A new wrestling club with a bite to it has opened up in Fort Mill.
Rattlesnake Wrestling Club opened last month and is run by former college wrestlers Mike Corbi and James Morette. Corbi said they picked that name for the club because the snake is “indigenous to the area and it’s pretty nasty. And wrestling can be nasty at times.”
Both Corbi and Morette wrestled together in high school and in college at Clarion University in western Pennsylvania. Creating the club, which is located at 2910 Old Nation Road, has been a process from concept to opening the doors.
“The building itself has been a three-year process,” Corbi said. “It was built specifically for wrestling.”
The club teaches freestyle and folk style wrestling, but could add Greco-Roman style, if they see a need. In Greco-Roman, which is more popular outside the U.S., wrestlers are limited to upper-body throws. Grabbing an opponent’s legs to get him or her off-balance is not permitted. Both Greco-Roman and freestyle are featured in the Olympics. Folk style is more like the type of wrestling in U.S. schools and colleges.
“Jim and I have been involved in wrestling for 30 years,” Corbi said. “We are doing this to give back to the youth what we have learned along the way.”
Corbi and Morette work full-time jobs, so the club itself isn’t there for them to make a living, they said, but rather to help promote wrestling here.
“We want to grow the sport in South Carolina,” Morette said. “We want to provide a place kids can get exposed to wrestling.”
Their facility hosts a 2,400-square-foot wrestling room for classes. They have two age groups in the classes and are opened three days a week – Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. One class is for kids’ ages 5 to 12 and the other class is for those ages 13 and older. Hours are 6:15-7:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday for the younger class and 7:45-9 p.m. for the older class.
Right now, Rattlesnake wrestling has about 15 kids, but there’s room for many more.
“We would like to see 40 to 60 kids here,” Corbi said. “We believe that by next year at this time, we will be there.”
Morette said he would like to have enough participants to be able to take them to tournaments to compete.
For information about the club, go to rattlesnakewrestling.com or call 704-258-0676.