The Bandits Wrestling Club provides youth wrestlers the opportunity to train and compete at beginner, intermediate, advanced and national levels. Beginner wrestlers compete individually in the Northern Virginia Wrestling Federation (NVWF). Intermediate and advanced wrestlers compete as a team in the Capital Area Wrestling League (CAWL), as well as several non-CAWL events. Our best CAWL wrestlers also compete in a national level schedule. The Bandits CAWL program requires significant wrestler and parent commitment, but will maximize wrestler potential.

Wrestler improvement and matriculation to each wrestler’s personal “next level”, as soon as possible, is a key element of the Bandit philosophy. Bandits NVWF coaches attempt to grow wrestlers out of the NVWF and into the CAWL, and Bandits CAWL coaches attempt to grow wrestlers out of the CAWL and into national level competitors.

The Bandits CAWL program supports the transition from NVWF to CAWL by offering reduced registration fees for first year Bandits CAWL program wrestlers who desire to also continue to compete with the NVWF club of choice. Transition wrestlers (e.g. dual CAWL/NVWF registration) are expected to prioritize CAWL program activities over NVWF activities.

Bandits also support the transition from NVWF/CAWL to High School varsity by offering reduced registration fees for 9th grade JV wrestlers. To be eligible, JV wrestlers must be 15 or under on 31 December of the current season. JV wrestlers are encouraged to attend Bandits CAWL practices, but are allowed to practice with their HS. JV wrestlers are issued a Bandits singlet at no cost.

Bandits wrestlers are taught to “Dream-Decide-Do”. “Bandits Style” is aggressive, offensive, and highly technical. Bandits out-work their opponents. Bandits never quit. “Bandits Style” requires wrestlers to give their absolute mental, physical and intellectual best, regardless of the score, time remaining, or quality of opponent. Bandits CAWL wrestlers will often compete against superior competition where losses are probable. Constant improvement in the quality of each wrestler’s performance (vs. match outcome) is the focus. This philosophy has proved to produce the desired results overtime, without “burnout”.

Bandits will provide the coaching and opportunities necessary for wrestlers to become NVWF, CAWL, State, and National Champions while imbuing wrestlers with important values/life skills. Those values/life skills are:

  • Goal setting. Dream-decide to be a Champion this season at the appropriate level. Set longer-term goals as well.
  • Respect oneself. Conduct oneself in school (academics), at home, in practice, and at competitions in a manner that supports achievement of personal and team goals.
    • Effort. Give personal best in every endeavor. Constantly push to achieve new levels of mental, physical and intellectual bests. Show up, pay attention, and work hard in practice. Leave everything on the mat in competitions.
    • Discipline. Do the right thing correctly, every time, even when tired, or when no one is looking. Do not look for shortcuts. Keep composure in competitions.
    • Perspective. Focus on and work at continuous improvement (vs. short-term outcomes) in the quality of your wrestling. Losses expose weaknesses and are an opportunity to learn and improve. Learn from both wins and losses.
  • Respect parents, coaches, teammates, facilities, as well as opponents and Officials (sportsmanship).
  • Selflessness. Contrary to popular opinion, wrestling is a team sport. Put teammates and team first. Be a great workout partner. Warm-up teammates at competitions. Cheer for teammates at competitions. Support achievement of team goals by your presence and performance.
  • Obedience. Coach commands are not optional. Pay attention. In competitions, do what you’ve been taught, do not do what you have not been taught, and listen to your coach.
  • Leadership. Lead by example.

Bandits have a long history of achieving results. In the 2014 VHSL Class 6A State Championships alone, 14 placers (including 3 x State Champions and 2 Runner-ups) were coached by the current Bandits CAWL coaching staff.   When you add in those wrestlers previously coached by legendary Bandits CAWL coach Sam Smith (now being coached by Bryan Hazard at Robinson HS), the number jumps to 20 placers (including 7 x State Champions and 3 Runner-ups). Bandits coaches have a proud tradition of developing more national caliber/ranked wrestlers, at all levels, in all styles, than any other club in VA. Bandits coaches currently have three wrestlers the Blair Academy roster, as well as one 2014 Freestyle World Champion.

Bandits are the best team in NOVA, top 3 in VA, and nationally recognized. During the 2013-14 Season (first year with a new coaching staff), the Bandits CAWL program achieved the following results:

  • 3rd at the CAWL Pre-season Tournament.
  • 2nd at the Wildcat Mid-Winter Classic.
  • 3rd at VAWA States, with age division placements of 1st, 2nd, 4th and 6th.
  • 2nd in the CAWL Dual Championships (1st place was a MD team).
  • 2nd in the CAWL Championship Tournament (1st place was a MD team).
  • Champions of MD-VA States.

Bandits CAWL program coaches also lead Virginia’s largest and best Greco-Roman (GR) & Freestyle (FS) club (“Banditos”) in the spring. The club has won both VAWA Greco-Roman and Freestyle Kids State Championships that past two seasons. The VAWA Kids GR/FS National Team has almost exclusively been comprised of our wrestlers for over five years now, and our wrestlers comprise ~ 33% of the VAWA GR/FS Schoolboy National Duals Team each year.

If your son is committed to greatness, and you are committed to helping him achieve it, then you’ll fit great in the Bandits family.

To receive club communications go to the Communications page and sign-up now for social media and email notices.

Club registration timeframe is September 1st, through November 15th.   Late registrations are accepted, however, the possibility to order uniforms (vs. solely loan a club singlet) will not exist after the deadline.


Last updated on August 18th, 2014

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Where Champions are made!