Wrestling To Return To Jamestown CC Athletic Program

By Jamestown CC | Oct. 17, 2001, 12 a.m. (ET)
Intercollegiate wrestling will return to the athletic program at the Jamestown Community College Jamestown Campus as early as the Fall 2002 semester. The announcement was made by JCC officials and area wrestling enthusiasts at a news conference.

With 21 high schools offering varsity wrestling in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, it's clear that a strong base of potential student athletes exists," said William Burk, JCC's director of athletics. "We've seen interest in wrestling every year since the program was discontinued in 1983." According to Gary W. Winger, dean of administration and development at JCC, "The college and the JCC Faculty Student Association made a commitment to budgeting the return of wrestling for the 2003-2004 academic year, but thanks to overwhelming support from the local wrestling community, we believe that can happen as early as next fall. Athletics add to the collegiate experience and we are pleased to see our program expand with support from the community." The Southern Six Wrestling Club, an organization of area wrestling supporters, petitioned the college to offer wrestling and has agreed to conduct a fund drive to advance the sport's return to Fall 2002. "With so many of our young people leaving our area for other jobs or schools, we feel confident that a local college program would help to keep more of our youth here for their college years and hopefully for employment in our area," said Dan Hicks, the club's vice president. The organization is committed to raising $18,000 to kick off the program in 2002-2003 and then $9,000 in the program's second year and $3,000 in the third year. "Wrestling is a strong part of JCC's athletic history," said Burk. "This partnership with Southern Six is certain to perpetuate JCC wrestling excellence." Burk noted that the college had ten National Junior College Athletic Association All-Americans in wrestling while the sport was offered here. Gregory Fish, executive director of JCC's Faculty Student Association and NJCAA men's athletics regional director, noted that a key reason for terminating wrestling at JCC in the early 1980s was the absence of competitors in the region. "Wrestling has experienced a resurgence in Region III," Fish said. "We will be the eighth NJCAA college in the region to offer wrestling in 2002-2003 and one of 21 Division 3 teams in the nation." According to Burk, the college will be hiring a wrestling coach this fall to begin designing the program and recruiting student athletes for next fall. JCC's intercollegiate athletic program currently includes men's and women's basketball, soccer, swimming, diving, and golf; women's volleyball and softball, and men's baseball.