WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – For a number of years, the Benwood Bruisers Wrestling Club made an impact in the wrestling community.
In 1979 my dad, and his friend started the Benwood Bruiser Wrestling Team. It was a local youth team, said Joe Giovengo. “It stayed in Benwood and Marshall County for close to 30 years and close to 8 years ago, we always had a team. Well numbers started to dwindle we didn’t have a place to practice so we decided to fold up and join the Monarchs.”
The club is excited to call the former Benwood Firemen’s Hall home. Once the club opens, it will offer wrestling to youth at all levels.
Our goal is to create championship teams at the high school state level, Wheeling Park, Central, Bellaire, Shadyside, and John Marshall was one of them and the numbers have fallen off so we have been trying to rebuild with a novice league and now this is the next step we see. We want to see state championships at every level,” said Chris Ward.
As the fastest growing female sport in the country, girls wrestling is on the rise and the Bruisers Youth Wrestling Club is working to help females grow in the sport of wrestling.
“I have a lot of friends that know I’m into wrestling, they have daughters. They want to get them involved but they don’t feel comfortable getting their daughters involved wrestling male counterparts, we saw a need and definitely a want, I’ve been contacted by a lot of people,” said Ward.
“With title nine, we saw a lot of wrestling programs shutting down, well the goal was to equalize opportunities for girls so instead of closing men’s wrestling, now we see college and high schools providing more opportunities for girls, which was the goal in the first place,” said Giovengo. “We want to start them young, get them used to it and maybe get a few state champions out of it maybe.”