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Central holds big ten wrestling match

Courtesy of Mr. Jason Hayes

Courtesy of Mr. Jason Hayes

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A Big Ten wrestling tournament between Purdue and Wisconsin will be held at Central on Monday Jan. 28.

Jason Hayes, head wrestling coach, was inspired by his own wrestling experience from Purdue and used his connections at the school to set up the event.

“Big Ten universities occasionally go to high schools throughout the state or throughout the country. My senior year in college I wrestled in my high school gym, so I’ve kind of had this idea in the back of my head from years past. I decided to throw the idea out to the head coach, who I still have a good relationship with, and now they’re coming,” Hayes said.

Hayes believes Central is the ideal place for this type of event.

“The Chicago land area is rich with athletics and extracurricular activities, and wrestling is one of them. It’s also a halfway point between Purdue and Wisconsin, so it accommodates both universities,” Hayes said.

One goal of the event is to introduce community members to another side of wrestling that many don’t see.

“I really hope people from the community that are just curious or skeptical come, and that it kind of opens their eyes to the sport. People see wrestling on television and think of the WWE, but they don’t really see amateur wrestling. Amateur wrestlers work very hard and are goal orientated. WWE is entertainment, like going to a concert,” Hayes said.

For the wrestlers, Hayes hopes that this event will give them a sense of what the next level is like, and maybe convince some to pursue wrestling in college.

“I’m trying to show them what big time wrestling is. Eventually, the goal is to get one of our own to wrestle at the university level, and then we can have them come back,” Hayes said.

Overall, students and coaches alike are excited for the event.

“I can’t wait to see some great wrestling in our home gym under the spotlight. I have not heard of any collegiate wrestling taking place in a high school gym, so I am pretty excited to see it in our home gym,” said senior wrestler Andrew Pyle.

“It’s going to be a great atmosphere. You’re going to see some intense wrestling, and you’re going to see two great universities with great academics,” Hayes said. “It’s going to be a great thing for our school, for our community, and for the sport of wrestling. This is a Big Ten conference right in our backyard. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

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Central holds big ten wrestling match