Marines Pin Down Leads at Wrestling Tourney
By Sgt. Michael Wiener
| | March 23, 2004
Hershey, Pa. --
HERSHEY, Pa. (March 23, 2004) -- Recruiting Station Pittsburgh and Harrisburg Marines netted more than 500 age-qualified leads and presented the Corps to more than 30,000 spectators after gaining exclusive access to the Pennsylvania High School Wrestling State Championship Tournament March 4-6, at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.
The unlimited access was a direct benefit of a partnership with the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and iHigh, a high school marketing network.
“The ability to walk into a high profile event like the state championships and be an integral part of it is invaluable,” said Sgt. Jason Rivera, Recruiting Station Pittsburgh recruiter. “Our presence here validates our commitment to these kids and also their parents and the community. We’re about more than just snatching up contracts, we’re here to support our community as well.”
During the three days, the District EMV and inflatable drill instructor welcomed the tens of thousands of spectators who walked through the Giant Center’s doors. Pittsburgh and Harrisburg Marines netted hundreds of age-qualified leads through the Chin Up Challenge, staged Marine Corps banners on all of the scorers’ tables and provided color guards for the championship rounds.
“Nine or 10,000 eyes were right on us as we marched out for the national anthem,” said Staff Sergeant Miles, Recruiting Station Pittsburgh recruiter. “Nobody saw us as recruiters. They saw Marines. I can’t count the number of ‘thanks’ and hand shakes I received.”
Marines also handed medals to the coaches for them to place around the top eight wrestlers in each weight class.
“That kid is going to recognize me the next time I walk into his school,” Rivera said. “He’s going to know that I’m the Marine who gave his coach his first place medal – instant rapport.”
“We’re willing to do pretty much anything in order to accommodate the Marines,” said Mark Byers, PIAA executive director. “It’s my job to ensure the Marines are taken care of and have access to all available assets.”