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Batavia wrestling coach chimes in on economic changes

By Brian Hillabush

 Batavia wrestling coach Rick Stewart figured the school uniforms were coming for state competition. But he thinks the possible $300 charge for Empire State Games participants is going to kill the event.

"It is what it is, but I think there must be another way the state can raise money," Stewart said. "As a coach, if my kid were to make Empires, and it cost $300 to get uniforms and stuff when it was free before, I would still encourage him to do it."

Stewart agrees with most that the hefty cost will deter many athletes from even trying out for the games, but has a good idea on how to keep the numbers up for the scholastic grapplers.

" There is an adult (open) and kids (scholastic) competition," Stewart said. "I would be more than willing to say that the state should furnish the kids, but once you are an adult and have your own job and make money, you can pay to participate - split it in half rather than everybody paying for it. When you are an adult, it is a hobby for you."

As far as schools wearing their own singlets for the state competition and the possibility of having just one champion, Stewart believes New York State is the only one that still has team uniforms for each section - and that small school wrestlers can compete with the big schools.

"Back when I was in school, that's how it was," Stewart said of having a single state champion in each weight class. "I don't think it makes that big of a deal in wrestling. It makes all the difference in the world, but it matters in dual meets. A school like Spencerport or Fairport has twice the number of kids to fill their weight classes."

The Blue Devils are 14-5 and have several potential sectional champions that could contend for a state title.

JT Hunt

the state covers most football/hockey gear costs, right? why not grapplers? better yet, how much does the current athletic director make? i recall when me and rick were at bhs. the lady had a new red sports car every year. have the AD sponsor a few kids. if not for them, he/she would not have a plush job.

Jan 8, 2009, 12:24pm Permalink
JT Hunt

the goalies parents may be proud, but yeah, guess they could have empty wallets. no high school AD should make $75k/yr though! my 20 year tenured math teacher did. he earned it. as does a school superintendent, if not more...

Jan 8, 2009, 6:10pm Permalink
Richard Gahagan

What if they charged money to basketball, baseball, football, etc. players wrestlers, swimmers, track teams, and everyone else to play in the gyms, pools and on the fields. Hockey parents have to pay to rent ice for every game and practice this alone totals thousands of dollars by the time the kids even reach high school. Has nothing to do with any AD's salary.

Jan 9, 2009, 10:55am Permalink
Russ Stresing

I think the obvious difference is that with the exception of pools in some smaller schools, most schools have fields and gyms already. Even without organized competitive sports, gym classes use these facilities, so they exist anyway. An argument might be made for greater equality as far as equipment and uniform costs between football and hockey.

Jan 9, 2009, 12:24pm Permalink

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