Backroads: Appalachian Mountain Wrestling
Faculty and staff at Chavies Elementary School work hard to encourage reading and hold anti-bullying campaigns. Sometimes, they even bring in outside help.
That was the case one November afternoon when a new wrestling company known as Appalachian Mountain Wrestling read to the students and spoke on the importance of not being a bully.
Compared to the kids, professional wrestler Clinton Stacy looked like a giant, but he kept the kids' attention as he read the book.
Stacy was there on behalf of Appalachian Mountain Wrestling, which began in September of 2016.
"It's a fairly new wrestling organization that was started by a group of people here in Hazard. They're trying to do events at all
these smaller communities across the Appalachian region of Kentucky," said professional wrestler Kyle Maggard.
The company moves across Eastern Kentucky not only to wrestle, but to have a positive impact on the community as well.
"We all understand what impression we make on those children so we all feel it's kind of our duty that these kids understand right
from wrong," Maggard said.
"Kids look up, they have role models. And they like wrestlers because we're big guys. They look up to us and they're like, 'Hey,
you know, I like that guy. I want to be like that guy.' And if you stress the importance of reading to them, you're leading them by
example," Clinton Stacy said.
As quickly as the gym transformed into a wrestling venue, the gentle giants who mentored the kids fashioned into professional wrestlers and jumped in the ring.
Kids and parents can all find enjoyment out of going to the events.
"You get the kids -when they're in school all the time, they've gotta behave and sit still and be quiet. And when they come here, they
can just... they see big, strong guys beating up on each other ... they can be loud and rowdy and just have fun. Yell and scream.
Hoot and holler. I think some of the parents are like that too," Maggard said.
Since the company is so new, a heavyweight champion has yet to be named, but that changes on Thanksgiving night.
To see a complete list of upcoming events, visit their Facebook page