Parents and wrestlers,
Welcome to the 2016-2017 wrestling season. This season will be here before we know it so I wanted to provide you some information for the upcoming season. While I understand that this material may be superfluous for our returning wrestlers and parents, I am pleased to see we have several new wrestlers that will be joining us and I am hopeful that this helps.
The Raider Mat Club was founded in 2003. This organization has grown over the past 12 years due to our very dedicated group of wrestlers and their families. Despite the funding being cut for the high school team, our organization has flourished through donations and coaches volunteering their time. Unlike some other sports, you will see the middle school and high school wrestlers show up for some of our youth events to assist with running matches and tournaments. We are a family working together to grow and improve the program.
We practice in the mat room which is attached to the middle school’s gym. Occasionally, when basketball is not in session, we will warm up in the gym and then enter the wrestling room. So it is always a good idea to wear a pair of sneakers to practice.
Our youth program consists of wrestlers from kindergarten up through 6th grade. Because of the age differences, practice days will be split. Specifically, children that are in 3rd grade through 6th grade will practice on Mondays and Wednesdays. Our younger athletes (K through 2nd) will practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Practices begin tentatively at 7:00 p.m. and end between 8:00 - 8:15 p.m. You are not required to wait for your child at practice, however, we ask that all parents be “on location” no later than 8:00 p.m. so that children are not waiting after practice for a ride home.
During practice, parents must wait outside the wrestling room. This is required as clearances are needed for anyone in the mat room.
When Is Our First Practice?
Our first practice for our 3rd through 6th grade wrestlers will be held on Monday, 11/21/16. Our younger wrestlers (K through 2nd) will have their first practice the following day, Tuesday, 11/22/16. Times to be announced.
We understand that your child/children may have scheduling conflicts. If you encounter a scheduling issue, or if you have two children that practice on different days, let us know and we will switch your child’s practice session(s) provided that there are similar weight/experienced children in the other sessions.
What Does Your Wrestler Need To Bring To Practice?
If you are a football parent, you have grown accustomed to lugging football pads, helmets, cleats, and various items. This is not the case for wrestling.
The only items that you will need to bring to practice are wrestling head gear and wrestling shoes. The wrestling shoes should NOT be worn to practice. We ask that you wear different shoes to practice (preferably sneakers in the event we run in the gym) and then change into the wrestling shoes immediately before entering the wrestling room. We do this so that we can keep the mats as clean as possible. It is also advisable that you bring a bottle of water to practice but please, no Gatorade or fruit drinks inside the mat room.
The mat room gets hot! That said, shorts and a t-shirt are perfect while inside the mat room. As it gets colder during the season, it is advisable that the wrestlers wear sweatpants and a hoodie to and from practice. That way, after working up a sweat, they can stay warm when they leave to go home.
Each wrestler will receive a singlet to wear for the matches. These singlets must be returned at the conclusion of the season. Wrestlers that do not return their singlets at the end of the season will be charged a $50.00 fee. Additionally, every wrestler will receive a t-shirt. These shirts will be ordered once our roster is complete.
When your wrestler comes home after practice or a meet, it is essential that they shower. Although the mats are cleaned frequently, neglecting to shower following mat time may result in skin infection. Also, fingernails must be trimmed for practice as well as matches. If the referees observe long fingernails, they will not let your child wrestle.
The youth matches are held on Friday evenings. For parents that have been involved with other sports, this means that for the most part, you get your weekends back.
The first match of the season will likely be held on Friday, 1/06/17. We await the final schedule from the league.
During Matches, Who Will My Child Wrestle?
We have a system. The league has adopted a computer program that pairs wrestlers based on age, weight, years of experience, and skill level. Although this system is not perfect, it is a good system. Most importantly, unless the opposing team does not have a similar wrestler to pair with your child, each wrestler will get mat time. MAT TIME = EXPERIENCE.
NOTE► There may be times when we have a child wrestle a more experienced/more skilled wrestler (wrestle-up) or wrestle a less experienced/less skilled wrestler (wrestle-down). This is because the pairings are dependent on the other team’s roster and available wrestlers. Do not be disappointed if this happens. Once again, MAT TIME = EXPERIENCE.
The league has directed the coaches to submit their rosters before each match no later than Thursday. Because of this, I am asking that parents notify me if their child is unable to wrestle at an upcoming match by no later than Wednesday prior to the match.
Throughout the season, I will notify the team of various tournaments being held. These tournaments are optional and not required. We understand that the Friday matches can run late which makes it difficult to attend an early Saturday tournament.
We raise money, in part, through our snack bar. All parents will be required to work snack bar shift(s) during our home matches. A snack bar schedule will be distributed once registration is complete.
In addition to our snack bar sales, we also have a Wrestling Program that is sold at our home matches. Parents and businesses can purchase “shout-outs” and advertisements to be included in our Program. You will hear more about this once our season is underway.
We will have team and individual photos scheduled during the season. More information regarding dates to follow. All wrestlers should attend as we will be taking photos for our Wrestling Yearbook.
Parents, we need your help for home matches. If you can arrive early for set up or leave later for break-down, your help is very much appreciated.
Also, the Board is looking for 1 volunteer to serve as a parent representative for the Raider Mat Club. Our parent representatives will attend the Board meetings which are generally held on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm.
I am the head coach for our youth program and will be running practice on Mondays and Wednesdays. John Halulko will be the head coach for our younger wrestlers (K through 2nd) and will be running practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I welcome anyone that would like to assist us with coaching. In the event you are interested in coaching, please feel free to contact me. My email is email@example.com.
All coaches must obtain the appropriate clearances.
PA Child Abuse Clearance link - https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home
PA Criminal Background Check - https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp
FBI Finger Print: - https://www.pa.cogentid.com/index_pdeNew.htm
You must go to a FBI finger printing site to complete this clearance
***NOTE: The fingerprinting is not required if you have been a continuous resident of Pennsylvania for the past 10 years and you execute an Affidavit indicating that you are not disqualified from service based upon a conviction of an offense under §6344.
If you obtained a background check for a fall sport, you will not need to re-do the clearance.