Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) officially added a new group to its list of varsity sports: Wrestling.
The MVRHS School Committee unanimously approved promoting the high school’s wrestling program from a club sport to varsity status during a Monday evening meeting.
Committee member Louis Paciello said adding wrestling came down to financial support since the sport was unanimously supported by members of the MVRHS athletics subcommittee. “It serves our population, our demographics really well,” he said. “And it’s a popular sport as a club, and they’re ready to take the next step.”
Besides funding, other “sticking issues” Paciello mentioned were logistical points, like the high school’s inability to host wrestling meets due to its facilities and a lack of equipment.
When committee member Robert Lionette asked about the process, such as applying to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, Paciello said the application had been sent already, and the team is waiting for approval from the school committee to be added to a league schedule.
When committee member Skipper Manter asked how much funding would be needed, Paciello said they’re still working on an estimate. Some of the prices that were available included around $2,600 for 50 singlets (uniforms) and around $11,000 for a mat. Other expenses that weren’t as certain at the meeting included salaries for a head coach and an assistant coach. Among the uncertain costs, travel, including weekend meets, was anticipated to be a significant portion of the wrestling team’s budget. MVRHS wrestling Coach Jerry Kadien said a booster club is coming together to raise money.
MVRHS Principal Sara Dingledy said there are funds available to cover expenses, including grants the high school is expecting. “I feel confident we can make it work,” she said.
Paciello pointed out that wrestling is technically a co-ed sport, and Kadien confirmed there are two girls who plan to join the team. Overall, Kadien said, there will be 45 students on the team.
After further discussion, the committee unanimously approved adding co-ed varsity wrestling and for the athletics subcommittee to provide them with an itemized budget.
“The kids are gonna love it,” Kadien said.
McCarthy commended Kadien for the effort that went into establishing the wrestling program.
“He’s really worked hard the past couple of years getting this off the ground,” he said. “It’s a monumental effort, and he’s gone above and beyond.”
The high school is also considering adding varsity girls golf to its sports programs in the spring of 2025 to meet Title IX compliance, which requires equal opportunity in sports for boys and girls.
“I’ve already started to incorporate that into the budget process,” MVRHS Athletics Director Mark McCarthy said.