BRUNSWICK

Wrestling is now an approved sport at Brunswick Junior High School, open to boys ands girls.

School board members at a Wednesday night workshop approved adding the sport to the athletic roster.

The wrestling program will run this year from Feb. 1 to April 1.

“Mt. Ararat will send a coach each afternoon to work with our students at BJHS,” Superintendent Paul Perzanoski said.

It’s been a two- year process to form the team, BJHS Athletic Director Susanna Sharpe wrote in her proposal. For the past two years, “ Brunswick High School students interested in wrestling have been part of a Cooperative team with Mt. Ararat, sanctioned by the [Maine Principals’ Association].

“Prior to that, they participated as individuals with the Mt. Ararat team scoring points for BHS, but now that they are a cooperative team the points go towards the whole team, [Mt. Ararat]/Brunswick.”

Mt. Ararat pursued Brunswick in expanding the sport last year for junior high students. Twenty boys showed up at an introductory meeting. Five boys went to the first wrestling practice at Mt. Ararat Middle School in Topsham. Sharpe said.

“By the end of the first week, two decided it wasn’t for them and the other three couldn’t get regular transportation,” wrote Sharpe. “At the end of the season, I met with the Mt. Ararat people again and we discussed roadblocks for Brunswick students and ways to facilitate, encourage, and increase participation.

Remaining diligent, the Mt. Ararat representatives “returned with a plan that basically removed all roadblocks,” Sharpe said. “ They really want to be more inclusive, get kids involved, and boost their successful program.

Wrestlers will practice in the BJHS gym, probably in the small gym.

“The space is definitely available,” Sharpe told school board members.

Mt Ararat will send a coach to BJHS each afternoon for practice, and will provide wrestling mats, to be be stored at BJHS, and with singlets.

This will be a no- cut sport. Each student will compete in every meet he or she attends.

“They are not asking any financial assistance from us to subsidize the coaching stipend,” Sharpe said.

Meets will be held on Wednesday evenings and Saturday.

Talk of Mt. Ararat working with the Brunswick and Topsham recreation departments to develop an earlier-age wrestling program is underway.

“It’s a great opportunity for a feeder program,” said Perzanoski.

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