When I came to Elkin in 1987 my wrestlers competed on an old gold mat that at least went back into the 1970s. Twenty-seven years later (and bearing the paint of two reconditioning jobs) my wrestlers still competed on the same old shrinking mat.
When Coach Matt Dunn opens his first season as Elkin’s coach, he will do so on a new 42-foot-by-42-foot wrestling mat.
The new mat was made possible by a gift to Elkin High School by the Foothills Fury Wrestling Club and a grant by Weyerhaeuser. In 2011, Athletic Director Tony Duncan obtained a grant that was slated for reconditioning the existing mat or purchasing a new one. The grant covered about 35 per cent of the cost of the new mat.
Josh Price, a former Elkin High School state placer and a coach with the Fury, began to solicit donations to the club for the purchase of a mat. This gift by the Foothills Fury coupled with the grant that was earlier secured, led to the delivery of the mat March 31.
The Foothills Fury Wrestling Club is a nonprofit organization that promotes youth wrestling in the Tri-County area. The club has made use of Elkin High School facilities and has attempted to promote the Elkin program in return. For the past two years, the FFWC has raised funds to send Elkin High School and Elkin Middle School wrestlers to summer wrestling camps.
This year’s annual chicken sale is slated for June 7 at the Elkin Walmart. Proceeds from this event will be used to offset the cost of the Ken Chertow Olympic Training Camp that Coach Dunn and the Fury are bringing to N.H. Carpenter Gymnasium June 13-16.
The Fury’s gift to Elkin High School, which covered about 65 percent of the cost of the mat, was made possible by many generous donors including Gary York, Price Power Equipment, Toro and Rid-A-Bug.
Elkin’s new mat was originally a demo, built by Resilite for the finals of the California High School State Tournament. The mat’s availability was discovered by Price in his conversations with our local Resilite representative. Following the completion of the California Tournament, the mat was sent back to the Resilite factory, the center was repainted with EHS, and the mat was then shipped to Elkin. As an old and retired educator, I hope that this piece of equipment blesses as many lives as its predecessor.