BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s been a year in the making, but Jackson-Olin High School has officially created its first-ever wrestling team.
The Mustangs made history this week hosting their first-ever wrestling match and the new sport is getting a lot of buzz on campus.
Jackson-Olin sophomore Hachel Dumas says he’ll never forget how he felt in his first wrestling match.
“At first, you get those butterflies and then when you get on the mat, people coming at you aggressive and then you get into a panic, but then you remember to listen to your coaches,” said Dumas.
Dumas is just one of nearly a dozen football players that have joined Jackson-Olin’s first-ever wrestling team, a sport none of them knew anything about until now.
“It’s been interesting, their athletic ability in general and their will to learn has been huge,” said Jackson-Olin wrestling coach Charlie Treadaway.
“We reached around to some people and we bought this mat from Mountain Brook. It just gives us another outlet for our kids, there’s no reason our kids can’t have what other kids have at other schools too,” said J.O. athletic director and football coach Tim Vakakes.
Dumas says wrestling has taught him a lot in the past six weeks and realizes the sport is much different than football.
“Getting slammed hard without any gear, yeah, that’s something serious,” Dumas said.
“Football is muscle, muscle, muscle, where this, you could be the strongest kid out there, but you’re going to get beat if you don’t have technique,” Treadaway added.
Regardless if they win or lose, these student-athletes are proud to pave the way for wrestlers to come.
“It’s a big accomplishment for me and I enjoy learning this sport. You never know where it can take you,” said Dumas.
Jackson-Olin will fill 9 of the 14 weight divisions this season in their first year with hopes of the program growing in the future.