By Doug La Rocque
Four years ago Coach D.J. Connelly brought the sport of wrestling back to the Berlin School District, in conjunction with neighboring New Lebanon Central. The first couple of years were a bit of a struggle, both in attracting enough students to fill out the team and in on the mat success. Last year the program really started to take off and this past season saw so many students athletes participating that three teams, Varsity, JV and modified all competed. Personal success on the mat grew as well, with the team posting 12 wins.Three years ago the program’s supporters started a Breakfast/Wrestling Expo to help raise funds to cover expenses not picked up by the school districts.
They raised about $1,000 that year, with the event held at the New Lebanon Fire House.
Last year it was moved to the Berlin Middle/High School cafeteria and they doubled the amount of money raised.
This past Saturday, March 3, it was standing room only for the three hour event that organizer Sherry Bowman-Kluck says brought in nearly $4,000.
What is the Driving Force Behind the Program?
Ms. Bowman-Kluck summed it up in one word. “Family.” She told The Eastwick Press it’s more than just a coach and a team, it’s also a very heavy involvement by the wrestler’s families and both school communities in general. They are all very supportive of the team and each other, coming together like a family to deal with the disappointments and celebrate their success. And together they are all looking forward to another great wrestling season in the next school year.