By KEVIN HARRIS
In the first week of July, the Jeffersonville High School wrestling team and Team Jeff Wrestling Club hosted a national wrestling team from Turkey for the fifth consecutive year.
During their time in Jeff, the Turks and the Red Devils participated in practices together and saw some sights in Southern Indiana and Louisville.
The teams had practices at Championship Athletic Performance in Jeff and Brad Haynes Martial Arts Academy in Clarksville. During the practice at Brad Haynes Martial Arts Academy, the wrestlers from both teams received instruction in Ju Jitsu.
Both squads visited historic Schimpff’s Confectionary in downtown Jeff, the Indiana Caverns in Corydon and three tourist attractions in Louisville — the Muhammad Ali Center, the Louisville Slugger Museum and the 21c Museum Hotel.
The Turkish team and the Red Devils met with Jeff Mayor Mike Moore at Jeff City Hall and went bowling at Blackiston Bowl in Clarksville. Also, both squads went to the RiverStage in Jeff to watch fireworks.
“It is always a great time exposing Jeffersonville wrestlers and Southern Indiana wrestlers to another culture,” Jeff High wrestling coach Danny Struck said. “What they find out the most is that others are not that different. In fact, it is funny to see how kids don’t even need language to come together — they just do.
“Wrestling is the common bond that brings me to kids, and it is the common bond that brings these kids together. The world is our home and we need to treat it as such. It is great to know that we have friends of Jeff wrestling all over the world, and that Jeff wrestlers see the world through wrestling.”
Prior to coming to Jeff, the Turkish team visited Indianapolis where it saw the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Lucas Oil Stadium and some museums. Then the team stopped at Jennings County High School in North Vernon, where it wrestled against the Panthers, went on a camping trip and spent a day at Kings Island near Cincinnati.
After they visited Jeff, the Turks traveled to Chicago with Struck and proceeded to visit the Willis Tower, the Navy Pier, Buckingham Fountain and the Turkish American Cultural Center in the Windy City.