Princeton High School wrestling coach Steve Amy was disappointed by a recent decision by the Princeton Elementary School District 115 Board of Education about the Logan Junior High program.
By a 3-3 vote with one member absent the board did not pass a proposal to allow fifth graders to wrestle at Logan.
“There was no downfall to them,” Amy said. “It didn’t do anything for them other than open the door for other fifth grade sports.”
Amy and others on the high school and Tiger Town Tanglers, the local youth program, presented the idea of fifth graders wrestling to superintendent J.D. Orwig in the spring and again in the fall.
While Orwig was not in favor of adding fifth graders to the wrestling team, Amy said, he told the group to take it to the board since it had done all the necessary steps.
Amy said he thinks adding fifth graders is beneficial to the Logan and Princeton High School programs.
“It would be a fifth to eighth grade team so they’d all be helping the team out,” Amy said. “We don’t have any 65- or 70-pound kids in sixth, seventh or eighth grades on the team, so we want to try to find some fifth graders so we can fill those weights. These kids go to dual meets and they’re already down however many points due to forfeits because they can’t fill the lower weights.”
Amy said it also will give more athletes the opportunity to wrestle and provide a different experience for the wrestlers involved in Tiger Town Tanglers.
“For Tiger Town, the parents have to take them every Sunday if they want to go to tournaments and they have to pay the extra to go,” Amy said. “It’s early mornings on Sundays. In junior high, we’re loading them on the bus and taking them to events and we’re in charge of them. They have dual meets during the week so they’re getting extra wrestling in and they’re getting the team aspect of the sport not just the individual in a club where you can come and go as you please. The kids are expected to be at practice every day, make the meets and be at the right classes. We teach them how to eat right and how to train right.”
Amy said adding fifth graders would be no additional cost to the school. Logan’s wrestling team is funded by Tiger Town Tanglers with the district’s only expense being transportation.
“We have coaches in place, we have uniforms bought and they don’t even take up practice space at the junior high because they practice at the high school,” Amy said.
Amy said the group plans to bring it back to the board with the hope of getting a vote will all seven members present.
Board president Steve Bouslog did not respond to a request for comment.