The Wash High problem

One of my friends who follows wrestling in this area was talking about my previous story on Washington possibly eliminating the wrestling program. His comment stuck with me, because I think it's not only true but also holds the solution to resurrect the program.
"You can't kill a program that's been dead for the last five years," he said.
He's right.
At one point, Washington High School's wrestling program was as successful and talented as any in Class AA. It wasn't that long ago that the Prexies were winning team titles, crowning WPIAL champions and getting placement medals at the state tournament. Now, the Prexies struggle in all those categories.
It's a numbers problem. That problem was caused when the school board - not this one making the decision on the program's future - eliminated the junior high program five years ago. It cut the flow of talent into the varsity, leaving a gap between the youth program and the high school.
No wrestling program can survive over a long period of time without a feeder system. Athletes, who reach that abyss, get frustrated and choose other sports. Wrestling is not like football or basketball, where you can hone your skills on a court or on a field. Wrestling needs the progression of athletes from youth, to junior high, then varsity to remain competitive.
I don't know what the school board will do after Monday's meeting. There were so many people who came to support not just wrestling but tennis and soccer, too. Those sports also are on the chopping block.
If there is a desire to save wrestling, then the board must go all the way, and also revive the junior high program. I understand the costs involved and I know the district is looking to cut, not add, to the budget. The wrestling program needs a feeder system to thrive again, which would mean larger crowds and more tickets sold for dual meets if it's successful. In that way, it would not be a major drain on the budget.
Leaving the wrestling program as is is a gamble because the numbers will stay low without a feeder system and the question of whether to continue the program will be brought up again.
Then, we will go through this all over again.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are very good club wrestling organizations at the junior high level in other states. You don't need a junior high program within the school system to have good junior high age wrestlers. This is just the first of many programs to fall. NY schools have no extra activities in their junior high programs. Atlanta just dropped all of their's. Your about 5 years out to see it hit your school system. Last years was a big hurdle to get over balancing school budgets but it will get worst. Bottom line - there should not even be a Washington School District. There should be one school district within Washington County. What a waste of taxpayer money paying 14 Superintendents a salary when there should be one person holding this position. That's just one job. Look at all the other system waste within the school systems.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 7:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are talking wrestling here not politics. Go take it up with the Governor ...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 7:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wash. High should simply begin having wrestlers who actually live outside the district come wrestle for their team; this isn't a huge deal and its not enforced at the PIAA; they could also get wrestler form other other to come fill some of the spots they are short in.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 7:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually I think they should co-op with Peters or Trinity. Sam e with football and hoops . And if that don't work char -lee roy....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 8:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the near future wash high will be merging with your beloved trinity to create a quad a school. This will also occur in other districts as well. You can't take it up with the governer because he is an ass. He won't tax gas drilling because he thinks they will drill some where else and loose jobs but how many jobs are being cut in higher education. What a bleeping moron. I wonder what cm will do when all their funding is gone? politics are exactly the reason why wash high is loosing their wrestling team and their identity. It always starts with the poor areas first and nothing is done about it untill it affects the bigger schools who have people with clout to do something about it. Wash high was the meca of youth wrestling back in the day. look at it now. What a shame! Who will be next?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what the people will do when they lose they're sports programs 1.20 am .The dummies will vote Corbett back in . you think he's a moron !!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 7:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea I think the State government should raise taxes on all of us. Especially those rich people. The government could fix what's wrong if it just had more money.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 7:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is wrong is the unions and small town power school boards within schools systems making the taxpayer be taxed on unnecessary expense. My example of just one job in Washington county instead of 14 though I think I miss quoted. I think there are 13 districts in the county. Say this position on average pays 100,000 a year. That is 1.3 M you are paying. You could hire the best of the best for 200,000 and save 1.1 M. Imagine other savings within the system. Imagine putting that savings into programs for actual students - athletics, arts, etc. Not taking away programs like wrestling, band, etc. You still have most high schools CM, Ringold, Trinity, etc., it just falls under Washington County School District. PA has 501 school Districts, Maryland has 35. Need to change this first before tapping into the elimination of school activities for students. Students without something to do leads to trouble and non-development. We need to embrace change for the greater good and consolidate school districts as a cost cutting strategy while continuing student programs.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 8:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or you could have your kid do janitorial work at the school. My goodness we don't want a man or woman making a living wage now go we? . So let's hire the 10 year old ... Give me a break!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 8:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:53 I loved it. Your very funny. Its interesting how quickly a story on wash high wrestling turns back to canon Mac, what do they have to do with it? Their win was impressive I'll give them that but I don't want to turn every news story into the canon Mac talk hour. Let's all try to stick to the topics at hand. You can't depend on clubs to keep a program filled. You have to have a feeder program within the school to keep the interest. I do agree budget cuts will take their toll and it won't be long befour they merge with trinity. I would picture a lot of merges happening.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 8:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wash High's biggest problem is they can't beat South Fayette.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 9:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is sad but it probably has to be done. Chris Tarr and the others have great intensions in mind but the problem is all their stats and memories are from the past. That's the problem. The PAST is over and the school boards owe it to the taxspayers and the school to look at today and the future and do what is best for the education of ALL the students. Putting money into a program that has been dead for years is not a smart choice. Wash Hi wrestling fans ( the very few that's left ) shouldn't feel bad because I think in the near future you will see Avella,Beth-Center,and other AA schools with half a team dropping the DEAD sport also. If anyone has gone to matches this year they will have to admit to themselves that the competition this year is as bad as it has ever been. If they don't then they are fooling themselves. Look at how many 45 minute or half hour matches there was this year. All due to lack of kids interested and lack of fan interest. There is no choice (sad but true)but to drop the wrestling programs.

Thursday, February 16, 2012 7:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the writer above. If a person wants to make easy money they should be a wrestling ref. You show up and Ref 7 or 8 matches (maybe 1 goes 6 minutes) the rest are forfiets - get paid good wages and go home. later

Thursday, February 16, 2012 12:23:00 PM  

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