Puyallup Youth Win the State Championships

Q&A With Ty Satiacum


On February 18, 2019, the Puyallup Tribal youths on Team Aggression swept the State Championships. Puyallup Tribal member, father and former wrestler Ty speaks on what wrestling means for these kids.

Can you describe the event?
It’s a big event and a state tournament for the youth wrestlers, and it’s the first leg of the Triple Crown for the state. It was at the Tacoma Dome, and completely sold out, so about 1,700 people were in attendance.

All your kids competed this year; how did they feel about competing?
They were excited. They’ve all been wrestling in this competition for a couple of years. Jaxson is a three-time champion. Ty Jr. took third last year, and fifth the year before. So, he was always just a couple of matches away, so to see him win this year was awesome. So, Ty, Jr. won state, Jackson won state, and my 5-year-old, Myles, was a first-year wrestler and he took third.

How did your kids get into wrestling?
I think it was my history with wrestling. I started so late, so I knew when I became a parent I wanted to get them started early. Ty, Jr. fell in love with it, and his brothers followed suit.

Who is Team Aggression?
The kids wrestle in Pierce County Junior Wrestling League (PCJWL), and they also wrestle for a select team, Team Aggression. And Team Aggression made it to state, and they travel nationally. At the end of February we were in Reno, and in the middle of March they’ll compete in Denver at the Rocky Mountain Nationals

What’s it like to be a parent of a student athlete?
It’s a huge time commitment, but it’s a great experience watching your kids
succeed and excel in something that they love. It makes the time commitment worth it, it makes it very enjoyable, and it’s awesome watching their journey.

How is wrestling a part of your culture?
There’s been a history of successful wrestlers and athletes in our Tribal community. And so watching my kids excel in the same sport has been
awesome. They’ve surpassed me in their young careers, and to see them do that at such a young age – you couldn’t ask for anything more as a parent. At 7 and 9 years old, they’re already stacking up all these championships and making a name for themselves.

What does wrestling do for your kids?
For their self-esteem or their work ethic? Wrestling is an amazing sport for children. The reason we have our kids in wrestling is because it’s one-on-one. It’s a one-on-one battle. They learn how to take losses early in life, they learn how to win with grace, and they learn how to lose with grace. It teaches them that you may lose one day and come back and dominate
the next day. As far as work ethic, their practices are tough. They experience adversity in matches and practice, and they have to learn how to deal with those things one-on-one. There’s a lot of emotions involved in the sport. And they have to learn how to process that.

Photos by Puyallup Tribal member Jennifer Squally.