DGWC Levels

Wrestlers will be placed in one of three levels, based on experience, skill, and age.  Once wrestlers have progressed in most areas of skill development in their group, they can be looked at for advancement to the next group.  These decisions will be made by recommendations of coaches from their current group to the coaches in the Skill Development Group and Advanced.  While the natural progression of athletes will be to go through the programs gradually, it should not be viewed as a negative if a wrestler continues in a specific group for an extended period of time.  Progression in the sport of wrestling is unique for every wrestler and decisions on advancement within the Downers Grove Wrestling Club will only be made with the long-term benefit of the wrestler in mind.  

Fundamental Level: The Fundamental Level will be for beginning wrestlers from approximately ages 5-9 who are just starting out in the sport.  The focus will be on the development of fundamental body movements that will not only help in wrestling but in any sport they participate in as well as fundamental wrestling techniques to ensure they have a solid foundation in the sport of wrestling.  The focus for this group will be on having fun and developing in the sport of wrestling, and competition is not required and should be approved by the Fundamental Group coaches prior to a wrestler competing in any outside tournaments.  These wrestlers will practice two days a week in the Pool Balcony and their practices will include fundamental body movements, basic wrestling skills, skill-based games and competition, and some live wrestling as part of their practices.  The Fundamental Group will practice from November 15th through the start of February.  Some select wrestlers from the Fundamental Group may participate beyond the start of February per the recommendation of their coaches.

Skill DevelopmentLevel: The Skill Development Level is for wrestlers who may be between the ages of 8-14 and 1) have progressed beyond the Fundamental level or 2) are beginning wrestlers between the ages of 10-14.  Their focus will also be on the development of fundamental body movements as well as basic to moderate levels of wrestling technique.  Skill-based games and competitions will also be incorporated into the Skill Development Group, as well as an increased level of strength and conditioning for the sport of wrestling.  The Skill Development Group will practice three days a week in the DGS Varsity Wrestling room and competition is not mandatory for the Skill Development group, although each wrestler should have the goal of participating in 2-3 tournaments throughout the season.  The Skill Development Group will practice from November 15 through the end of February.  Wrestlers from the Skill Development group may be asked to continue practicing through the end of the season and IKWF Regional by recommendation of the Skill Development Coaches.  

  • Wrestlers in the Fundamental level or Skill Development level who wish to participate in tournaments can either 1) pay for an additional Tournament Option of $135 which would cover the entry fee for ALL IKWF tournaments 2) Pay for tournaments as they attend, and tournaments run $15-25 each.  See Registration for more info

Advanced Level:  The Advanced level will be for the wrestlers who have multiple years of experience in the sport and have progressed through the groups of the Downers Grove Wrestling Club.  Wrestlers from the Advanced level may be from ages 8-14, and their progression to DG Elite will be solely based on their progression in the sport of wrestling.  Fundamental body movements will be stressed as well as fundamental to advanced wrestling techniques.  Wrestlers in the Advanced level will also see an increase in the strength and conditioning requirement as they will compete more than the other two groups of the DGWC.  Wrestlers in the Advanced level may elect to participate in the schedule of tournaments that are on the DGWC calendar and also may elect to participate in other elite tournaments throughout the IKWF season.  While competition is not mandatory, the goal of the Advanced level will be to not only continue to develop skills in wrestling but to also compete at a high level during the IKWF season.  The Advanced level practices will be three days a week and will begin November 17th and will go through the IKWF State Tournament in the middle of March.  

DGWC Coaching Staff

Head Coach- Dan Balderas- DGN Alum- IL National Team Member, NCAA DIII National Qualifier, Elmhurst College Letterwinner

Mike Marola- DGN Assistant Coach​
Sean Raddatz- DGS Varsity Assistant- 4X IHSA State Qualifier, 2X IHSA State Place winner- 5th Place, 4th Place, ESCC Wrestler of the Year, High School All-American, IL National Team Member, competed for Loras College and Elmhurst College
Max Lozano- DGN Alum- IL National Team Member, Elmhurst College Letterwinner

Mike Yorke-  Elmhurst College Letterwinner

Jon Nelson- IHSA State Qualifier, IL National Team Member, Elmhurst College Letterwinner

Chris McGrath- Downers Grove North Head Wrestling Coach- IL National Team Member, Captain and Varsity Letterwinner for Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville

Sean Lovelace- Downers Grove South Head Wrestling Coach- IHSA State Runner-up, Northern Illinois University Letterwinner

  • DGS and DGN Wrestlers
  • Parent volunteers MUST be approved by DGWC Staff and go through all USA Wrestling protocols to be able to assist