By Chardonnae Parker / Managing Editor
Missouri Valley College athletics host a number of events that the school, athletes, and community all look forward to. For many years Missouri Valley College Wrestling team has hosted one of the biggest wrestling tournaments in the state of Missouri: The Viking Invitational.
Since the 2011-2012 season Missouri Valley has hosted the Viking Invitational, a tournament where Missouri Valley hosts hundreds of male wrestlers and hundreds of wrestling duels in a two-day invitational tournament. People from all over come down to Marshall to watch student athletes compete.
Head coach Mike Machholz invited over 40 schools and 600 plus athletes.
“The No. 14 Missouri Valley College men’s wrestling team hosted the Missouri Valley Invitational Friday and Saturday inside the Burns Athletic Center,” said sports information director Andy Pulverenti. “Nearly 50 programs and 600 individual wrestlers competed at the event. Nine Vikings advanced to day two of the tournament, with four still on the championship side of the bracket.”
For each dual performed on that day there were more than enough officials to call each match. Each match had scoring tables workers to assist the officer in point keeping. Theses workers included different sporting teams pitching a helping hand. Other student athletes for different teams such as the women’s wrestling team, softball, and baseball team all lent a helping hand.
The Viking Invitational is filled with hard work behind the scenes. The college’s wrestling team works in partnership with many different departments, teams, organizations and individuals to put on a successful weekend of wrestling.
The athletic department worked to help the wrestling department set up the gym to be sure the wrestlers and their families were all comfortable and had the necessary accommodations such as locker rooms, team areas and enough mats to perform all duels.
Missouri Valley College athletic trainers, all set up training tables, and area to work on injury and recovery available for all 600 plus athletes. Trainers stayed alert and aware ready to help any athletes in need of assistance.
A hospitality room was also provided for coaches and other workers of the tournament. Some of the food was prepared by members of the wrestling teams’ families and families gave a helping hand.
“ I look forward to the Viking invitational every year seeing what ways they would need me to assist in this year,” one parent said with another parent adding “The invitational is always fun to be apart of to watch your children wrestle and helping out in whichever ways possible.”
All of the invitational matches were streamed live on the Viking Sports Network. The Network had coverage of all matches with camera operators and play by play analysis on the entire even.
The Vikings Men’s Wrestling team placed 14th out of 50 teams in the invitational.