The Morris Area / Hancock / Chokio-Alberta wrestling program has a new practice home for the 2018-2019 wrestling season. Because of construction at the Morris Area High School, the Tigers have moved to the National Guard Armory and will practice there for the entire season.
“The wrestling room was unavailable because it only had one exit, so it did not meet fire marshal codes,” MAHS athletic director Mark Ekren said.
There is a cost to rent the space at the armory, but the benefits outweigh that cost.
“The armory was logical because it has a big space, has a locker room and showers,” Ekren said. “It has two to three times the space that our high school wrestling room has. Coaches have an extra mat to work with. There is tons of room.”
The practice mats were transported to the armory this summer and will be stored there all season long.
“Our coaches and athletes took them there this summer. If there is a National Guard event at the Armory, we will need to roll the mats up and get them out of the way,” Ekren said.
The only other bump in the move to the armory was figuring out athletes would get there. A lot of the Tiger wrestlers are unable to drive themselves. Chokio-Alberta and Hancock both bus their athletes directly to the armory while Morris offers a shuttle bus for non-driving wrestlers, Ekren said.
“We start and end practice 15 minutes later,” Ekren said to compensate for added transportation time.
Despite the practice location moving because of construction, the Tigers will still wrestle competitively at the Morris Area Elementary School Tiger Center gymnasium.