By Anne Viricel, Reporter
Highland Community News
“Because we believe, 830 we will achieve” is the tagline for Thompson Elementary School’s on-going efforts to raise overall test scores from last years’ 801 to 830.
Principal (and longtime professional wrestling fan) Marcus Funchess promised the students a main event wrestling show if they would work to increase the scores and he didn’t disappoint.
This past Saturday, Thompson students and their families were treated to a pro wrestling spectacular featuring a number of Empire Wrestling Federation stars, including in the final heat, Vizzion, “the man, the myth, the mullet.”
Vizzion had visited the school the day before the match to encourage the students to study for the tests.
Photo by Aubrey Plavajka – EWF Pro wrestlers Vizzion and Terex took to the mat at Thompson Elementary School to support the school’s efforts at raising test scores.
The father of four, whose daughters Katianne, 10, and Abagail, 5, both attend at Thompson, spoke about overcoming challenges and achieving goals.
Older daughter Aubrey, soon to receive her journalism degree, penned the “Ask Aubrey” column that ran in the Highland Community News in 2009.
Along with others from EWF, he was recently involved in the Read Across America program, reading to children at Verdemont Elementary School.
The Thompson event opened with some welcoming remarks by Principal Funchess, and then selected students escorted the wrestlers to the ring.
In Match One, rookies Brute Baretto and Jeff Stone paired off with Baretto’s “Brute Slam” winning him the match.
Match Two saw Stryder battling Chowder the Bar Room Saint which ended with a surprise “drop bottom” move by Stryder that gave him the three count against Chowder.
Another upset was seen in Match Three where favorite Valiant was defeated by the evil Sugar Sweet.
The hard-fought fourth match decided that Handsome Johnny Star would retain the EWF Championship in a bout with locker room bully Killa Gorilla.
Match Five was a tag team bout pitting EF champions “Top Shelf” Jeremy Jaeger and “The Overnight Celebrity” Roger Ruiz against Eddie Mattson and “Big Bad” Maddix, collectively known as “The Rattle from Seattle.” Thompson fans cheered as the local team decimated their northern challengers.
The main fight, Match Six, was to pair Thompson parent Vizzion against Terex, “The 400 Pound Monster” in a long-awaited grudge match. But as Vizzion entered the ring, Terex ambushed him from behind. Quickly gaining his footing, Vizzion fought back and took the match to the wild cheers of attendees.
Following, all competitors took to the ring in an all-out 15-man Royal Rumble won by the notorious Sugar Sweet who then stepped to the microphone to extol the virtues of bullying as a way to be a winner. This brought boos from the crowd and so incensed wrestler Starr that he attacked Sweet with a knock-out meant to send the message that bullying is never tolerable.
The enthusiastic crowd of Thompson students and parents cheered and applauded throughout the event.
Said PTA President Christy Harbour, “I’ve been involved here for many years and Mr. Funchess is probably the best principal I’ve ever met. He loves the kids. He’s zero tolerance, but he has a heart of gold.”
“Honestly, I see this as a way to keep the families engaged and involved,” said Funchess, adding, “This is just a great opportunity for Thompson families to come enjoy a positive event here at the school while supporting academic achievement.”