Talk of the Town - Raw wrestling December 04 2002

By day, Kyle Matthews is a typical 15-year-old high school sophomore and wrestler at South Cobb. But Sundays Kyle transforms into the U.S. Kid — a one-man wrecking crew of devastation battling the forces of evil — as long as the script calls for it.

Kyle is the crowned champion of a new teen wrestling program called Wrestling Run based in Rome.

According to Mike Partain, one of the facilitators of the program, the kids get disciplined in the golden rule of professional wrestling: "Nobody tries to hurt anybody." Teens don't perform the crazy, high-flying stunts that one might see on "WWE Raw" and safety is first, with an emphasis on ground wrestling.

Many kids who love wrestling and want to do it as a career get caught up in the "backyard wrestling" phenomena where kids throw each other through flaming tables from second story roofs. This program, on the other hand, trains teens in acting — er, wrestling — skills, especially how to work a crowd.

For Kyle Matthews, the thrill of the whole thing is worth the drive and the three to four hours of grueling mat work. And when he's done and watches the wrestlers on TV, he feels he has a leg-up on the competition.

br>Sundays 1-4:30 p.m. Send name, age, weight, contact info to: YesWay, Box 2411, Acworth, GA 30102. 770-428-4171 or 706-291-8115.??