Paducah, KY – Soon, wrestling may no longer be a foreign concept to high school students in West Kentucky. Although there have been a handful of youth wrestling clubs in the region, few high schools have offered wrestling as an varsity activity.
This is all set to change next month, as the McCracken County Mustangs will field a varsity team for the 2013-14 season.
McCracken County High School is in its first year of existence, and the wrestlers will help shape the culture and future for the school. The high school, which sits on the western edge of Paducah, is comprised of students from the former Lone Oak, Heath, and Reidland High Schools.
John Adams, a business teacher at McCracken County, was instrumental in wrestling being added and will serve as the program’s first head coach. John’s wife, Jennifer, also teaches in the school, meaning the Adamses are certain to have a large impact on the lives of many McCracken County students.
“With the opening of our new school, and the introduction of a new sport to our student body, we are very excited for the new opportunities and experiences that students can take advantage of at McCracken County High School by participating with our wrestling program,” Adams said. “We are grateful for all the resources and opportunities that all the wrestlers of McCracken County, from the youth to high school levels, can take advantage of by being members of the USA Wrestling organization."
In an effort to kick-start the program, Tony Black and Dwaine Cooper from USA Wrestling visited the high school and put on a clinic in early October for the youth and high school wrestlers in the area.
Cooper, USA Wrestling’s Associate Executive Director of Administration, a Paducah native, has not forgotten his roots. A graduate of Tilghman High School in Paducah, Cooper understands the significance of McCracken County’s addition.
“I have no doubt that under John Adams’ vision and leadership that wrestling in McCracken County will be very successful,” said Cooper. “I’m especially proud that young wrestlers in Paducah will now have an opportunity to compete once they’re in high school, too.”
Wrestling in Kentucky has been on a steady rise. Recently, the Kentucky Wrestling Coaches Association hosted its 3rd annual coaches clinic in Louisville, which was highlighted by Olympic Silver Medalist and World Champion Dennis Hall serving as the lead clinician. As opportunities continue to increase, the Kentucky wrestling community is excited about what the future holds for the sport.