The All-Marine Wrestling Team competes year-round on the national and international stage. On Saturday, active-duty Marines and Sailors are invited to compete in the Lejeune Open, a folkstyle wrestling tournament at the Goettge Memorial Field House on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
All-Marine Wrestling Head Coach Jason Loukides wants to see some fresh faces this weekend as a chance to grow the wrestling family at Camp Lejeune.
“We’re looking forward to seeing Marines compete at this tournament,” Loukides said. “It’s an opportunity for Marines to show what they have and also for us to scout new talent.”
As a three-time champion of the Lejeune Open, Lance Cpl. Andrew Collins is thankful for the chance he got to compete. Collins is now on temporary additional duty (TAD) with the team.
“I saw the advertising for the Lejeune Open on social media,” Collins said. “I did my research on Coach [Jason Loukides] and I saw that he is one of the best in the world.”
Collins is a Water Purification Technician and served with 2nd Medical Battalion on MCB Camp Lejeune before coming to the team in February 2019. Collins took third place when he first competed in the Lejeune Open.
“I expect for this time around to have more Marines come out and [wrestle],” Collins said. “Wrestlers will be able to meet the coach and have fun during the [tournament].”
Sgt. Josh Medina, currently TAD with the All-Marine Wrestling Team, uses his international wrestling experience to his advantage on the mat. Medina is a member of the Puerto Rico National Team and won the Puerto Rico National Tournament in December 2018.
“I competed in the Puerto Rico nationals tournament and it was nerve wracking because it was my first Greco-Roman style tournament,” Medina said. “Wrestling with the team [provides] the best feeling in the world. One, because I am a Marine and two because I’m doing something that I love, which is wrestling.”
Medina is a Motor Transportation Operator and served with Marine Wing Support Squadron 471 Detachment A located in Johnston, Pennsylvania before coming to the All-Marine Wrestling Team in November 2018.
“I spoke to Coach Loukides a lot and he told me that I need to show up and prove that you want it that bad to be able to join the team,” Medina said.