New Jersey teen wrestler starts nonprofit for student athletes

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Laura Behnke has the story.

It's not easy being a student athlete these days. Balancing school work and practices can be very overwhelming.

Joey Butler, an eighth grader in New Jersey is proving he can handle all of that - all while helping others.

Joey has been wrestling since he was five years old.

"I love the sport - the physicality, just being independent," he says.

However, just being a wrestler wasn't enough. Now 14 years old, when he was just nine, Joey noticed athletes having to share wrestling shoes at a tournament in New Jersey, and wanted to help.

"You know, from our perspective it was a great teaching moment as a parent, that he would see something like that and would actually want to go into action on it," said Joey's dad, Joe Butler.

With the help of his family, Joey created 'Wrestle in my Shoes,' a non-profit that collects gently used wrestling shoes and equipment, giving them to kids who otherwise wouldn't be able to participate.

"Giving a whole team a pair of shoes, it doesn't seem like a lot, but that's a lot - it really makes a huge difference," said trainer Nick Roy.

So far Joey has donated $40,000 worth of wrestling gear.

"He's learning to give back to other people - the sport has really given him so much," said Joey's dad.

Next year, Joey will head to high school - as he grows, so do his goals, both personal and for his nonprofit.

"My goal is to become an NCAA champion and an Olympic champion," he said.
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