WALL TOWNSHIP — Wall Knights Wrestling Club received a proclamation from the Township Committee during the April 27 meeting for the charitable donations and growth the club has made in recent years.
The Wall Knights Wrestling Club consists of first to eighth-grade teams which compete in the Jersey Shore League travel division.
Two coaches accepted the proclamation on behalf of the club; Ray Boulard and Frank Kuhl.
Mr. Boulard has been a coach since 2015, and Mr. Kuhl took the head coach position in 2017. With the help of many other coaches, parents and members of the Booster Club, they were able to change the culture of the youth wrestling program in recent years.
Mr. Boulard, who lives in Wall and works as a police officer in Roseland, has a son who is in sixth-grade in the program. He is a black belt in judo and has been wrestling since he was a kid in West Orange.
Mr. Kuhl is a police officer in Wall Township and became the program’s head coach after he coached for the Howell Predators. He also serves on the recreational committee of Wall Township.
“When my son first started in kindergarten, we had about 15 kids. We’ve grown now to over a hundred kids and we see it growing more,” said Mr. Boulard.
Mr. Kuhl and Mr. Boulard credit the program’s growth to the involvement of parents, many of whom signed up to coach for the club.
“Once we got to a point where we had over a hundred kids, we realized we needed more coaches to give the kids the hands-on attention required,” said Mr. Kuhl.
“Most of our coaches other than myself are parents of kids in the club. A lot of them have other coaching obligations, but it’s been incredible the amount of talent we’ve got in recent years.”
Mr. Kuhl credited many coaches to the club’s success, including Mark Distefano, who wrestled at Ryder University; Marlboro Middle School head coach Ryan Collins; Wes Rosamilia, who wrestled at Blair Academy and the University of Chicago; Jason DeBruin, who wrestled at Hofstra University and Head coach at Manalapan High School Scott Pressman.
Wall Knights Wrestling Club raised nearly $35,000 in charitable donations in the past four seasons. Most recently, they donated $10,000 to the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation.
Before their arrival, Mr. Boulard and Mr. Kuhl said the club’s annual tournament wasn’t generating the necessary funds.
Mr. Boulard came up with an idea to turn the annual tournament into a fundraiser for local charities.
“We wanted to change the culture. Football is huge in Wall, along with soccer and baseball, but what we have been doing with donations is unique in the town. We keep enough to get by and give the rest away.”
The donations come from annual tournaments held at Wall Highs School. On Jan. 16, they hosted the Takedown Pediatric Cancer tournament, where more than half of the proceeds went to the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation.
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