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Paul E. Huddleston
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Building a tradition

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New annex building provides new home for wrestling program

HARTINGTON — Cedar Catholic’s youth wrestling program has always grappled with not having enough space.

When Cameron Schrempp started as a coach in 2018, the “League of Heroes” program for preschool through eighth-graders boasted 56 wrestlers and utilized the city auditorium basement.

“It was too small, so I started asking around to figure out a place to rent that’s a little bit bigger. The school really wasn’t an option for that many kids,” he said, with basketball and other activities already occupying gym space.

He found a space to rent next to TUF Gym downtown and the wrestling club has been using that space for the past three years.

That also wasn’t ideal.

“It was very cold and no insulation which is important to have in a building you’re trying to heat for wrestlers who are trying to lose weight,” he said of older wrestlers. Support beams in the middle of the floor also posed a safety challenge for those hip throws, half Nelsons and sweeps.

That space is no longer available so Schrempp and the other coaches found themselves back at the drawing board.

But all that will change with a new building project set to get underway this spring.

The program will have a permanent home on campus with the new Cedar Catholic Campus Building Annex built on the south side of the Msgr. Werner Activity Center parking lot.

The school explored every possible location for the new facility and found it to be the best fit and most cost-efficient.

The new 7,000-square-foot metal building will house an 84-foot-by-42-foot wrestling floor that will accommodate high school wrestling as well as the youth program. The high school wrestling program has been a co-op activity with Hartington-Newcastle High School since 2008 and the privately-sponsored “League of Heroes” youth program is open to students in surrounding areas.

The new annex will also feature a 15-foot-by-26-foot golf practice room, locker rooms, a small office, and a storage area for football and lawn equipment, said the Rev. Owen Korte.

The new building’s exterior and interior look will complement the adjacent Msgr. Werner Center and blend with other buildings on campus, he said.

“It’s going to be a simple building but more useful to us than we think,” he said.

Thirty new parking spaces will also be built to accommodate all activities.

The total project is expected to be less than $600,000 and already about $400,000 has been raised or pledged, Korte said. That amount includes subcontractors who have provided some services in-kind.

“As soon as the dust settles from the gala, we will be going out for visits to finish up (fundraising),” he said. The school intends for the

The school intends for the fundraising to be short-term with gifts and pledges to culminate by 2023, working with each donor for a gift term that works best. Work has already started at

Work has already started at the site with some trees removed and an old storage building sold and moved off the property, Korte said.

Randy Kathol will oversee the project as the general contractor.

Schrempp, who also serves as a building committee member, is relieved his arms and back will get relief from moving the large wrestling mats around town for practices, meets and tournaments.

“It’s kind of hard to do - not impossible - with enough hands it’s alright,” he said, adding that rolling up and transporting causes wear to the expensive mats.

Along with coaches, parents and wrestlers are equally - if not more - excited for the project.

“It will help the high schoolers out tremendously ... to have an actual home to practice and train in,” Schrempp said. “It will help boost confidence tremendously.”