News: Lejeune Grappling Team Marines take fight to Virginia
Story by Cpl. Bruno Bego
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Members of the Lejeune Grappling Team participated in a North American Grappling Association tournament at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton, Va., June 23.
Sgt. James W. Bridger, a combat engineer, and Lance Cpl. Alex Chen, a ground radio repair technician, both with 2nd Marine Logistics Group, and Sgt. Xavier R. Cameron, a field wireman with 2nd Marine Division, competed in the intermediate and beginner categories.
Lance Cpl. Matthew M. Johnsongrant, a machine gunner with 2nd MarDiv and a member of the team, expressed his thoughts about his teammates’ performance during the competition.
“I think we did pretty well,” Johnsongrant said. “We are taking some medals home, but I think the most important part is the experience.
“We come out here to learn, to compare ourselves to other competitors and to bring that experience back home, so we can train and improve our techniques,” he explained.
Chen, one of the team members who participated in the tournament, described how he feels about representing the Marines Corps in the sport.
“I love the sport and I love being here with the team,” Chen expressed. “I think this is a good way to demonstrate that we are aggressive and at the same time professional.”
Chen made it clear during the tournament that Marines are all about competing, and although none of them took first place in any of their categories they sure made their opponents work for it.
“It was intense, we made them work for their medals,” Chen added. “But, like I always say, this isn’t about winning or losing. This is about getting better every time.”
Only three members of the team were able to participate in the tournament. Two received a medal for third place and one for second place in their respective categories.
“We are taking the videos back home to see what we did wrong and what we did right,” Chen concluded. “Next time our fellow competitors see us, we’ll be stronger and better.”