, Gloucester, MA

November 29, 2012

Editorial: Going to the mat for youth fitness

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Of all competitive youth and high school sports, none may be more truly beneficial for the student than wrestling.

Between the fitness and intensity needed to be competitive on the mat, the discipline involved in making weight limits and the fact that there is not only a place for the little guy, but that every good team needs athletes of all sizes, wrestling is a youth fitness ideal. Yet, given the fiscal crunch facing all schools and their athletic programs, this is a difficult time to launch or expand any school sports programs.

That, however, hasn’t deterred Kirk Benson and Steve McCarthy. They’ve launched a Gloucester youth wrestling program that, after a year’s introduction, is now expected to draw more than two dozen kids this year, with four coaches leading wrestlers from kindergarten age through eighth grade to tournaments next month in Burlington, Lowell and elsewhere down the line.

McCarthy, who wrestled at Boston College, said he hopes program will spark a local wrestling movement at the youth and high school levels. He and his colleagues are already showing the kind of can-do attitude that can give this project the spark it needs.

We wish them the best — on and off the mat.