MBHS wrestling fundraiser planned for April 26

Apr. 25—The pros are stepping into the squared circle to offer an assist to the amateurs.

An American Pro Wrestling event will be staged on Friday, April 26 at Meadow Bridge High School. It will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The card will feature several big matches, including an American title match pitting "Bam Bam" Lance Erikson versus "Bad Luck" Bobby Yela. Also on the card are the following: Scott Storm and Chase Bennett versus Foreign Legion (Cuban Assassin and Mega Destroyer); a Southern title match pitting Ranch Hand against Crash Cassidy; a ladies match that will have Nicole Starr battling The Blue Angel; and at least one other match.

Meadow Bridge High wrestling coach Brandon Wooldridge said the aim of the wrestling show is to help generate the funds to purchase one official-sized tournament wrestling mat at a cost of $9,500, and the program will receive a portion of Friday's proceeds toward that goal.

"The wrestling team currently is practicing on two 10x10 wrestling mats," said Wooldridge, who was head coach for the first year this past season as the Wildcats restarted the program after a two-year absence. "When we moved into the new building, we were unable to bring the current wrestling mats with us.

"So, the mat was removed from the old school and never replaced by the county. Hence the reason for our pro wrestling fundraiser."

"This is also my first year ever coaching wrestling, but it has quickly became my favorite sport to coach," Wooldridge said. "In my first year, I had three wrestlers on the team and, with the growing interest from other students, I expect the team to double, maybe even triple next year.

"I was very pleased with the performance of the wrestlers this year, and their commitment to sticking with the sport. Meadow Bridge had one wrestler finish as a first alternate for the state tournament this year in his first year wrestling, so I believe the program has a bright future in the coming years."

He added, "The pro wrestling fundraiser is an important event for the wrestling program for several reasons: High school sports programs often struggle with funding for equipment and uniforms. The pro wrestling fundraiser will benefit the program towards the cost of equipment we need that will allow them to train and compete with surrounding schools.

"The event will allow the community to come watch some fun action-packed pro wrestling featuring our very own students' parent, who is the wrestler 'Blue Angel,' while supporting a growing program. The event promotes wrestling to people who may not have been exposed to wrestling before, which could hopefully lead to increased participation for the wrestling program."

MBHS parent Michele Hamrick, who wrestles under the ring name The Blue Angel, says she was more than glad to do her part to bring Friday's pro show to fruition.

Hamrick's son, Michael Simmons, graduated from Meadow Bridge High last year and is currently attending Concord University, and she has two children currently enrolled at MBHS. "My daughter (Sierra Simmons) is a senior this year and plays sports (volleyball, basketball and softball) for MBHS, and my youngest son (Kolby Simmons) is a sophomore at MBHS and he plays football, basketball and (is) looking towards playing for the wrestling team in the fall," she said.

Hamrick began wrestling in 1985 in Dallas, Texas for WCCW (World Class Championship Wrestling), she said.

"Then, I had the opportunity to help at UWF (Universal Wrestling Federation) Training Center in Fort Worth, Texas," she said. "I also worked for Wild West Wrestling and other outlaw promotions throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana over the next four years.

"I decided that I missed West Virginia and came home in 1989. I continued to work shows throughout the state until I had my children, then a few years ago was asked to wrestle again. I enjoyed doing it so much that I couldn't say no. Mrs. (MBHS Principal Stacy) White had asked me if I could help with a fundraiser for MBHS's wrestling team, and I was tickled to lend a hand.

"I look forward to the 26th to get back in the ring again. It's for a great cause, and Meadow Bridge is a great community and I want to help out however I can."

Hamrick is among those who realize that involvement in sports is a positive for today's youth.

"I do believe that when kids are involved in sports that it gives them the opportunity to work together as a team, it teaches them discipline and opens doors to further their education and achieve their goals and dreams," she said. "When they are confident and believe in themselves, there is nothing stopping them."

Advance tickets are on sale now at the Meadow Bridge High School office. Adult tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Student tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. Under-12 tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door.

Watch American Pro Wrestling every Saturday at midnight on WVNS Fox59.

The card is subject to change.

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