Three and a half weeks after an accidental fire destroyed the Blackman Wrestling facility, parents, coaches and wrestling fans are anxious to get some answers and get their kids back on the mat!
When school starts in August, the wrestling community breathes a sigh of relief because wrestling season is right around the corner!! Ordinarily, the Blackman High school and middle school club team would start light practices during the second week of school. At this point, we are still unsure of where those practices will be held and whether or not they will be able to start on time.
But have no fear! Wrestling brings together one of the most caring and close-knit groups of all sports. We are receiving hundreds of messages and phone calls from people who are hoping to see us all get back to work. We appreciate everyone’s concern and support and have been humbled by the outreach from those of you in the community who have asked what they could do to help.
At this time, we don’t know much. Coach Bray is working on getting some used wrestling mats and in conjunction, we are all working on securing a suitable place to practice. At this time, there are no details on exactly when and where the teams will practice but we have a good idea and hopefully we will get some good news soon!
Some quick history: In year’s past, before Blackman High School was a state wrestling power, the team practiced in the cafeteria or in the band room at Blackman High. The cafeteria was a huge problem with wrestlers running into the concrete support beams that are in there. In addition, wrestlers must deal with common bacteria and fungi that are associated with close contact sports and no one wants to mix their lunch with staph or ringworm!! Back in 2010, the wrestling team used the band room which is carpeted on the floors and walls. It didn’t take long for the band director to complain that they couldn’t get the smell of blood, sweat and tears out of their room!!
As soon as we have an update, we will post and let people know what exactly we need. In the meantime, if you have ever practiced at Blackman, went to a Fight Night, had an AAU weigh in, or if you just love wrestling and want to help, please consider going to the GoFundMe sponsored by the Blackman Wrestling Club and make a donation! The link is www.gofundme.com/blackmanwrestling