Grab your headgear and singlet and we'll grab our cameras and let's go to the mall!
The Hinkley Thunderbirds high school wrestling team hosted the state's first wrestling match at a mall on Tuesday, Jan. 29 against the Far Northeast Warriors.
At the base of store fronts and in the atrium of the Town Center at Aurora the two teams suited up to show passer-by shoppers the sport of wrestling, something they might not normally be accustomed to.
Rodney Padilla, Hinkley's Athletic Director, was the events master mind, "For many many years I've been wanting to do a showcase wrestling match at a mall where people who don't know much about wrestling would be able to witness what we do, hopefully get interested in the sport, and also invite our families, put our kids on a big stage and [provide] a showcase they'll always remember."
Shoppers stood on the ground floor, on the second level or wherever they found space to look down at the student-athletes as they took to the mats for competitive bouts.
No one knew what it would look like until the time came and when it did, everyone was pleased.
"I wasn't sure what to picture," Far Northeast wrestling coach Cory Montreuil said, "honestly you tell me you're rolling a mat out at the mall? What are you doing? Like, where's it going to go? How are we going to fit that in there? This is very very cool."
Both schools hope that events like these will expand wrestling reach and perhaps those unfamiliar with the sport can grapple with what the sports excitement.
Although a good portion of the matches viewers didn't come for the event, they got a good show.
"If you have some shopping to do, stop by and watch the wrestling match," Padilla said.