More wrestling in Putnam

By Brandon Bush


Although I am a lifelong fan of many sports, my actual athletic experience is quite limited.

I tried out many different sports growing up; after learning that I had neither the grace for basketball or soccer nor the attention span or patience for baseball, as well as geographical limitations keeping me from playing hockey (I doubt I had the grace for this one either), I ended up putting all my chips on football.

I’ve played defensive lineman for most of my football life, and it was a simple enough activity for somebody like me: crash into the other large individual in front of you, move him out of the way and tackle the smaller individual with the leather ball behind him before he gets to my side of the field. In time, football not only became the only sport I played, but it became my favorite sport and I even got pretty good at it.

By the time late-middle school and high school rolled around, I managed to find a second sport: track and field (emphasis on the “field” part; I’m not a fan of running). Although I primarily used track as a supplement to my offseason workouts for football, I genuinely enjoyed my time on the track team, even winning the region championship in shot put my sophomore year.

My athletic career effectively ended after I graduated high school. A year later, my high school added a new sport, one that I knew I would have enjoyed had it not come at an inconvenient time: wrestling.

Although I’m not sure if I would have been as enthusiastic at the time (my main concern after finishing football was leaving JMA and never looking back), I’ve become more interested in the sport in the years since graduating. My father began helping get the program off the ground at JMA, and my younger brother became a formidable high school wrestler, placing in tournaments at both the region and state levels.

Although I haven’t been able to physically attend a Gatewood wrestling match, I’ve enjoyed providing coverage for the team this season as it continues to rebuild the program after many years of dormancy. However, working with Gatewood’s wrestlers led me to ask an important question:

Where are the War Eagle wrestlers?

Putnam County High School does not have a wrestling team, and I’m not sure if it had one in the past. What I am sure of is that if Gatewood can take on a new sport and immediately find success, then Putnam County can as well.

Of course, there are many challenges that come with creating a new sports team. One of the very first issues that Putnam may run into is simply the level of enthusiasm.

There may be many kids at Putnam who want a wrestling team, or there may be none at all. If the reason for Putnam’s lack of presence in the ring is that student-athletes aren’t interested in wrestling, then more power to them.

Let’s assume, however, that PCHS wrestling is actually in demand; the next challenge will be finding the resources for creating a new team. Funding for uniforms, equipment, travel and many other necessities will be needed, and every second of time is precious when training a team that largely has little to no wrestling experience.

There’s also this burning question: Who will the Eagles face in the ring?

A big reason for Putnam not competing in wrestling may be because, based on what I can gather from some light internet digging, nobody else in Region 8-AA competes in wrestling, either. One could assume that Putnam would have to be placed in some kind of alternate region, which would no doubt require it to make ridiculous road trips all across the state to face well-established programs that would run it through.

Even though I may have further discouraged Putnam County athletes from wanting to take a shot in the ring, I believe there are enough talented and dedicated athletes to create a solid wrestling team for the War Eagles. I believe that, much like Gatewood, Putnam is up to the task to help sow the seeds of a new sport taking off here in our home.

Join the fray, Putnam County High School. You have what it takes.

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