Wrestling Team Grapples for Practice Space


Photo from James Simpson

Kaia Bonilla

Gaither’s wrestling team does not have a safe, consistent place to practice. 

Currently, the wrestling team practices wherever there is open space. Sometimes practice is in the lunchroom or in the gym. The most common place they practice is in the hall behind the gym’s bleachers.

Wrestler Connor Golden has been hurt a few times from practicing in such a confined space.

“I remember falling back and a screw that was sticking out of the wall punctured my back,” Golden said.

“Other schools, like Sickles and Freedom, have wrestling rooms,” senior wrestler Brandon Chung said.

Once upon a time, the team practiced in what is now the weight room. There were never accommodations made for the team. It is unclear why this occurred. 

“At this point we just need a non-used room,” senior Zak Johnson said.

Some of the team members were asked how they feel about their practice situation, and said “upset” is an understatement.

After a few attempts, head wrestling coach Mike Drapeau was unavailable for comment. 

When signing up for wrestling, the risk of injury is understood, but being thrown into a wall and suffering a concussion isn’t part of this agreement.