Sports give children an opportunity to participate in a group, experiencing physical and mental challenges in a safe environment. Athletic achievements in school can set patterns of behavior for a lifetime of healthy activity. Most of all, joining a team helps children feel like they belong, building self-esteem and confidence at a critical stage.
From the earliest recreational play days to the inception in 1961-62 of the very first wrestling, track and cheerleading squads and then throughout the last 50 years, Alabama School for the Blind has been a leader – and has educated future leaders – thanks to the efforts and hard work of talented faculty, administration, coaches, students and their families. At Alabama School for the Blind, most of our students wouldn’t make it onto an athletic team at their local public school. Whether wrestling or track, cheerleading or goalball, here at ASB, not only do they have an opportunity to make a team and compete, they can excel.
In 2012, ASB celebrated 50 years of athletics. We continue to define such core values as honor, leadership and teamwork – values on which the ASB athletics program was founded.
ASB has a long history of championship wrestling, with our teams competing against sighted students and other students with vision loss. Wrestling began at the Alabama School for the Blind in 1961, with seven boys, no budget and two educators with ambitious dreams.
One team overall state championship in the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) in 1971-72, 15 individual state champion titles (the latest in 2010 by Danny Finley) and numerous South Central Association of Schools for the Blind (SCASB) titles later, the wrestling program is still a vital part of ASB.
Students must be in the 7th grade or 13 years of age and maintain an overall “C” average in all academic subjects to try out for the wrestling team.
ASB has a strong cheer history – 50+ years strong! When students first competed in the athletic arena, there was a group of spirited cheerleaders ready to encourage them. That tradition is followed today, and the ASB gym has an un-paralleled level of excitement at all home wrestling meets.
The cheer team also competes in their own right taking the vast majority of the group and individual cheer competition championships at the South Central Association of Schools for the Blind (SCASB) tournament since the conference began. Our cheer team continues to break down barriers and prove that they can compete in a sighted world. ASB cheerleaders have received full scholarships to college, have made the Universal Cheerleading Association’s All-Star Team and have even cheered in London’s New Year’s parade. Most recently, our cheer team won first place in both the cheer and dance categories in a local competition competing against all sighted public schools.
To try out for cheerleading, a student must be in the 7th grade or age thirteen and maintain a “C” average or better in their academic studies.
Track and Field
ASB fields both a boys and girls track team which competes both against sighted public schools in the area and against other blind schools around the country. Our track and field team for girls and boys competes against local schools and in our conference and the South Central Association of Schools for the Blind (SCASB).
To try out for the cheerleading team or the wrestling team, a student must be in the 7th grade or age thirteen. Track team members must be in the 7th grade or age 12. All student athletes must maintain a “C” average or better in their academic work.