Southeast Alaska’s youngest athletes hit the mats in Petersburg early this month for a regional grade-school wrestling tournament. 160 Boys and girls as young as kindergarten grappled for glory and for the pure joy of it while their families and coaches cheered them on. They hope some of these kids will go on to compete when they get to high school.

A big crowd of little wrestlers and lots of spectators filled the high school gym as the family event kicked off on a Friday afternoon. Matt Lichtenstein stopped by to talk with Petersburg Coach Marty Massin and lots of other participants from across Southeast.

Some of Petersburg's youngest Viking wrestlers

Visiting wrestlers and their coach from Ketchikan

Grade School wrestlers compete in Petersburg