http://mv-voice.com/print/story/print/2014/02/28/bringing-back-wrestling


Mountain View Voice

News - February 28, 2014

Bringing back wrestling

Parents, boosters, school officials looking to return sport to MVHS

by Nick Veronin

A group of local parents are prepared to go to the mat in support of a proposal to bring back Mountain View High School's long-discontinued wrestling program.

Bob Capriles, the father of a freshman, and Mike Johnson, president of the school's Sports Boosters, say it's high time to rebuild the Spartan wrestling program.

"I think it really needs to be brought back to the high school," Johnson told the Voice — especially in light of the fact that we are the only high school in Santa Clara County without a wrestling program."

According to Capriles, the lack of a Spartan wrestling team is even more vexing when one considers that both of Mountain View's feeder schools — Blach and Graham — have strong wrestling programs.

Dave Grissom, principal of Mountain View High School, said he doesn't want to rule out an eventual return of wrestling to his school. However, bringing the program back could prove tricky, he explained.

"We haven't said now," Grissom said. "I have some concerns whether it's doable, based on a lack of facilities."

According to Grissom, space at the school is very tight as it is, and scheduling practice for athletic programs and clubs is difficult. The school also doesn't have much of the equipment needed to start a wrestling team — including uniforms, practice mats and competition mats.

"Once the sport is established, it's not a real expensive sport, but there are some outgoing costs initially," the principal said, adding that the athletic budget is very tight, which would make it difficult for the school to afford to launch a wrestling program.

Johnson said he is sympathetic to Grissom's concerns about lack of space and the costs associated with starting a wrestling program from scratch.

That's why Johnson and the Sports Boosters have been working to help make the return of wrestling possible. If Capriles can raise money and support among MVHS parents, Johnson said the Sports Boosters will make a financial contribution as well.

Capriles' son Davy said he hopes his father and the Sports Boosters are successful in their efforts. Davy began wrestling at Blach Intermediate School. Now, as a freshman, he said he misses the sport.

"It was really disappointing coming into Mountain View (High School)," Davy said, referring to the absence of a wrestling team. He is sure that some of his friends feel the same way. "I have friends from Blach who were upset that there wasn't wrestling at Mountain View."

Shelley Smith, the school's athletic director, said that Davy might just get his wish.

"Of course we'd like to see it," Smith said.

As far as funding goes, Smith said he believes that will be the easier of the two hurdles. The athletic director said he is quite sure there will be enough support for a program, and that with adequate support, the parents, the boosters and the district would find a way to get the money.

"I think if we can identify a viable facility or area where we can house the sport — that's the first step."

According to Smith, "it's crazy" how limited space is for athletic programs on the campus. With all of the school's sports teams and clubs, and with the addition of outside groups vying for access to facilities after school and on the weekends, the school is "maximizing as much room as we have."

Smith said he even heard a rumor that space may have been the ultimate reason the program was discontinued in the first place, though he said he couldn't be sure.

Johnson is also optimistic — even about finding space. He compared the issue to a young couple having children.

"Before you have kids, you think to yourself, 'How am I going to find time?'" he said. "But you find time." Johnson said he is certain there is plenty of support for the program.

"It's only a matter of time," he said.

Email Nick Veronin at nveronin@mv-voice.com

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