LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The Cache wrestling team said they are extra hyped for state this weekend, now that they get to practice in their brand new gym!
Both the Cache head wrestling coach, Jimbo Smith, and the athletes said this gym was much needed since they did not have a practice facility yet of their own, instead utilizing several other gyms in the area.
“It’s been a journey," said Smith. "We started out at about four different places in four different gyms and we just had to do what we had to do because there wasn’t enough gym space. So we finally got this built. really happy it was able to be done. It’s just a practice facility, but it’s perfect for what the wrestlers need.”
Cache's 2017 school bond had money left over, which helped make the gym a reality, costing $800,000.
Some special features include wall mats and a dojo floor, which is made of plywood and Styrofoam blocks, cutting down on injuries.
“I’m super grateful, because if we had this years before, like we’d have better wrestlers. It’s just nice having something for your own and being able to practice in your own gym and have your own locker and just have it as your own,” said Marquez Dowell, a senior on the wrestling team.
The Cache wrestling program has excelled since its start six years ago, from growing each year in athletes, to having girls join the team and now having their own facility.
“We’ve definitely been excelling every year and our numbers been turning up better, like every year we’re just improving more and more, I feel," said Luke Hill, a junior on the wresting team. "To be honest, I can’t wait until next year to see how good we’ll be then.”
Smith said the future is bright for Cache wrestling.
“It’s a good time to be in Cache and it’s a good time to be in wrestling for this area," said Smith. "Have a lot of young kids coming up that are really tough and everything’s heading in the right direction. So, it’s a good time to be wrestling in Cache, I can tell you that.”
The facility will also be used for P.E. classes and for the community, such as the sheriff’s department for tactical training.
Cache wrestling has also been recognized as the academic state champions the past two years. They will bus up to Oklahoma City for this year’s state tournament on Friday to receive their medals.