POINT PLEASANT — Though most people have heard about the success of Point Pleasant High School’s Wrestling Program, they aren’t aware the program doesn’t have a facility to call home - that is hopefully about to change.
The PPHS Wrestling Boosters have decided to pin down the dream of its team having their own space by attempting to raise an estimated $37,000 to build an extension on to the existing locker room facility at PPJ/SHS - the wrestlers have been sharing this existing locker room space with the football team. A donation drive for the project kicked off this week.
The plan to build on to the existing building has been approved by the Mason County Board of Education and its first phase (roughly $32,000 for the initial construction of the building) also has the green light from the W.Va. State Fire Marshal’s Office. The second phase (roughly $5,000) will include showers and restrooms. The entire project will be funded by the boosters and donations from the community - a community which is the integral piece in getting the facility built.
For this reason, PPHS Wrestling Boosters are getting the word out about the project which is set to break ground on April 2 thanks to initial donations (including donations of labor and time) and booster funds. However, to bring the facility to life, even more of those donations of time and money are required if the facility is to be built.
So, what are these donations going toward? A 50-by-80 steel building which will match the existing school buildings in terms of color and will include a practice area (complete with wall mats), showers, restrooms, locker rooms and coaches’ offices.
PPHS Head Wrestling Coach John Bonecutter said there is still a ways to go to get the facility built but he believes it can be done with the community’s help, and, he pointed out the facility will not only be open to PPHS wrestlers, but be available for those young athletes in the county’s youth wrestling league of which there are an estimated 115-130 participants. Bonecutter said this facility will foster the abilities of athletes of all ages and because it will be specifically designed for wrestling (unlike the current facilities the team must use) this will lessen the likelihood of injury and make it easier to maintain sanitary conditions from a public health standpoint. The building will also bring the PPHS Wrestlers up to a AAA standard and as Bonecutter pointed out: “There are very few AAA programs which share a building.” Bonecutter said he hopes the facility can be ready by the time the next wrestling season rolls around in November.
“It’s going to be a nice facility and I’m happy for the kids,” Bonecutter added, explaining his kids (there are 32 on the high school squad and around 30 on the junior high squad) are now excited about not only the future of the program but the program having a facility to call its own.
Bonecutter said the boosters were the ones who really got the ball (or rather the mat) rolling on this project and gave them a lot of credit for moving the facility forward. The plan was recently presented to the Mason County Board of Education by Wrestling Booster Eddie Starcher who said he believes the project will be a “positive” for the whole community, once completed.
For those wishing to donate money, time or labor to the project, contact Bonecutter at Leon Elementary at 304-458-1710, Starcher at the W.Va. State Police Detachment at 304-675-0850 or Booster’s Secretary Deborah Powell at 304-553-2787