by Capt. Keith Angstman and Spc. April York
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
Soldiers from 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, have volunteered their off-duty time to serve as referees for the Pikes Peak Wrestling League, which holds events at various schools in the Colorado Springs area.
The Soldiers began supporting local wrestling programs with the help of their battalion commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Stevenson, and his four children, who wrestle for the Fountain-Fort Carson school district. The Stevenson Family helped organize the Soldiers’ participation.
Stevenson has been active in both the school district and its wrestling program since moving to Colorado Springs in July.
Capt. Phil Hardwick, Sgt. Toddrick Murry, Spc. Charles Feliciano and Pfc. Brad Bellas, all from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd STB, assisted as referees in the Dan Gable peewee/junior youth wrestling tournament Jan. 30. Nearly 300 wrestlers ages 6-14 participated in the all-day tournament held at James Irwin Charter High School.
Each Soldier has years of wrestling experience under their belt at the middle school, high school or college level.
For Hardwick, assistant operations officer for 2nd STB, volunteering his time “brings back memories of being on the mat as a kid.” It’s great to see the kids interested in wrestling and getting better at it, he said.
Murry, Feliciano and Bellas also volunteer three days a week for the Fountain-Fort Carson Youth Wrestling Club, coaching the same children that participated in the tournament.
Murry said that the six hours a week he spends coaching the children are rewarding because he gets to train them just like he gets to train his Soldiers, and even more rewarding because he gets to train them in a sport that he loves.
The Soldiers will continue to volunteer their time as both coaches and referees throughout this wrestling season.