Creede School District adds wrestling team to athletics

CREEDE — In a meeting with the Creede wrestling representatives and athletic department leaders, the Creede School District Board of Education approved adding wrestling to its athletic teams.

In a meeting held in January, local wrestling coaches Ty Ferguson and Joe baker met with the Creede Board of Education and requested that they consider allowing the wrestling team students from the community to use their facility for practice and to consider making the sport part of their athletic department.

For several years prior to the meeting, local students had been wrestling through a community group started by current Mineral County Commissioner Jesse Albright. Albright has taken a job at a nearby school district to help with their wrestling program, and Baker and Ferguson have taken the reins continued with the vision of making it an official CSD athletic team.

“This is all about the students. The athletes that compete in this sport. It's their voices that matter and they are the ones who benefit from this,” said Ferguson. “We are really excited to be a part of the athletic department at the school now and the students will have everything they need to succeed. We are just so grateful for the outpouring of support from the community, the school, and the parents.”

During the first meeting, coach Baker spoke about the program saying, “The program currently has seven students that have competed in eight seasons with San Luis Valley Elementary Wrestling events at all participating schools within the region. These students are swiftly moving on to middle school and will no longer have the ability torepresent Creede above this age if we do not make space for this sport within the school.”

Baker added that having a smaller population in the district allows the school to compete in wrestling because there is no minimum number of teammate requirements to compete.

“At this time, we have procured most of the needed equipment and uniforms that we will generously donate to the program,” Baker said. “The coaches and team moms have developed fundraisers and sponsorship programs through several area businesses who are ready to continue to participate.”

Baker continued to explain that he and his team of coaches and volunteers would like to see the funding brought in by the fundraisers and sponsorship programs to be added to the athletic department at the school rather than form an individual non-profit.

“If we can move forward with the Creede School District Athletic Department, it would not further segregate students from their school and their school pride. It is our hope that community interest in the program will also grow,” Baker said.

Ferguson and Baker also thanked CSD Athletic Director Greg VanAken and fellow coach and gym teacher Steve Anderson for their help in working with the district to make this happen. Wrestling practice takes place Monday through Thursday at the school, and the team will head to their first tournament in Alamosa on Feb. 25.