Several parents attended the Riverside School Board agenda setting meeting on Monday, Oct. 12 to inquire about a potential Riverside wrestling program.
Visitor Rani Schweiger asked the Board if there was interest in either establishing a Riverside wrestling team or forming a Co-Op with Ellwood City.
Superintendent Dr. David Arney said that because of how imminent winter sports season is, it is more practical to look into having Riverside athletes wrestle as independents for the 2015-16 school year.
Schweiger countered that wrestling as an independent is an entirely different experience for athletes than having the support of a team. “My son qualified for states as an individual, but his best memories were of his team,” Schweiger said.
Arney also said it would largely be up to the host school, Ellwood City, to decide on a Co-Op. One possible, and undetermined, concern is if a co-op would move Ellwood’s wrestling from AA to AAA.
“What do we have to do to take the next step?” visitor Ray Gallenz asked.
Schweiger echoed this sentiment by asking the board what was required to show there was enough interest among parents and teachers.
Vice President Paul Carver, who presided over the meeting in the absence of President Robert Snyder, attempted to bring the discussion to a close.
“We’ve spent enough time discussing this matter,” Carver said. “There has never been enough sustained interested in wrestling to support a team.”
In wrestling, there are around a dozen weight classes. If one weight class isn’t filled, the team forfeits points. Hence, teams with an athlete in each weight class have a significant advantage over incomplete teams.
“Ellwood has had a program and off, and this one will probably die on its own as well,” Carver said.
The Ellwood City school board has not yet been reached for comment, but one member indicated he would be fine with a Co-Op.