Native American Wrestling Program Receives National Support

Salt River High School, located on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, near Scottsdale, Arizona, received a $3,000 grant from BRUTE Wrestling’s R.E.A.C.H.E.S. program to use for equipment in order to help support the growing varsity wrestling team at the school. The team is opting to use the funding to outfit the team with new custom singlets, including a set of women’s-cut singlets for the team’s female wrestlers.

“This support from Brute Wrestling is incredible and the biggest benefit will be to our female wrestlers,” said head varsity coach Na Humma, “last year our team was almost 50% female, even though there is not a separate girls wrestling division in Arizona; something we hope to change. I hope that competing in a uniform that is made for a female body will make our girls more comfortable and confident on the mat.”

The wrestling program at Salt River High School has seen a 650% growth in participation since the hire of head coach Na Humma in 2012 and the largest amount of male and female participation in school history during the 2013-14 season. The new uniforms will be debuted during the upcoming 2014-15 wrestling season.

R.E.A.C.H.E.S. (Rewarding Educational Athletic Choices Helping Each Sport) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2007 in an effort to promote, protect and preserve the integrity of amateur athletics by providing athletic and educational opportunities to all athletes of all ages and abilities. This unique experience will provide educational, technical, and lifelong lessons for athletes, coaches, parents and fans that seek to capture meaningful, compassionate, harmonious, interesting and active lives. All profits from R.E.A.C.H.E.S. will be used to support specific needs in each sport to ensure future generations of athletes, fans, parents and coaches will continue to learn from valuable lifelong athletic lessons.

Brute Wrestling was founded in 1967, in Virginia, by retired U.S. Navy Captain Josiah Henson. Captain Henson was an Olympic bronze medalist in Freestyle wrestling in 1952 and the first American wrestler to beat a Russian at the Olympics. The company began as the first wrestling mail order business. John Purnell joined the company in 1975 and in 1977 became the President and majority owner. Shortly thereafter, Purnell moved the company to Reading, Pennsylvania to begin manufacturing wrestling uniforms under the brand name Brute Wrestling. At that time, the company began distributing through a network of sporting goods dealers. In 1989, a line of soccer uniforms was added under the name Liga Soccer. In 2003, the company product line was expanded to include custom uniforms for volleyball, softball and basketball under the brand name NeuEdge Sportswear. NeuEdge Sportswear quickly became one of the leading producers of custom sublimated team uniforms in the country. In 2010, Henson Group launched a lacrosse and field hockey line under the brand Evolve Team Sportswear. Today Henson Group Sports provides a complete line of top quality wrestling, lacrosse, softball, basketball and volleyball products and apparel to sporting goods dealers; amateur and professional athletic clubs and teams; and other buyers all over North America.