Little Elm High School students will now have another choice when it comes to athletics.
During the Monday evening Little Elm ISD Board of Trustees meeting, school board members approved the recommendation to add wrestling to the line-up of sports offered at the high school.
"This recommendation aligns with our Destination 2025 Strategic Plan to engage each student in learning experiences that increase student growth and achievement," said Ross Roberts, deputy superintendent, before he introduced Kendrick Brown, assistant athletic director.
During Brown's presentation, he explained that after exploring different sports and conducting a survey with students, it was determined students were most interested in wresting, swimming/diving, and water polo. "That got us thinking about which of these would be the one we can start," Brown said. "We decided on girls and boys wrestling because of several reasons. One is because it has been the most requested program over the last five years. Another reason it is the easiest to start and requires the least facility requirements and equipment. Also, we have a current coach on staff that was a former wrestling coach."
Estimated start up cost for the new sport would be $50,000-$70,000 for equipment and uniforms. "I really feel on behalf of the athletic department, this would be a great sport for our students and I really believe this is a sport we can thrive and continue to grow our student athletes," Brown said.
"First of all, this is awesome. My son wrestles and he currently wrestles in The Colony because we don't have anything like that here," said David Montemayor, board president. "Would there be a middle school option?"
Brown suggested an option of introducing the sport to students in the pre-athletic program in sixth grade. In addition, Roberts further explained that other schools with wrestling programs have figured out way to integrate into other campuses. "I've seen, once the UIL part has been established at the high school, student clubs will come in next for the younger students at middle school campuses," said Roberts.
The first year for the wrestling program would focus on getting the program started in a competitive district and students would attend meets throughout the school year.
After the vote to approve, Daniel Gallagher, superintendent, thanked the board. "This is another opportunity for our students to get more of them involved."