It matters little that the high school wrestling season is still a ways off. The Benson Bobcats are already hard at it, informally mixing fun, wrestling and learning.

The Bobcats just returned from a team trip last week. After a brief practice session Thursday at 7:30 a.m., it was off to the International Wildlife Museum in Tucson then to the far western reaches of the state to Yuma, where the Bobcats wrestled with Yuma Catholic, Yuma High, Kofa and California high schools.

A trip to the Yuma Territorial Prison Museum and a day in the Colorado River followed after a night’s sleep on the mats.

“After that we headed to Mesa high school where we had a great wrestling session with a lot of their kids,” explained Benson wrestling coach Ben Katshor. “Mesa high showed what real wrestling hospitality is like. There were no egos in the room and after a great wrestling session, they cooked out for us and made sure that the Benson wrestlers ate first and we all hung out and were able to build some camaraderie with their team.”

The team trips are way for the Bobcats to gain valuable mat time going head to head with other competitors while also enabling the Bobcats time to bond as a team.

“The kids improved so much just in that little bit of time and grew as a team by leaps and bounds,” said Katshor. “The kids saw that there are kids working hard every single day of the off season to get better… They saw some wrestlers that they saw last year.”

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