Two Arkansas high schools to receive new wrestling mats courtesy of Brute, NWCA
By Jason Bryant
National Wrestling Coaches Association
Brute and its R.E.A.C.H.E.S. program along with the National Wrestling Coaches Association is pleased to announce the latest donation back to amateur wrestling to further promote the sport to new areas.
Arkansas just completed its second high school state wrestling tournament several weeks ago, but coming next season, the state activities association will officially sanction the sport and 42 high schools will take the mat.
Little Rock businessman Greg Hatcher, a recipient of the Dan Gable “America Needs Wrestling Awards” has personally had a stake in 36 wrestling mats purchased for the new wrestling programs sprouting up across the state.
Jonesboro High School and Shiloh Christian School in Springdale will join the fray next year and will be wrestling on mats donated by Brute and the NWCA.
“This means a ton because I’m out of money!” said Hatcher. “It’s such a nice gesture to not even ask and have them just call and help. The whole community has been supportive.”
At this weekend’s Brute-Adidas Nationals presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods in Kansas City, Brute and the NWCA will have a presentation to announce the two-mat purchase.
“This is in line with the mission statement of both the R.E.A.C.H.E.S. organization and the NWCA,” said Henson Group Director of Sports Marketing Jeff Bowyer. “We’re proud to provide educational and athletic opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders, teachers and coaches.”
Bowyer, who also serves as the Executive Director for Brute’s R.E.A.C.H.E.S. program, also targets the rising childhood obesity epidemic as a focal point of adding more wrestling programs to a state that ranks near the nation’s highest in terms of childhood obesity statistics.
“We’re excited to be on the front lines of helping combat the childhood obesity problem in Arkansas and nation-wide,” said Bowyer. “Providing the state and the high school student-athletes another avenue to participate in sports and get in shape is something we are proud to be a part of.”
Hatcher noted that more programs could be on the way, both high school and even collegiately.
“We have another person ready to donate five more mats if the five Hot Springs area high schools add wrestling,” said Hatcher. “NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer has flown in several times to help things get sanctioned and he’s talked with three colleges in Arkansas that are interested in starting wrestling. One in Division I, one in Division III and a junior college.”
Hatcher and his wrestling group in Arkansas are thankful to all that have helped the movement in the state.
“We had a fantastic state tournament this year, said Don Blasingame as the announcer, nice score clocks,” explained Hatcher. “The Dan Gables and John Smith’s calling to see how they can help. It’s great that the wrestling community has been such a big help.”
Annual proceeds from the Brute-Adidas Nationals go to help struggling or developing wrestling programs. Past recipients included James Madison University, Fresno State and Delaware State.
“Jeff Bowyer, Mike Moyer and Tom Sculley have all been fantastic and very helpful,” said Hatcher. “Brute’s also helped with uniforms and gear.”
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.
About the NWCA
The National Wrestling Coaches Association, established in 1928, is a professional organization dedicated to serve and provide leadership for the advancement of all levels of the sport of wrestling with primary emphasis on scholastic and collegiate programs. The membership embraces all people interested in amateur wrestling.
The NWCA, through its organizational structure, promotes communication, recognizes achievement, recommends rules and regulations, sponsors events, and serves as an educational and informational source. Additionally, the NWCA strives to foster the sportsmanship and integrity that are the cornerstones of athletic competition.