After a decade and a half of dormancy, high school wrestling is coming back to Big Fork this school year.
As long as the appropriate funds are raised that is.
Bigfork High School voted last week to add wrestling as a competitive sport for its enrolled students with plans for a team to be added for the upcoming 2013-14 school year. But without available money from the district to fund the sport, the new Vikings team must raise the sum itself.
Required backing is expected to clock in at around $11,000.
Bigfork lost its wrestling program to budget cuts in the late 1990s but interest remained in the area. The Bigfork Little Guy Wrestling Club, a youth wrestling organization, was established in 2007 with the hopes of starting a feeder program for the potential return of the high school team at some point down the road. More than 50 young wrestlers currently compete with the club between the ages of 7 and 14.
The interest and support have helped fill out Bigfork’s initial roster in the return to wrestling with 20 boys already signed up to hit the mats this winter. That number does not include incoming freshman, who since the BLGWC began have been within the club’s targeted age range.
Bigfork Viking Wrestling has begun its fundraising venture but is asking the community and wrestling fans everywhere for that extra push. Kelly Rieke and Paul Vallely have taken on the roles of support coordinators and any potential donations should be directed to them.
Donations can be made to Bigfork “Wrestling Club-BHS” and sent to Rieke at 655 Lee Road, Bigfork, MT 59911.