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California High School considers adding wrestling

California High School considers adding wrestling

August 8th, 2018 by Kevin Labotka in Sports

California High School is the only school in the Tri-County Conference that does not have a wrestling team.

Athletic Director Rick Edwards said the school is looking at eventually adding the sport.

Edwards said adding the sport would not be that expensive. But adding a wrestling team could cause some issues with Title IX, and there is also the issue of whether there would be enough gym space for the sport.

"You have to look at Title IX issues. If you are adding an opportunity for sports for males you have have to add one for females," Edwards said. "Do we have enough room for it? That is going to be a problem, because we are short on gym space as it is. Those are a few of the issues we are running up against."

Interest in wrestling is another problem that may appear, if a team was added.

"Those are the discussions we will have when it becomes time to see if we are going to add wrestling or not," Edwards said.

The idea of how to build the wrestling program is something that needs to be discussed, as Edwards said they learned of different ways to add the program.

"There are different schools, that we have talked to, that have added it in different ways," Edwards said. "Some of them had just started a high school program, some of them started with junior high and high school at the same time, some of them have started at junior high and then worked it on up so that they have better numbers."

Edwards said that there have been a few parents and student-athletes who have wondered about wrestling, but it has not been a large number.

"There have been a few parents that have made some comments about it; there's been some student-athletes (who have) said 'hey, we would like to have it,'" Edwards said. "That was basically when I was coaching football. I was with those kids all the time and those kids would say 'hey, when are we going to add wrestling?' and things like that. There have been a few students but not a lot and again I think that comes down to experience where our kids aren't involved."

If wrestling is added, Edwards thinks it will take a few years to get the program going, because so few students are involved in outside of school wrestling.

"I think it would, because we don't have that many kids who do it," Edwards said. "There may be more than this, but I only know of one kid in K-12 that wrestles and he goes to Jeff City to wrestle.

"I think that is going to be one of the biggest hardships we have is that we don't many kids involved, therefore we don't have experienced kids and it is a sport our kids are not doing now, so numbers would be a concern."