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Approximately 150 youth wrestlers will compete Saturday at Athens High School as part of the Amateur Athletic Union-Alabama Youth Wrestling Organization North Regional Championship.

The tournament is hosted by North Alabama Elite Wrestling of Athens, which will have about 45 of its own wrestlers competing, NAE president Erica Unger said.

“If you were to compare this to high school wrestling, this tournament is like the first step of going to the state meet,” Unger said. “We are trying to prepare these young wrestlers to head to state in the future.”

The tournament is for wrestlers ages 4-13 and will have 75 weight classes over five age divisions. There will be 16 teams from North Alabama participating, including teams from Scottsboro, Arab, Fort Payne, Huntsville, Madison and Florence.

The meet will take place at the new Athens Arena. It begins at 9 a.m. and will last until approximately 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 3 years and up. Children younger than 3 are admitted free.

North Alabama Elite is expected to perform well at the regional meet. The team has competed in the Southern Grind Tournament in Georgia, which saw two individual wrestlers take championships. The team also won a team championship at the Martin Luther King Day Classic at Grissom High School.

“We've had a very good year,” Unger said. “The majority of the tournaments that our team has competed in in large numbers we've won or come very close to winning as a team. We're doing very well, and I'm really proud of them.”

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