Here are the preview of changes for the 2021 season:

  • Compete all year as a club (8-10 competition including 4 Hellickson meets)
  • Limit the number of members to ~30 grade school and 20 middle school kids – want to give proper attention we feel is necessary for success
  • Practice 3x per week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning)
  • Option for middle school kids to join during and post middle school season
  • New gear including Cardinals Wrestling singlets, shorts, t-shirts, sweatshirts and team bags all available to be purchased though our team store


The biggest change for the 2021 season is we plan to compete as a club for the entire season.  I originally started the club as a supplemental training club for other local programs.  During that successful test run, I realized how important it was to compete together as a team.  The energy and comradery around the group that competed at the Novice State Tournament was extremely exciting and evident.  The competition schedule is the biggest uncertainty at this stage, but our plans are for our kids to enter the Hellickson Tournaments under the Cardinals Wrestling Club.  We will plan to compete in other, more experienced level competitions in addition to the Hellickson meets, such as open tourneys and Novice, NuWay and OAC state level competitions.  We feel like Hellickson tourneys can still be a good source of competition for most our kids, but we also need to expose them to higher level of competitions if we went them to excel.

We had a tentative schedule that started with 2 tournaments in December, followed by 4 Hellickson Tourneys in January and 2-3 open and state level tournaments in January and February. This is completely up in the air right now. We do not even know if Hellickson will be having their competitions. We have also had some early dialogue with local teams about having dual meets. Dual meets may be more likely than large scale tournaments given social distancing requirements. More to come on this topic as we learn more.

Limited Membership

We would like to keep our youth members to ~30 grade school kids and 20 middle school kids.  Covid protocols may impact this goal.  Nevertheless, the goal of the program is not to make money through large paid participation but rather give focused attention to the kids who are ready and willing to commit to getting better.  Limiting the members is one way to make sure we can give proper attention to our kids.

Parents can register their kids on our website. Registration is not open yet but will be soon. I will post once it is available.

Practice Schedule

We will practice 3 days per week, Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 – 8 pm and Saturday morning from 10 – 11 am.  All our practices will be held at Berlin HS.  Practices on Tuesday and Thursday will be geared more towards instruction and technique and Saturday will be more live wrestling.  We may begin some pre-season workouts in late October.  We plan on starting the official practices in mid-November.

We will encourage our kids to be at practice 15 minutes early, prior to the start of practice, to play speedball. We will use this as our fun/game time that I think is a necessary aspect of a good program. I like doing this before practice to encourage kids to be on time and ready for practice once the official practice starts. It is also a good warm up. Speedball is played with a football in the wrestling room. We played in prior to many practices last year.


The cost of the club will be $225.  The cost of the club will not include gear or competitions outside of Hellickson Tournaments or dual meets, such as open and state tournaments.  If you plan on competing at tournaments for the Cardinals Wrestling Club, you will need to have our team singlet.  We tremendously under charged for the program last year and that created uncommitted participation.  Many of those kids eventually stopped coming.  This took coaching resources away from the kids who were more committed.  We want to avoid that this year.  Committed kids create committed coaches, a win-win situation.

Prices for middle school kids will be as follows:
  • $225 3 days per week during MS season, 3 days post MS season
  • $175 2 days per week during MS season, 3 days post MS season
  • $100 1 day per week during MS season, 3 days post MS season
  • $75 3 days per week post MS season
If we hit our capacity or if Covid restricts how many kids we can have in our wrestling room, we will give preference to the kids who are coming more frequently.

If you know of anyone who may be interested in competing for the Cardinals Wrestling Club, pass along my contact information to them and I will include them on ongoing updates.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.

We are excited to get started as soon as possible. I will be sending more information out as I learn more.

Michael Fickell
(917) 575-0416