The Year Was 2005
Upper Moreland High School Wrestling had some good Wrestlers on the team, but overall the program was competing poorly against other schools. Carol Breme , while watching a School Match, wondered out loud to Stuart Shute , both who had kids on the team, “Why weren't we winning more matches?” The answer Stuart replied, “most of the other Schools have Feeder Programs that developed their Wrestlers well before they entered Middle School and beyond, and gave their Wrestlers experience beyond our kids, and a major competitive advantage. “ Carol asked, “Why can't we do that?”
And they did! Stuart and Carol started the Wrestling Club in 2005. Stuart was the first President, and Carol was VP. As it is today, part of the mission of the UMWC was to support the School Wrestling Teams, as well as to teach young kids the sport of Wrestling in a Fair Advantage format, (matching kids only against kids of similar ability), making it fun, and teaching the kids the benefit of Wrestling competition. Each Wrestler, progresses at their own individual pace, in a safe and educational environment, and as many before, becomes a part of the Wrestling Community.
Back in 2005 , the School Wrestling School Programs were almost eliminated. Funding for the programs was limited ($250), singlet's were outdated, and interest waning. Constant lobbying to the School Board and money were needed, and donations solicited. The newly created UMWC reached out to the community to save Wrestling in Upper Moreland. Special thanks go to Jerry DiMarzo , owner of the Willow Inn. Jerry had wrestled for UM and donated $1,000 to help get it started. Many donations were given in the amounts of $25 to $100. And over the early years Mark Snuffin & Jeff Pero , both one time UM Wrestlers, have contributed several thousand dollars. UMWC was able to buy uniforms for both the Middle School and High School, and pay for award banquets, and the Middle School Trophy Case. This is how it all got started!
Of course to get the club going, UMWC had two basic needs, a wrestling mat, and a Wrestling Room. The original Board of UMWC partnered with the School District, and Senator Greenleaf's office, and applied for a $10,000 Grant for a Wrestling Mat. UMWC used the school's tax ID, and filed all the paperwork. To amazement of all, the funding was awarded, a new Mat was purchased. The High School is still wrestling on the original Mat, provided via the efforts of the UMWC with the partnership of the School District.
The initial Wrestling Room was at the High School. Back in 2005 , the present day Wrestling Room was deemed not safe due to poor ventilation and not available for our use. The first Wrestling Room was two High School classrooms with mats laid out on the floor. It was makeshift at best. There were no wall mats and parents and coaches set up around the edge of the walls to make sure the kids were safe. The School Board agreed that that this was not safe for the Wrestlers and approved UMWC request to move to Cold Spring Elementary School. Cold Spring was torn down, and UMWC moved to the Middle School beginning in 2008 . The School Board approved renovations for the High School Wrestling Room, and in 2012 , upon competition, the club moved practice to the High School Wrestling Room where we still hold practices today.
In 2006 , UMWC joined the Inter County Wrestling League (ICWL). Dave Bolich became Head Coach. UMWC started with about 12 Wrestlers and quickly grew to around 20 kids. Dave Bolich has been a stalwart of Upper Moreland Wrestling. Dave continued to coach the club through the 2012 season, has served as the Middle School Coach, and High School Coach. The initial years could not have been successful if it were not for Dave Bolich. The club now has grown to over 50 kids and is still growing. The ICWL has 46 team members and still growing and the ICWL is the largest league in Pennsylvania, hosting League Meets every Saturday, December through March.
In 2006 Bob Gannon took over as President. With help from the offices of Representative Murt , and Senator Greenleaf , another grant was awarded, and UMWC purchase its second mat. This mat is being used for UMWC Home Meets and Tournaments, as well as by the Middle School for their Home Meets.
In 2007, Trey Patterson took over as President from Bob Gannon. UMWC undertook the major task of hosting its first Annual Novice Tournament. In 2012 UMWC added another tournament, its first Annual Open Tournament. UMWC has continued to host these tournaments each year and they have been a major contributor of the success of UMWC both financially and building its reputation as an organization.
As the program has grown, UMWC has continued and increased its support of School Wrestling by donating the use of its Mats, scales, timers, funding uniforms, and providing travel money to State qualifiers families to help pay costs for accommodations. UMWC has been able to contribute $3,000 directly to the budget of the Middle School and High School Teams each year since 2012.
Since UMWC conception, 3 High School Wrestlers have qualified to wrestle in the PA State Tournament. Tim Santry, James Nicholson, and John Bolich, all went onto wrestle in the States, with Bolich winning 3 rd Place. And UM High School won their first Division Crown the 09-10 season .
From a School program that almost was discontinued, to now, the future has never been brighter. Thank you to Mr. Shute, and Ms. Breme for getting it started, Dave Bolich for making it happen, and to the volunteers (too many to list) who have made UMWC the success it is today.
And as with all clubs, we strictly rely on volunteers to run the club, and all are welcome. I am proud to have seen UMWC develop a symbiotic relationship with the School Board, saving Taxpayers money, and promoting Upper Moreland Wrestling.
Looking how far we have come since 2005, we all can be very proud of Upper Moreland Wrestling! The future is bright, and I am looking forward to being a part of it!
to be continued.......
2013-2014 Season was one of the most successful seasons at UMWC. The club donated and installed a LED Clock-Timer in the High School Wrestling Room. As a part of our Mission Statement we coninuted our commitment to the School Wrestling Program by donating $3,000 to help offset expenses for the Upper Moreland School District Wrestling Programs.
UMWC had a record Registration year with well over 50 wrestlers registered. UMWC continued to host our Annual Open and Novice Tournaments. This was our 3rd Open Tournament, and our 7th Novice Tournament. Our Wrestlers competed well in our tournaments, as well as representing our club in outside tournaments. UMWC won the team trophy for 1st Place in both our tournaments. For the season, UMWC wrestlers brought home a total of 54 medals. And for the first time, UMWC paid for an outside Novice Tournament, and an Open Tournament for all of its wrestlers.
It truly was a historic year!
to be continued.......
2014-2015 A focus was on getting better, getting kids to the next level that wanted to... And we did. Our numbers increased, we won more medals in outside tournaments. For the first time we included in our Registration the opportunity to wrestle 2 Open and 2 Novice Tournaments. UMWC installed a Sound System in the HS Wrestling Room that rocks the room. We made another $3k contribution to help the tax payers offset costs for the Schools Wrestling programs. UMWC congratulated Dom DeLaurentis, a UMWC wrestler, and a senior for his great HS carreer, and for achieving the coveted 100 win milestone for a High School Wrestler. We also recognized, long overdue, Jame Nicholson, Tim Santry, and John Bolich for their 100 year win careers. Bill Marino, Penn State All American and HS coach, came on board 2 nights per week to help coach our practices. Along with Marino, it was not uncommon to see 8 coaches in the room working with the kids. We invited other clubs to practice with us raising the practice partner level in the room. And Incredibly, past UMWC wrestler, Amanda Walker, took 3rd place and made the USA Free Style Bar Cadet team and is ranked 4th in the USA as I write this. And her sister Caitlyn took 2nd in the exhibition division.
to be continued.......
2015-2016 UMWC recognized 15 outstanding High School wrestlers by donating a Plaque to hang in the Wrestling Room, recognizing the achievement of having earned the right to represent Upper Moreland High School as State Qualifiers, held every year in Hershey.
Our proud History goes back to 1974 when Frederick Karl first represented UM Wrestling. Patrick Walker, an original UMWC Wrestler, qualified, and wrestled in the States this year.
UMWC sponsored and paid for our kids to wrestle in more outside tournaments than ever before.
Our club won 7 Medals at the prestigious end of the year ICWL Novice and Open Tournaments. UMWC took 2 First Place’s in the Novice, and a 3rd and 4th place in the Open. And we continue to add to our Hall Of Fame by bringing home more medals from Outside Tournaments. Each year gets better, as the 2015-16 club continued to prove that our goal to create better Wrestling at UM is working.
Caitlyn Walker and Amanda Walker again won spots on the USA World Team. They both will be traveling a Broad representing their country and with the admiration of UMWC.
After ten years of service, Amy Walker stepped down as Board Member, and Trey Patterson stepped down as President. It’s been a great run, I’m so proud of this club, and I am I excited and confident that with the leadership in place, the best is still in front of us. UMWC thanks Amy for her many contributions over the years, and allow me to take a bow, as I will always have Pride in UMWC, and the part I played to get us where we are today.
UMWC President 2007-16
to be continued.......