By Julia Angelotti, Executive Editor
Since April, varsity wrestler junior David Barnhart has spent his Saturdays giving back to the community, along with 27 other wrestlers.
“We usually spend around eight to nine hours cleaning around the community,” Barnhart said.
The KHS wrestling team is giving back to the community, and they are well aware that most clubs and teams sell items for fundraising.
“It seems like every sport is selling a certain item and we have in the past as well. This time we wanted to do something different,” Coach Mike Thorgesen said. “We are earning donations from people and in return are helping in any way we can with over 200 hours of community service.”
The team has volunteered at the NIU food bank, Delnor Community Hospital, the KHS Fine Arts Festival, John Shields Elementary School and Conley Farm; they’ve also done spring clean-ups in local senior citizens’ yards.
“It’s important to do things like this because it’s an experience that most of us don’t get. It’s a win-win situation. We raise money for the team while we help those in need,” junior Luke Kreiter said.
The team hopes to raise enough funds to attend the Malecek Wrestling Camp in the Wisconsin Dells from Jun. 25-27.
Out of the 28 wrestlers who volunteer, only 18 will actually attend the camp, Assistant Coach Bob McCaffery said.
“That is teamwork, having boys who won’t be attending the camp still helping out their teammates and community,” McCaffery said.
The team will have to raise $6,500 to have the camp be free or nearly free for the whole team. If the team does not reach their goal, all of the money will be refunded to those who donated, Thorgeson said.
“It’s good to wrestle different guys from different areas, and this camp will allow us to do that with over 50 teams there. It’s always beneficial to get mat time in the off-season,” junior Dan Goress said.
Teams at the camp are from high schools around the Midwest, with one from as far away as California.
The wrestlers will compete against at least eight other teams in team dual meets and they will also compete in an individual tournament. They will also receive world-class instruction from college coaches and older wrestlers with international wrestling experience.
“It’s better to give back to the community rather than to sell cookies,” Barnhart said.