Gary Comer College Prep, a campus of Noble Network of Charter Schools located in the Grand Crossing neighborhood, recently won the 2019 Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Dual Team Wrestling Regional Championship. Learn five fun facts about Gary Comer College Prep’s wrestling team.
1. IHSA Dual Team Wrestling Regionals Champions
In 2019, the Gary Comer College Prep wrestling team won the 2019 Illinois High School Association regional championship for the first time in both Noble and Gary Comer College Prep’s history. In the last five years, the team has always placed in the top three, but this year, Gary Comer College Prep’s varsity team took home first place.
2. History of Wrestling Team
The Gary Comer College Prep wrestling team was established eight years ago by Dan Rhee, the team’s current assistant coach. Reed established the team to give the students a way to become more self-disciplined. The team’s current head coach, Jamelle Williams, a former college wrestler himself, joined the team six years ago.
The team consist of 15 students on the varsity team and eight students on the junior varsity team. The overall team is made up of 20 males and three female students. Wrestling was a new concept to all of the students on the team except for one. The majority of the team started with no experience which is a common theme in city schools vs the suburban schools who usually have teams who are full of students who have wrestled as small children.
3. No Official Practice Space
Traditionally, wrestling teams have the opportunity to practice in a designated space with two full size wrestling mats that allow the entire team to practice and workout simultaneously; that isn’t the case at Gary Comer College Prep. This team holds all of their practices in the front lobby of the school and use a single wrestling mat that was donated to the team. This small space is usually being shared with other enrichment activities and only half of a single mat can be used for the team to pratice. Despite these challenges, the team still works together and works harder to make sure they are fully prepared to compete against other teams with more resources.
4. Wrestling Enhances Leadership Qualities
Wrestling is a relatively unknown and less popular sport practiced in the city, but for those students who are fortunate enough to wrestle, it is a great outlet. Wrestling teaches grit, teamwork, self-discipline, leadership, accountability and commitment. A larger number of the Gary Comer College Prep students that joined the wresting team joined as an outlet that allowed them to grow and develop these skills.
At Noble, we are college bound. As the largest charter public school network in Chicago, Noble’s high school program exposes our students to higher education options and guides them through the collegiate application process. Through college trips, college fairs, summer college immersion programs and required academic courses, Noble demystifies the college experience and shapes students’ beliefs and confidence about higher education.