Minden Press-Herald

Sep 30th

Lakeside to begin varsity wrestling program

The fight is on between Lakeside and Doyline High School, now that a Lakeside Wrestling team has been approved.

"I think it will make for a great local rival and get the kids more incentive to work harder," said Doyline Coach John Smith.

Smith volunteers his time to coach the Doyline team. After interested Lakeside students came to him and asked him how they could have a team, Smith will also be volunteering his time to help get the program going at Lakeside.

"Right now there is no money for new sports or teams in Webster," Smith said. "That's why even though I have a full-time job, it is important to make sure the kids have opportunities like this."

According to Smith, wrestling scholarships are available for many students who participate in wresting.

"If you play football, you have to be one of the top players to get a scholarship," he said. "But with wrestling, every kid has a chance."

Both Lakeside and Doyline wrestling teams are co-ed and have weight classes that accommodate every size of student.

One hundred and six pounds is the minimum weight for the smallest class, while the heavy weight class maximum is 285 pounds.

"With any new sport, people are usually skeptical about how successful it will be," Smith said. "But last year was the first year for there to be a wrestling program in Webster, and we filled the gym at Doyline.

"It is the kind of sport that gets in your blood and you can't turn loose," he continued. "You think football is tough, but football is sissy compared to wrestling."

Smith said he would eventually like to see wrestling at all four high schools in the parish.

"Because you don't have the same class restrictions as you do in football, we can all compete against each other until you get to state," Smith explained. "But it is going to take volunteers and fund-raising to get it going."

People wishing to volunteer their time or help fund the program should contact Smith at 840-3837. Students will be notified of a sign-up sheet at Lakeside in the coming weeks.






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