New club wrestles its way to SIU

By Melanie Early, @Melanieearly

After multiple attempts, wrestling has been approved to become the newest club sports team at SIU.

The team was approved by the Club Sports Council in fall 2014 and is expecting to have some small dual competitions, or head to head matches, later this spring.

Club president Chris Attaway, a senior from New Lenox studying mechanical engineering, wrestled from elementary school through high school. When he came to SIU in 2012, he realized how much he missed the sport.


“After talking with a lot of other people, I realized that I wasn’t the only person who felt left out by what SIU had to offer,” Attaway said.

Club wrestling has 16 people on its roster, but Attaway is still receiving text messages and emails from more interested about the program.

“It makes me happy that there is such a strong push for a wrestling club,” he said.

In order to become a sports club, the group must become a Registered Student Organization first. After, the representative of that club must make a presentation before the club sport council and be voted in.

Marissa Allen, graduate assistant of intramural and club sports, said students have mentioned the idea of becoming a club team since before she started in fall 2013, but never had enough interest to make a case to the council.

Attaway was the first student to take all of the proper steps.

Shane Bennett, intramural and club sports assistant director, said the club has a strong core of leaders who have the chance of making the team successful. He said the future of the program depends on how well the younger members are trained.


Bennett said his biggest concern with having a wrestling club was the fluctuation in students’ weights. He said he is worried about wrestlers eating too much or too little to make weight.

The National Collegiate Wrestling Association monitors the members’ weights. Athletes have to report their weights at every meet to the NCWA to make sure they are not losing or gaining weight at an unhealthy pace. The league has forms online with weight control plans.

“[The NCWA] does a great job at monitoring and controlling their initial weight and where they go from there,” Bennett said.

With wrestling, SIU now has 42 club sports teams.

The SIU wrestlers will compete against schools in the Great Lakes Conference such as Illinois State, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, University of Michigan and Ohio State.

Those interested in joining the SIU club wrestling team or would like more information may contact Attaway at [email protected].

Melanie Early can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3311 ext. 269