Wrestling establishes social media presence

Zain Bando, Sports Editor

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As wrestlers sprawl on the mats looking for a position to set up pins, fans cheer while coaches guide their team to victory. While wrestling may be a physical sport, there is an element that DGN wrestling continues to establish: social media.

During the 2016-17 season, the team created a program Twitter account. DGN Wrestling (@DGN_Wrestling) was created with the purpose to promote the happenings of the team. From scores to photos, to videos, etc. The newest athletics Twitter account at DGN, wrestling continues to establish its media presence. Along with social media, head varsity coach and English teacher Chris McGrath instituted promo videos on the Friday video announcements and flyers around school with info for people to join the team.

As of Jan. 24, the account has 108 followers, with their last tweet posted Jan. 23. The official owner of the account is CTE teacher and freshman coach Larry Baca. However, he lends the account credentials to the varsity team, and manager, junior Maggie Urbanski.

Last season, the account’s most recognized tweet had nine retweets and 26 likes after a 59-6 team victory over York High School Jan. 6, 2017. It also gained 3,104 impressions (an impression is the number of times someone viewed a tweet).

In the November 2017 Omega, McGrath discussed the evolution of the program in regards to publicity, and why it would benefit more people if they joined.

Most kids know about football, basketball, and baseball, and the wrestling coaches have to educate students about our sport,” McGrath said. “We are just evolving with the times. We used to rely on talking to PE classes. Now we do that and send video announcements. It just seemed like a great way to get the word out.”

With social media keeping us informed on a daily basis, the importance of maintaining an active account could be something wrestling can improve on. During the 2017-18 season to this point, the account gained five new followers.

Currently, the team has four all-state wrestlers, including Purdue-commit, Nate Cummings. With that being the case, social media coverage for the team should be essential. This not only benefits the team but also potential reporters that may want to cover the team in the near future. The more information presented, the more coverage the team will receive. Despite the talent displayed on the mats, Twitter coverage remains inconsistent, something that was not the case when the account began. Thus far, the account tweets an average of two times per week.

McGrath already created a promo video for senior night, which takes place Jan. 25 against Leyden High School at 7:30 pm. The meet will feature a senior recognition ceremony at 7:00 p.m, along with a raffle and rally towel giveaway that students can partake in. The varsity cheerleading team will also be on sight to hype up the crowd during individual matches.

There have been large crowds at senior night’s the past few years. The primary reason for this is because N-Zone worked tirelessly with the team to create Twitter graphics, along with flyers to help promote the meet. The 2015-16 senior night graphic gained 2,744 impressions, eight retweets, and nine likes. Since the graphic was tweeted, N-Zone has yet to tweet another message or graphic regarding the team, which could be a potential issue in fan attendance or understanding of the sport.

With the postseason right around the corner, it is important that DGN wrestling’s Twitter account gets back to tweeting, especially for those who can’t make it to every stage of the state playoffs.  In addition, there are wrestlers who are fully participating and don’t wrestle multiple times during a single meet, which should make it easy to tweet a handful of times.

At DGN, social media, especially Twitter, has become important in promoting athletics. If the team expects a huge crowd tomorrow night, they need to continue to promote the meet over the next two days. Two reminder tweets have already been sent out regarding the meet. Combined, they received 11 retweets, 13 likes, and 727 impressions. It is the second-to-last home meet of the regular season before regionals begin, without anyone getting hurt.