SALAMANCA – Academics, for better or worse, often dominate the discussion at school board meetings, with the contributions of clubs and sports teams often left out. That wasn’t the case Tuesday night in the Salamanca City School District, with one coach even calling for recognition of the district’s long history of success in his sport.
School Board members heard results from student organizations and teams, starting with the Salamanca Odyssey of the Mind teams and how they fared at the regional tournament in Wellsville over the weekend. When the competition ended, three Salamanca teams were left standing to represent the city in the state tournament in Binghamton in two weeks.
Two faced with an engineering challenge fared particularly well, creating a structure made of balsa wood and glue that had to roll a minimum of 18 inches off a ramp while holding as much weight as possible and weighing no more than 15 grams. One of the team’s creations held more than 400 pounds.
The board also heard all of the winter-sports coaches report on how their teams did. All of the teams, from modified to varsity, from basketball and wrestling to bowling, saw improvement in some area, not only from last season to this one, but from the start of the season to the end.
In bringing up Salamanca’s rich tradition in his sport, wrestling coach and former state champion Kane Smith noted that a trip into the school gymnasium reveals that something is lacking. A glance at the walls will show banners for basketball, football, even volleyball. Nowhere is there a mention of wrestling.
“I have had the pleasure of going to coaches meetings and talking to others in the section,” Smith said. “One of the things that is always brought up is how strong this district is in wrestling.”
Smith said that a look at the records of all the wrestlers in the section to accumulate 200 or more wins shows that Salamanca is the only school with four.
“Many other schools have one, maybe two, but no one has as many as we do,” he said. “I know the money is in the budget to do it. We need to recognize these guys. We need to focus on the positives that we have in the area.”
The next meeting of the School Board will be at 6:30 p.m. March 26 in the high school.