YMCA Taekwondo members participate in the championship | New


A dozen members of the Enterprise YMCA Taekwondo school traveled to Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, for the American Taekwondo Foundation (ATF) Gulf Coast Championship over Memorial Day weekend.

This was the final tournament in the ATF National Championship Series for 2021–22. Only the top 5 earning points in each black belt division can compete for the ATF title and they must participate in at least one out-of-state tournament – hence the large number of competitors (over 120 participants in the event).

Carol Dreilinger was the only YMCA athlete to compete in the board breaking competition and won 1st place against two men. One, 3rd degree James Woods of Picayune, MS, remarked that “the first time I met the family I lost to Michael – nearly a decade later I’m in competition with the mother and I lose again!”

In the Girls 10 & Under division, Madalyn Biddle won in-form gold and sparring bronze, while teammate Emma Nickison won in-form bronze. His older brother, Owen Nickison, won silver in form and bronze in sparring in the boys 10 and under ring. Older sister Jordyn won a bronze medal in sparring in the girls 13-15 ring while teammate Jayden Whiting earned 4th and 4th place in the same ring.

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Bert Oggs won informs gold and boys ring sparring silver 11-12 while Antonio Carlton won informs silver and boys sparring gold in ring 13-15 while that teammate Marcus Whiting won gold in forms and silver in sparring in the same ring. Without a doubt, this was the most exciting ring of the competition, with 4 other top contenders vying for national championship points.

On the adult side, Mr. Michael Dreilinger (head instructor and owner of the school) and Ms. Minsoo Ko (like Michael, a nationally certified instructor) judged all the events but did not compete. Mr. Glenn Whiting, competing in the VIP Men 1-2 division, won bronze in both forms and sparring and Ms. Carol Dreilinger won silver medals for forms and sparring in the Womens Executive division for add to his gold from the broken plank.

Not only was this a good warm-up for the ATF NCS tournament in early July, but it’s also great preparation for the Alabama Sports Foundation (ASF) Alabama State Games schedule June 9-11. in the Dothan, Enterprise and Ozark. Several thousand athletes from across the state have signed up for one of two dozen sports. The Alabama State Games medalists earn an invite to the National State Games of America competition scheduled for Ames, Iowa in late July. The SGA has over 16,000 registered athletes in one of 40 different sports. Registration for the Alabama State Games is still open for many sports, including taekwondo.

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