AUBURN — Edward Little High School will add a wrestling team following a push from a local youth wrestling club, the School Committee decided Wednesday.

The team was approved on a probationary basis for the next two school years. After this trial period, the School Committee will decide whether to keep the program permanently or extend the probationary period.

The estimated $20,000 needed to run the program in its first year will come from the Auburn Youth Wrestling Club in part because the school budget has already been approved by the School Committee and City Council. Residents will vote in the budget validation referendum Tuesday.

Auburn Middle School eighth grader Cooper Blair, left, practices April 12 with the Auburn Youth Wrestling Club at Fairview Elementary School in Auburn. Blair is among seven other rising freshmen who are planning to join Edward Little High School’s first wrestling team next year. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

The program may be considered for district funding next year, according to a memo written by Superintendent Cornelia Brown.

The Auburn Youth Wrestling Club, which was started in 2018 by Ben Madigan of Auburn, has more than 50 participants from kindergarten to eighth grade, according to a proposal written by Edward Little Athletic Director Todd Sampson. Eight of their members will be freshmen at Edward Little next year and are expected to join what may be the high school’s first-ever wrestling team.

In April, the club’s middle school athletes won the Pine Tree Wrestling League State Championship, which had participants from 25 middle schools and clubs across Maine, and the sportsmanship award for the western region of Maine.


At the School Committee meeting, more than a dozen people associated with the wrestling club were in attendance. Madigan and two wrestlers spoke during public comment to urge the School Committee to approve the new athletic program.

One of those wrestlers was 10-year-old Tia St. Peter-Scott. She told the School Committee that when she began wrestling in kindergarten, she noticed that she was the only girl in the club.

“I was confused and realized that not a lot of girls wrestled,” she said. “I think there should be a program in high school because I want to make sure that all of the girls in high school, if they want to wrestle, (can),” she said.

St. Peter-Scott told the School Committee that she wants to be a coach for the wrestling club when she’s older.

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