Farwell Wrestling Club Will “Keep Pushing Forward” After 3 Arrested For Embezzling

“It was in the $10,000 range of money that was embezzled,” says Russell Brugger, Farwell Elite Wrestling Club president. “It impacts real hard.”

Three people are all facing criminal charges in Clare County.

Investigators say they stole thousands of dollars from a youth wrestling club.

The Clare County Court says Jason and Amanda Blain, along with Michelle Voories, embezzled between $1,000 to $20,000 from the former Farwell Youth Wrestling Program.

Members say they were part of the nonprofit.

“This is the second hit that we’ve taken in the last two years of two different incidents.”

First allegations of sexual misconduct against a *former coach — now this.

For Russell Brugger, the club’s president, it’s two times too many.

“It’s hard,” Brugger says. “I mean, it’s just hard to think that people will take advantage of the youth programs like they have.”

Few details have been released on the club’s depleted bank account.

The club has kept wrestling, even under the circumstances.

“It shows we have the capabilities within our community,” Brugger says. “The kids enjoy it. It gives them a chance to make new friends and become a big wrestling family.”

Brugger says five years ago, they had nearly 50 athletes. Now, only 18.

He does say for the school, the importance lies in the fact there are no other options.

“It helps brings kids together after school,” says Harris Schaub, the club’s new head coach. “They don’t have many programs that they are offering these days.”

Coach Schaub says it’s the only wrestling program left in Farwell and hopes the theft doesn’t hurt the kids.

“I’ve wrestled in high school and I couldn’t imagine wanting to sign up for a wrestling team and not having it,” Schaub says. “The thought of having to travel somewhere else to wrestle, not everybody can do that. A lot of them have the drive to keep going and they want to do it.”

The three are expected back in court in January.

While the team aims at finishing strong, still planning to host a tournament on January 6.

“Just maintain a level head,” Schaub says. “Keep pushing forward with a positive attitude.”

“We have to figure out how to move forward and we will move forward,” Brugger says. “We have in the past. We will again.”