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New Balance 410 Red

New Balance 410 Red

New Balance 410 Red

"It's amazing and very special," Bryant said of the experience so far. "There's not a lot of people who get the chance to start up a new team from ground up and be this successful."

"To recruit these kids, I had to keep on them," Scribner said. "We had 35 come out and get registered to wrestle. But after they realized how tough the practices are and you have to spend long days on Saturdays at tournaments, we whittled it down to about 15 students."

New Balance 410 Red

Johnson classroom leading to one of Huntsville's best kept secrets.

"I always had that itch that I wanted to finish my senior season," Scribner said. "I came here and realized they didn't have a team, so it just made me want to start it up. When (Principal Eric Jones and Assistant Principal Roderick Tomlin) showed support for the idea, I just ran with it. And the community has been incredibly helpful in getting this team started."

´╗┐Johnson wrestling finds success while grappling with challenges of reviving program photos

How did a wrestling team suddenly spring up at an inner city school that hasn't fielded a full team in more than a decade? The answer is Chris Scribner, a 26 year old Manhattan native and Georgetown graduate who arrived at Johnson through the Teach for America program.

"The first practice was a little bit tough," said senior captain Robert Bryant, who competes in the the 400 and 800 meter runs for Johnson's track team. "We had a bunch of people who weren't really committed."

And thus began a roller coaster adventure. The team, which dresses for practice in Scribner's classroom, found the secluded weight room just before practice opened Oct. 28. Scribner used a grant and donations from family and friends to buy the mats, which he said cost thousands of dollars. Johnson has no assistant coaches, though fellow teachers have helped out.

New Balance 410 Red

a wrestling rich part of Alabama and to take the next step of making noise at sectionals, or possibly even the state tournament. But Scribner doesn't allow the challenges ahead to weight him down.

With the roster in place, Johnson moved on to the next hurdle: Competition. The Jaguars opened at New Balance 620 Women's

New Balance 410 Red

That confidence led to better performances, highlighted by freshman Jaquan Rhodes winning the 145 pound weight class in the seventh ninth grade division with a takedown in the final 10 seconds.

New Balance 410 Red

Johnson was 12 10 following its first tournament win at the Northwest Rumble on Thursday. The other season highlight was a second place showing at the Huntsville City Duals.

Beyond the door lies a cold, dimly lit hallway, and a long forgotten, old weight room that is alive with activity. The room, now covered in black mats, serves as the practice location for the revived Jaguar wrestling program.

Johnson's roster features just one athlete with previous wrestling experience: Senior Michael Olowolowo, who competed for the Sparkman JV team a couple of years ago.

There's still work to be done for New Balance 410 Red Johnson to remain competitive in New Balance 420 Black Leather

I was throwing up the night before," Scribner said. "I wanted them to do so well. The first few kids went out there and went right on their backs. My heart sunk. Then, as the day went on, I started to see them gain more confidence."

"The first tournament, I remember, I was so nervous for these kids that New Balance 1080 V6 Womens

New Balance 410 Red

New Balance 410 Red

New Balance 410 Red

Buckhorn's Battlefield Duals on Dec. 21.

Convincing kids to wrestle was a task, as well. The majority of the team is made up of students from Scribner's ninth grade world history class.

"After that day, I realized they could compete," Scribner said. "They've got the hunger. What they need is consistency. They need it here every day in training."

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