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Team Press Releases

Wrestling Club Ready to Begin Practice, Compete in the NCWA

09/13/2011 -

That’s how James Perry, a sophomore, describes the new wrestling team.

Carroll University formally recognized its wrestling team as a club sport in 2011 under coach­es Ben Tomes, a former Pioneer wrestler and now head coach, and Charles Hammack, who wrestled at Gallaudet University.

Although the team will only be competing as a club in the Na­tional Collegiate Wrestling Asso­ciation’s North Central Confer­ence, it is looking forward to the years down the road when active participation could grant them consideration for varsity status and a place in the NCAA.

“But we’re not worried about getting into the NCAA right now,” Perry said. “We just want to secure our position in the NCWA and grow as a pro­gram.”

Carroll’s President Doug Hastad asked Tomes to propose returning wrestling to Carroll in 2007. But Tomes waited to begin forming a program until 2010 when interest in the sport seemed to be peaking. Tomes, along with then-sophomore Tanner Flatland, began rallying interested students.

Tomes encouraged interest­ed Carroll wrestlers to compete in the NCWA. Carroll students could compete since the NCWA does not require a team to have varsity status.

Thanks to the hard work from both Tome and Flatland, the university recognized the team in 2011. After rousing enough interest in Carroll wres­tling to satisfy the Becca Saal, Carroll’s director of recreation, the wrestling club officially be­came an NCWA member.

CarrollUniversity’s wres­tling program began as a stu­dent organization in 1946. The program was successful, earn­ing a College Conference ofIl­linois&Wisconsinteam title in 1961, not to mention 15 in­dividual titles in the CCIW and the Midwest Conference. How­ever, shortly after recognition as a varsity sport, Carroll flushed the program.

Carroll cut wrestling be­cause the number of men in Carroll’s athletics exceeded the number of women in athletics, violating Title IX of the Educa­tion Amendments Acts of 1972, said Nick Seiske, a Carroll alum­nus of 2001.

The law states that “No per­son in theUnited Statesshall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educa­tion program or activity receiv­ing federal financial assistance.”

“I couldn’t wrestle when I got [to Carroll],” said Seiske al­though he wrestled all four years of high school at West Allis Cen­tral and was looking to continue in college.

Carroll also cut wrestling due to lack of finances. But af­ter gaining a majority of the $40,000 Tomes and Flatland asked from Student Senate, Car­roll wrestling could meet such fi­nancial needs as transportation and headgear.

Aspiring Pioneer wrestlers like Perry meet informally with Coach Tomes to practice at Waukesha Mixed Martial Arts, about a mile from the university, where Tomes trains and coaches. Carroll wrestling is the only col­lege wrestling program housed in a mixed martial arts gym. Tomes also opens his mat to any inter­ested women wrestlers through his Women’s Division.

“It’s gonna be a good year,” Perry said. “Should be fun.”

Official practices begin October 17.

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