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By Sigrid Olson
Pathfinder 

Potomac youth wrestles overseas

 

August 30, 2018

Photo provided

The Montana wrestling team and coaches stand and sing in Munich, Germany. Bridger Hall is in the center left of one of the coaches.

POTOMAC - Potomac's Bridger Hall journeyed 4,889 miles to Germany where he wrestled and experienced the German culture.

Hall has been wrestling for more than 10 years and enjoys it. "I like wrestling because of the discipline it has given me and it gives people a work ethic and teaches them to work for what they want," Hall said.

This August, at age 16, Hall participated in an exchange wrestling program between Montana and Germany. Every other year Montana and Germany rotate their wrestling travels. Hall was asked by a Missoula Sentinel coach to be part of the team this year and go to Germany.

"I was asked to go because one of the coaches watched me compete in a tournament in Billings where I made the finals, " Hall said.

Twelve other male wrestlers from Montana went with Hall for a three day camp in Billings to prepare for the trip. They left for Germany Aug. 1 and returned Aug. 18.

After a 12-hour flight and layovers Hall arrived in Germany tired and eight hours ahead of Montana time.

Hall wrestled in Munich, Stuttgart and the Black Forest. He had two coaches, one from Sentinel and one from Billings. He wrestled in five matches and won two.

"I wrestled guys that ranged in age from 15 to 25 years old." Hall added, "I beat a 15 year old and a 21 year old. The [matches] I lost were well battled, losing to a 25 and two 16 year olds."

Photo provided

Potomac's Bridger Hall, left, wrestling with Stuttgart's Sebastian Sander in Germany Aug. 16. This was Hall's fifth match and he won the match.

The Germans wrestled more defensively than what Hall was used to which made the matches different, he said. The wrestling differences made it more difficult for Hall to score. Hall said the German's defense made it hard to grab their legs to take them down for points.

When Hall wasn't wrestling he spent his downtime exploring castle ruins, dairy farms and Europe's largest water park.

Hall said, "We did almost everything from climbing the tallest church tower in the world, going to the largest Gocart track, to car museums and car factories like the Mercedes Benz factory."

They also went zip lining and to Dachau. Hall discovered schnitzel which became his favorite food.

This fall, Hall is playing football for Hellgate High School.

"My fall and winter plan is to play football to stay in shape for wrestling and top what I accomplished last year placing sixth in state."

Hall said, "This experience [Germany] means a lot to me, it was the first time I have left the states and I got to experience different cultures and ways people live."

 

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