Wrestling mats will be rolled out on City League gymnasium floors next school year.
After a three-year absence from the City League’s high school athletic calendar, wrestling will return to Toledo Public Schools’ six high schools.
"It’s really good for the kids to bring back wrestling," Start athletic director Jan Dermer said.
A unanimous vote was made by the TPS school board on Tuesday night to reinstate wrestling as an extra-curricular activity for City League high schools. Wrestling was one of several afterschool activities that were eliminated in 2010 as part of district-wide budgetary cuts.
Wrestling’s return is a welcome change.
"I’m extremely excited for our athletes to get a chance to do something else in the wintertime," Bowsher athletic director Terry Reeves said.
The Rebels’ AD coached wrestling for 31 years and remains a supporter of the sport. Reeves believes bringing back wrestling to City League high schools will fill a noticeable void during the winter months, the time of year when the Ohio High School Athletics Association-sanctioned wrestling season takes place.
The TPS board’s cuts in 2010 eliminated all middle school sports programs (basketball, track, cross country, volleyball, and wrestling), freshman-level high school sports, and a number of minor varsity sports, including wrestling, cross country, golf, boys tennis, and ice hockey. The cuts reportedly were made to save nearly $900,000. High school wrestling becomes the latest sport being restored to the City League schools.
Dermer said bringing back wrestling to the high schools will give student-athletes who like to wrestle a chance to get on the mat and represent their respective schools. She said more than 40 high school-aged student-athletes had already begun wrestling after school alongside younger wrestlers who compete in middle school.
The school board approved wrestling at the middle schools a year ago.
Reeves said the decision to bring wrestling back will require the six TPS high schools (Bowsher, Rogers, Scott, Start, Waite, Woodward) to find coaches for the teams.
"I think we’re going to have to post those jobs mid to late August," Reeves said.
TPS athletic director Ed Scrutchins was unavailable to comment for this story.
Start loses track title over ineligible athlete
Start's celebration over winning a City League boys track championship for the first time in more than two decades wasn't long lasting.
Less than a week after taking the title at Rogers, it was ruled the Spartans would have to hand over the trophy to Rogers because of a determination that Start had competed with an ineligible athlete.
Start compiled 158 points in the meet to 152 for runner-up Rogers. The Spartans had last won a CL title 22 years ago.
"I'm happy for our kids," Rogers coach Eric Browning said. "I felt they deserved to win."
Start athletic director Jan Dermer said she would not comment until after meeting with school and City League officials.