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High-tech wrestling mats provided through team, community partnership

Oswego Middle School wrestlers Shawn Perras, Jason Zhang and Logan Matthews pose on their new, state-of-the-art wrestling mats, roughly one-tenth the weight of a traditional rubber mat. The $7,000 purchase was made possible by a collaboration between the wrestling team, Buc Boosters and district Athletics Department. Behind them are Varsity wrestling coach Michael Howard, Director of Physical Education and Athletics Rhonda Bullard, OMS Principal Mary Beth Fierro, OMS technology teacher and modified wrestling coach Steve Bradish and Buc Boosters President Sean Callen. New, state-of-the-art wrestling mats have been installed at Oswego Middle School thanks to a partnership between the wrestling program, Buccaneer Boosters and district Athletics Department.
The drive to purchase the segmented mats – one-tenth the weight of traditional rubber mats – was years in the making, with students, parents and community members working to raise the substantial funds needed for such an investment.
“It was a great collaboration with a number of community partners to make a great experience for our student-athletes,” said Sean Callen, Buc Boosters President. “The team knew they couldn’t do it alone, the Boosters knew we couldn’t do it alone, the Athletic Department knew they couldn’t do it alone, so we all pulled together and our community is better for it.”
Oswego Middle School currently uses a system of cranes and pulleys to store and deploy its wrestling mats between tournaments and practices and the new modular, lightweight mats provide benefits to the program for years to come.
OCSD Director of Physical Education and Athletics Rhonda Bullard said beyond the safety and convenience aspects of the mats, the drive to purchase the $7,000 equipment showed the Oswego community “supports its student athletes on the mat, court or field.”
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