For the most part, traditions are built by families, institutions, programs and any establishment wanting to foster pride, progress and foundations for success and longetivity. The measure of their importance to society comes in many forms, with both rational and emotional feelings by the communities involved.
I was recently told about plans at Sonoma Valley High School to take the long-standing wrestling room and convert it into a dance class, which is a class for four periods of the day, and relocate the Dragons’ wrestling program to Golton Hall, where there already are mirrors and the dance classes have been held – the dance and cheerleading teams practice there also.
This pending – and hopefully not final – decision by SVHS has not only disappointed Sonoma wrestling coaches Kyle Baird and Deets Winslow and their student-athletes, but also community members.
I’ve gotten a lot of angry feedback from the parents, especially after the longtime successful winter sports program raised money and remodeled its traditional wrestling room.
There’s a lot of passion involved in this situation because the wrestling room has a long tradition of more than a half a century of providing a perfect-sized matted workout facility, which has been the main foundation for building the Dragons’ rich championship wrestling history.
Of course, SVHS is trying to improve its educational offerings and utilizing Golton Hall and the wrestling room more makes sense.
But does turning the wrestling room into a dance room make sense?
Besides the threat of breaking one of the Dragons’ cherished sports traditions to the dismay of many, a dance classroom or practice facility wouldn’t be a suitable spot because of not only the costs to do it when the wrestlers already made their expensive remodeling, but it’s basically too small for dancers to learn or practice.
Besides being a sports editor, I say this from the experience of being a father of three daughters who were dancers – my youngest toured the country with a performance company that taught music and dancing production classes at high school, and my oldest daughter got a college degree in dancing and was a professional modern dancer.
Put it this way – it’s pretty hard to have a lot of dancers in a tight space.
Sure, some dance classes could be held, but what’s wrong with the more spacious Golton Hall?
And what about breaking a tradition which has served the school so well over these many years?
A compromise could be reached where the questioned room could be utilized by both the wrestlers and dancers.
Really, there’s always room for compromise, especially when the thought of losing a tradition is at stake.