By Ray Hamill — College of the Redwoods announced on Tuesday morning that the school will be adding two more intercollegiate teams within the next two years.
The Corsairs will be begin competing in men’s wrestling in the fall of 2023 and in the women’s wrestling the following spring.
This will mark the first time the Corsairs have ever competed in women’s wrestling, while the men’s program makes a welcome return for the first time in more than four decades.
“We are extremely excited to be moving forward with the implementation of both these wrestling programs,” CR Athletics Director Bob Brown said in a press release. “It will be the first time for a women’s program and the revival of the men’s program after a more than 40-year absence from competition.”
The two teams follow the recent addition of a women’s tennis program at the local community college as well as the recent reinstatement of the CR football team, which will will begin competing again this fall after a three-year hiatus.
“I am extremely excited and pleased that College of the Redwoods will add a new women’s wrestling program and reintroduce men’s wrestling to our list of intercollegiate sports,” CR President Keith Flamer said in the news release. “I believe that starting a women’s and men’s wrestling program at CR in 2023-24 is the next exciting part of our commitment to women’s athletics and providing a place where local men and women high school athletes can continue competing while earning a college degree.”
The two new teams will give the Corsairs 15 intercollegiate teams in total, including eight women’s teams and seven men’s.
The eight women’s teams scheduled to compete at CR in the 2023/24 school year will be the most ever in any year at the college.
The CR women’s tennis team began competing this spring in what is the 50th anniversary of Title IX.
The news, no doubt, will also be well received by the local wrestling community.
The sport has thrived here for generations, with both CR and Humboldt State (now Cal Poly Humboldt) previously fielding teams.
Women’s wrestling, meanwhile, is one of the fastest growing collegiate sports around the nation in recent years, and that growing popularity has been felt locally with a couple of H-DNL graduates moving on to compete at the next level in each of the past few years.
The Eureka and Del Norte high school girls programs have been particularly impressive.
Two years ago, the Loggers placed third overall in the entire North Coast Section, while the Warriors claimed a first-ever league championship this past winter.
Seven of the nine H-DNL schools that compete in wrestling have had girls competing over the past couple of years, including six this past season.
The Corsairs will hire a new coach for each team in the fall, with the programs’ off-season conditioning expected to begin next spring.