District 51 on Friday announced that it has hired Chad Dare to lead its newly established district-wide girls wrestling program. The program will feature wrestlers from all local high schools.

Dare has experience leading wrestling squads, overseeing a club in the Grand Valley. He also established the region’s first all-girl team within his club.

“In our club, we had a girls’ session last winter and we started doing that,” Dare said. “I have a daughter that’s now really interested in girls wrestling. (District 51) kinda naturally took me. I have a passion for wrestling and for the lessons it teaches kids and for the life skills they gain from it. I think that it’s a great way for me to give back to the sport. I’ve been involved with the sport for over 30 years of my life, between wrestling, officiating and coaching.

“I’m not new to the sport, per se, but the head coach job is a really exciting next step for the valley and for our girls to be a part of something special.”

After starting the first all-girls club in the area, he’ll now have the opportunity to oversee the Western Slope’s first all-girls wrestling team.

Should the Colorado High School Activities Association uphold wrestling this winter as part of Season B of the organization’s sports calendar, the team will begin competing in January.

“Essentially, the state has created opportunities for the girls to compete in an all-girls atmosphere and they created an all-girls state tournament,” Dare said. “They have regionals and state tournaments, which is really big for the sport of wrestling and for girls wrestling in general. The district has come out and said, ‘We want to get a girls program started. We don’t have numbers to support one team for each high school, so what we’re going to do is we’re going to combine them and form a Grand Valley or Western Slope team and we’re going to go compete.’ ”

Before his coaching days, Dare wrestled at Meeker High School from 1991-1994, placing in the state tournament twice.

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