Tyrone-Bellwood “Black & Blue” match to support the Wounded Warrior Project

The rival teams will join together to raise money for veterans while showcasing their elementary through high school wrestling programs

Tyrone-Bellwood+Black+%26+Blue+match+to+support+the+Wounded+Warrior+Project

The Tyrone and Bellwood wrestling teams will host a “Black and Blue Match” on January 28, 2016 in Tyrone to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.  The rival teams will join forces for a night that includes wrestlers from each school’s elementary, junior high and varsity programs at one match.

The theme for the evening is “Brave Hearts Never Back Down.”

According to Tyrone varsity wrestling coach Mike Cherry, the theme was selected because both wrestling programs recognize that the value of high school sports can not be measured simply by wins and titles.

As hard as our wrestlers work, they recognize the truly hard work, dedication and sacrifice the members of our military make every day”

— Tyrone head coach Mike Cherry

“It is the building of character through hard work, perseverance, dedication and sacrifice,” said Cherry, “It is overcoming adversity, gaining confidence, being part of a team and being accountable on and off the mat. These are all attributes of a successful wrestler but also attributes of the members of our military and attributes necessary for a wounded warrior to overcome their injury. Thus, our theme for the event applies not only to the individual wrestler as he steps out on the mat but to those who serve our country and the wounded warrior who returns. To each we say, brave hearts never back down.”

The evening begins with the junior high match at 5:00 p.m., followed by the elementary at 6:30 p.m. and varsity at 8:00 p.m. Tyrone wrestling fans are asked to wear Black, and Bellwood-Antis fans to wear Blue to show their support.

The Tyrone wrestling team, coaches and boosters added the event this year as a way to give back to the community.  The Wounded Warrior Project was selected because the team and boosters wanted to do something to support the military.

“Wrestling is a demanding sport both physically and mentally. It requires hard work, dedication, skill, teamwork and sacrifice,” said Coach Cherry, “As hard as our wrestlers work, they recognize the truly hard work, dedication and sacrifice the members of our military make every day.”

While Tyrone and Bellwood have historically been rivals, both teams have a core of dedicated wrestlers that wrestle year round. Thus, through wrestling clubs, like Young Guns, and competing in tournaments, these likely rivals have developed true friendships”

— Tyrone head coach Mike Cherry

For many Tyrone wrestlers, the charity was a perfect choice.

“I intend to enter the Navy Reserves following graduation so this match has special meaning to me,” said senior Tyrone senior Aaron Lewis.

“I have two cousins that are currently serving in the United States Army. This is my way of showing them my support,” said Tyrone junior Michael Cherry.

Asking the Bellwood-Antis team to join the effort was an easy decision, according to coach Cherry.

“While Tyrone and Bellwood have historically been rivals, both teams have a core of dedicated wrestlers that wrestle year round. Thus, through wrestling clubs, like Young Guns, and competing in tournaments, these likely rivals have developed true friendships,” said Cherry.

Bellwood varsity wrestling coach Ron Wilson and his team support the idea and have joined Tyrone to raise funds for this worthy cause.

Both teams have combined to sell over 250 specially designed t-shirts for the event. The proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Both teams hope to make this an annual event.