Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Oakland’s new Wrestling Club takes it to the matBy Dawn Pauli, staff writer
Oakland University’s new Wrestling Club is off to a winning start. During the team’s first match in November, freshman Andrew Hein earned a gold medal and freshman Jim Wood won a silver.
Kyle Nieporte, a junior nursing major, initiated the club earlier this year. Working with the campus recreation department, he recently secured mats and a practice location for the team. He is hoping a coach will be named within the next few weeks.
“We have a lot of wrestling talent in southeast Michigan, and this is a great opportunity for wrestlers who can’t afford to go away from home in order to further their education and wrestling careers,” said Nieporte. Only four colleges in Michigan offer varsity wrestling, Central Michigan, Michigan State, Olivet and University of Michigan.
As a club sport, the wrestlers are responsible for their own expenses. A mat was donated by a Hartland High School wrestling coach, and another was purchased through support from the Student Activities Funding Board.
The team will compete in the NCWA North Central conference, which includes Grand Valley and Mott Community College. Many NCAA wrestling programs have disbanded over the years because of Title IX limitations on the amount of money universities can spend proportionally among genders and their varsity teams.
“The NCWA was developed to compensate for the loss of varsity wrestling programs across the country,” said Nieporte. “More universities are stepping up and providing opportunities to wrestle at the collegiate level through club programs.”
All students are welcome to join the club, but a wrestling background is preferred. For more information about the OU Wrestling Team, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.