Petoskey Northmen Wrestling Team: Giving More than Just a Win

2nd Annual Carl Vanderwall Memorial Wrestling Meet

On January 11th, The Petoskey Northmen wrestling team will be focusing on more than just a team victory – but rather a community victory. They are raising money for a local woman who is battling Stage IV “non-small cell” lung cancer.

“I feel as a coach it is my responsibility to not only teach wrestling but to talk about living your life the right way, giving back – so I like that this gives the kids the opportunity to spotlight this,” says wrestling coach Nate Gross.

The beneficiary of this meet, Deb Hency discovered this news on December 5th, 2018. She hopes with chemo she can spend the next 1-3 years with family and friends.

“This is terminal and I would love to do as much as possible with my family before my time is up but I’m keeping a very positive attitude that it’s not going to be up soon,” says Hency.

This annual wrestling meet was founded after the wrestling team lost their coach, Carl Vanderwall to Glioblastoma years ago.

Mat Club President, Annette Beair says, “Everybody in wrestling felt like their family was family. So to keep his legacy going, the team wanted to do a benefit meet in his honor to help support someone in need – a person in the community in need.”

Carl Vanderwall’s son Noah is currently the captain of the team and a senior at Petsokey High School. For him, this event is much more than raising money – it’s a tribute to his father.

“It’s a huge honor. My family and I greatly appreciate it and love to see the community come together to help somebody else out because we know how important that is and how reassuring it is – that someone’s got your back.”

The team will be accepting checks, cash, Paypal, Venmo, Debit, etc. before, during and after the event on January 11th at 2pm at Petoskey High school. There will be a t-shirt sale, silent auction and bake sale. 100% of the proceeds will be going to Deb Hency.

If you are interested in donating or attending the event, contact Annette Beair at (810) 348-8342 or at

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