Wrestling paved way for duo’s development (Packer’s Football)


Wrestling paved way for duo’s development

Sport prepared Packers’ defensive linemen Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark for life in the trenches


GREEN BAY – Twenty years ago, nobody in the Daniels household was thinking about the best way to build an NFL defensive lineman.

Mike and Carlene Daniels simply wanted to find a sport that would allow their son, Mike Jr., a chance to burn off some energy like any other 4- or 5-year old.

So Mike Sr. signed his son up for wrestling.

“I thank him to this day for it,” said Mike Jr., now in his fifth season with the Packers. “Because it builds character.”

Before Daniels was a football player, he was a wrestler.

He stuck with the sport even after he started to flourish on the football field. His accolades piled up in both sports, becoming a three-time letterman on the Highland Regional (N.J.) High School wrestling team.

However, Daniels wasn’t a 312-pound nose tackle back then. In fact, he actually cut down to 207 pounds as a senior, so he didn’t have to wrestle at a substantial disadvantage in the heavyweight division, which maxes at 285 pounds in most states.

Wrestling didn’t just allow Daniels to release energy – it showed him a different way of life. It made him cognizant of his diet and emphasized the importance of discipline.

When Daniels finally picked up football, he quickly noticed how the two sports relate to each other, particularly when it came to securing leverage and proper technique.

Daniels’ shorter stature caused many college scouts to overlook him out of high school. He accepted his only Division I offer to Iowa and the rest was history.

Now a fifth-year NFL veteran who received a contract extension in December, Daniels feels his size and wrestling background helped open the door that eventually led him to the pros.

It also underscored a crucial rule – the low man wins.

“I can still draw from some of my teaching until today. It’s unbelievable,” Daniels said. “It builds up a certain type of toughness. It’s a combative sport. A lot of the techniques translate over to football, the mentality being the biggest thing.”

When the Packers drafted Kenny Clark in the first round this year, Daniels already was familiar with the UCLA defensive tackle’s background as a former high-school wrestler.

Hours after Clark’s selection, Daniels sent a tweet to his new linemate.

Another high school wrestler. Welcome to the Pack and let’s get to work!! 

Unlike Daniels, Clark first started wrestling as a sophomore at Wilmer Amina Carter High School in Rialto, Calif., at the insistence of friends and football teammates.

Clark remembers getting manhandled the first time he stepped onto the mat, but he stuck with it and eventually “fell in love” with the sport.

After his sophomore year, Clark won a national freshman-sophomore invitation tournament in Idaho and later went on to make two state appearances in California.

He spent countless hours in the school’s wrestling room with his younger brother, Kyon, who doubled as his partner. While two years Kenny’s junior, Kyon actually was bigger than Kenny with gumby-like flexibility.

Clark could pick up things wrestling when drilling against guys who were lighter than him, but trying to take down Kyon was grueling, especially in the sauna-like conditions of the wrestling room.

“That’s the most flexible guy I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Clark of his younger brother. “I’m working with him all day, picking up a 330-pound guy every day, so I’m going to get strong and picking up those 285 guys (became) easy.

“Just me picking up my brother’s legs or trying to single-leg him or double-leg him, it was so hard because he was so flexible. I could lift up his leg and he wouldn’t go down.”

Those sessions, mixed with his actual matches, taught Clark leverage and body control. It made him a better wrestler, and in the process, a better football player.

The things that made him successful on the wrestling mat – flexibility in his ankles and explosion in his hips – are also what made him thrive on the football field.

It also challenged him mentally, whether it was getting through long workouts or understanding how to counter a 285-pound wrestler exerting pressure on you.

“The biggest thing I’d have to say is it helps you out with leverage and being able to be flexible, to bend,” Clark said. “There aren’t a lot of defensive linemen who (can) really stay low, bend, get off the ball, and be physical. Not often do you find a defensive lineman who can do all those things.”

Clark’s wrestling background was easy for Mike Trgovac to spot when the Packers’ defensive line coach began working with the first-round pick earlier this summer.

Right away, Trgovac noticed how combative he was with his hands and able to secure leverage in battles with offensive linemen.

Daniels and Clark are entirely different players with contrasting skill sets, but Trgovac sees a common thread between the two as a former state champion heavyweight himself.

“With both those guys and myself having a wrestling background, I can talk a certain language to them and they understand,” Trgovac said. “Both of them do a very good job getting their hands inside and working nice and tight hands. Again, they understand leverage very well.”

Daniels still applies many of the same training techniques in his offseason routine, including MMA and combat workouts.

No, Daniels’ father didn’t know his son would one day become a top interior rusher in the NFL, but Mike Jr. remains grateful that he signed him up for wrestling all those years ago.

“If you’re a bigger kid, don’t waste your time playing basketball – go wrestle,” Daniels said. “More than likely you’re going to be a football player – if you so choose to seek athletics in college or professional level. Wrestling is going to get it done for you. That’s just how I view it.”



2016 M-Camp

M Camp 2016 group photo

We had a great youth camp.

40 Club kids

Clinicians: Mukwonago D1 – UNDS recruit Nathan Smith & NCAA D2 Champ Nick Becker did great job. With lots of help from our High School wrestlers/club members giving back. and big thanks to Coach Wierzbicki

Kids had awesome time.

Jesse Thielke & Ben Provisor – Rio 2016

Jesse Thielke & Ben Provisor have been great representatives of the state of Wisconsin for many years with his many wrestling accomplishments. He the will be representing the USA in the Olympics this summer.Help support Jesse, Ben and their families on going to Rio to live there Olympic Dreams !

Jesse Thielke’s link
Ben Provisor’s link


Freestyle /Greco (Jump a Level)

Freestyle /Greco Practice Tuesday April 5th 6pm to 7:45pm.
Freestyle /Greco Practice Thursday April 7th 6pm to 7:45pm.
Franklin Spring Classic Saturday April 9th

Freestyle /Greco Practice Tuesday April 12th 6pm to 7:45pm.
Freestyle /Greco Practice Thursday April 14th 6pm to 7:45pm.

April 17th Sunday End of Year awards banquet 3pm Muk HS
Freestyle /Greco Practice Tuesday April 19st 6pm to 7:45pm.
Freestyle /Greco Practice Thursday April 21st 6pm to 7:45pm.
Stateline Wildcats Tournament [GR/FS] April 23rd

Freestyle /Greco Practice Tuesday April 26th 6pm to 7:45pm.
Freestyle /Greco Practice Thursday April 28th 6pm to 7:45pm.
Elkhorn WC Frestyle/Greco Tournament Saturday April30th

Freestyle /Greco Practice Tuesday May 3rd 6pm to 7:45pm.
Freestyle /Greco Practice Thursday May 5th 6pm to 7:45pm.
Sat & Sun, May 7th & 8th Freestyle / Greco State Wis Dells

Club Banquet/Aw​ards Sunday April 17, 2016 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Club Banquet/Aw​ards Sunday April 17, 2016 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Mukwonago High school Cafe
Please RSVP with how many will be attending so we can plan seating and beverages….
We will be serving BBQ Pork and BBQ Chicken ..
We are asking each Family to bring a Dish to pass… see list below
If last name begins with A-F please bring your favorite Salad
If last name begins with G-K please bring your favoriteDesserts
If last name begins with L-R please bring your favorite Main dish (hot dishes, cheesy potato’s ect…)
If last name begins with S-Y please bring your favoriteAppetizer

Reminder to please return your club Singlet, either at practice Tuesday/Thursdays or last chance the Banquet on Sunday

Update schedule

Next Saturday 3/19/2016 WWF Regionals- Oconomowoc
Saturday evening Regional Party at 18 West (on highway 18 just west of Highway 83)
Folkstyle Nationals
4/1 to 4/3/2016 Folkstyle Nationals, Cedar Falls IA

Sunday 4/17 3PM End of year Banquet Muk HS – Commons

Mukwonago State Qualifiers


The MWC is proud of our 4 Mukwonago state high school qualifiers.

106 – Jake Schulte, 113 – Aaron Schulist, 126 – Nick Armstrong & 132 – Nathan Smith.

This Thursday they will competing at the Kohl Center in Madison.

Head over and cheer them on.

All 4 of these hard working wrestlers started their wrestling careers in the Mukwonago Wrestling Club.

We are so proud of what these 4 have accomplished.



good things to know about the Mukwonago Grizzly Open

Mukwonago Grizzly Open

First thank you for making our Tournament one of the Best in the State. 1st reminder

we are running Split Sessions

Wrestling starts @ 8:30am Sunday for Group#1(youngest) 2009-11, Group #2 2007-08 & Group #5 (oldest) 2001-02 (No 9th graders)

Wrestling will not start before 11:30am Sunday for Groups:  Group #3 2005-06 & Group #4, 2003-04
1) Everyone must weigh in (This is not an honor system tournament.) Weigh in at Mukwonago is from6pm to 7:30pm Saturday. Or if your local club is hosting a satellite weigh in please know when and where the weigh in is from your club coach.

2) Parking – please park in a designated (real) marked parking spot, if you do not you may get towed; Our tournament directors and staff have no authority over this.

3) Please enter through the west side Gymnasium entrance.

4) The brackets will be again posted in the cafeteria and updated as each round is completed.

5) There is no check in, simply arrive early enough to warm up.

6) 2nd session wrestlers will be able to warm up in our wrestler room located on the 2nd floor between the two gyms. (no shoes, no games, only wrestlers warming up allowed)

7) (New this year) We are using the Trackwresting “Assign to next open Mat system” like our regional and state events. Wrestlers will be assigned to one gym, but could wrestle on any of the mats in that gym.  We will have the Mat Assignment Display projected in each gym. As well as the commons.

So know your bout number, Bouts will be assigned as the next available Mat is open.

How to see the Mat Assignment Display on your smartphone:


Select – Tournaments

Select Search and select Wisconsin as the state, then the Event “02/14/2016 Mukwonago Grizzly Open”

Select the Option “Mat Assignment Display”

7) We will have 2 concessions stands running all day. (an express for beverage in the hall and the cafeteria full service) PS we are roasting a pig and will be serving “Pulled Pork Sandwiches”.

8) New this year we have a Tshirt vendor who can print personalized shirts on demand

9) First session will start@8:30am sharp, 2nd session will not start before 11:30am. We will completely finish all matches in the 1st session before starting the 2nd session

9) The MWC is sponsoring a Food Drive in conjunction with our tournament.  Entry Fee will be a Donation of a non-perishable food item or a cash donation for adults. Thank you for helping us support our community.


Grizzly Apparel Open to order

Hello Grizzly Wrestling Families… the apparel website is now open for ordering.

Here are a few details you will need to know:

  • The website is www.grizzly-wrestling.myshopify.com
  • All items are listed under Category, there are 2pgs.
  • Most items are offered in more than one color.  You will be able to see the different colors underneath the large photo when selected.  Select the different color to view larger.
  • If you have any questions regarding your order please call/email or see Denise Belter at 262-470-0961. Emaildmariebelter@gmail.com
  • To guarantee delivery before Christmas (with the exception of Under Amour), all orders must be entered by Tues December 15th at 12am.  I apologize in advance; no exceptions can be made to meet this deadline.
  • ***Any Under Amour products ordered will not be received in time for Christmas.
  • Apparel orders will be handed out at both practice times on Tuesday December 22nd in the hallway between the 2 gyms.
  • With the exception of Under Amour, the website will remain open and orders will be accepted for the entire month of December.
  • ***You will not be able to order Under Amour after 12am on Tuesday December 15th.
  • If your child received 100 points through the Kringle/Pizza fundraiser, you will be receiving a separate email from Coach Randy with order instructions.

Mukwonago Grizzly Wrestling Club

Reminder: Practice Starts Tuesday

Reminder: Practice Starts Tuesday.

We will have the practice table downstairs to take care of fund raising forms, questions, attendance cards, new/additional members.

1) Be early to be on time.  5:30pm K-3rd / 6:45pm 4th-8th

2) remember to sign in.

3) bring your own sealed water bottle

4) parents/quiet in room during practice…