Wrestling for elementary-age children is alive and well in Walla Walla because of dedicated coaches and supportive fans.

The wrestling program just completed its fourth season, according to the school district online newsletter.

Last week, 60 fourth- and fifth-grade boys and girls competed in their final match of the fourth annual Walla Walla Public Schools Elementary School Wrestling Program. Students practiced two or three times a week during the three-week program.

“We believe in providing positive opportunities for our community youth and appreciate our coaches for sacrificing their time for others,” said Coach Jacob Butenhoff.

“This support ensured every fourth- and fifth-grade student had an opportunity to enhance their overall educational and life experience. It was impressive seeing so many people in the stands.”

Jacob is also involved in the Walla Walla Wrestling Club for boys and girls ages 5-15.

The club competes in the Oregon Wrestling Association for Youth. The experience includes multiple practices each week and Saturday tournaments. For more details, contact Jacob at 509-521-0068 or jabutenhoff@wwps.org.

Grads of distinction noms sought

Walla Walla Public Schools’ Graduates of Distinction program seeks nominations for outstanding high school graduates from public schools here who have distinguished themselves in their communities and professions.

The award also provides a platform to honor Walla Walla Public Schools’ staff members who were the most inspirational in their lives, the school district online newsletter reports.

The program is the highest honor for district graduates.

More information is available online at ubne.ws/2Jx3eZm, including nomination packet forms that may be typed and printed.

Nominations are due by March 15.

For other questions and assistance, contact Walla Walla Public Schools Director of Communications and Program Chair Mark Higgins at 509-526-6716 or mhiggins@wwps.org or Susie Golden at 509-526-6715 or sgolden@wwps.org.

Mark is chairman of the Graduates of Distinction selection committee and serves with Doug Bayne, Tera Davis, Roger Esparza, Myrna Anderson, Ron Higgins, Terri Trick, Mary Jo Geidl, Susie Golden, Sergio Hernandez and Susan Prudente.

Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or 526-8313.

Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,