The SAC is unlucky that Carroll isn't in the SAC when it comes to wrestling. Carroll has a better program than SAC schools and them joining the SAC would only help teams to improve. Carroll is outside of FWCS which already provides them with a step up as there's more consistency and support from their administration. FWCS doesn't provide the same level of athletic support and focus except for a few events such as the SAC Holiday basketball tournament. If you look at things like access to resources, feeder programs, coaching longevity, training facilities, family support, community support, and competition schedule it makes complete sense that Carroll is a better program.
FWCS has a long way to go to get to Carroll’s level but it’s not an impossible task. One of the best things to improve programs would be to increase the difficulty of a programs schedule and create a system that provides stability and accountability for the athletes. Most FWCS wrestlers first learn about wrestling when they’re in High School and many programs have few 4 year wrestlers. That’s a huge disadvantage especially in a sport like wrestling where mat time means so much for an athlete’s comfortability and confidence. There’s a lot of weird and unnatural positions, in comparison to other sports, that wrestlers find themselves in and this is where many FWCS wrestlers have difficulties. Setting up feeder programs would do wonders for FWCS programs but FWCS administration makes it very difficult to do so.
If Carroll joined the SAC I’m sure they wouldn’t enjoy it as it would reduce the competitiveness of their schedule as they would have to attend the SAC team tournament, along with the SAC individual tournament. It would however greatly help other teams as it would provide a new measuring stick. Carroll would win the conference titles for a few years but the competition would increase the overall talent of Northeast Indiana. I know it can be discouraging for athletes to place in the top spots of their conference and then not advance to Regionals or Semi-State. Many wrestlers would rather not be a conference champion if it meant advancing further in the state tournament. I’d rather be a 20-10 State Qualifier than a 29-1 Sectional participant.