New facility special to wrestling team
The second Friday in September marked the dawn of a new era for the Tonganoxie High School wrestling program.
That was the day the new multipurpose facility was dedicated, and though the building and its facilities are for the use of all sports, the new building has special significance to the wrestling team.
The track team had a track, the football team had a field, the cross-country team had a course, and the basketball and volleyball teams had a court.
The soccer team had a football field, and now has its own place to play.
But until this year, all the wrestling team had was a daily bus ride to the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds for practice.
Now the team has its own facility at the high school, and it couldn't be happier.
"That building is great," coach Bill DeWitt said. "I'm really proud of the school and the community for putting that together. It's nice to have a home it gives the kids pride."
It could just be a coincidence, but the team won its first tournament in a decade this year.
DeWitt said the bus rides to and from practices hurt the team.
"Sometimes the bus would be there when it was supposed to be and sometimes it wouldn't," he said. "Sometimes we didn't start practice until 4 p.m."
Now practices start by 3:30 p.m.
DeWitt said that having the building also allowed coaches to stay after practice and work with wrestlers who needed it, something they could not do when they were required to get on a bus immediately following practice.
He added that it was nice for the players finally to have adequate shower and locker facilities, as well as a weight room right next to the wrestling room.