BRIDGEPORT - The wrestling head coach at Harding High School in Bridgeport says he is devastated after learning that the Board of Education is planning to eliminate the school's wrestling program.

Santiago says that a lot more than just his job is at stake. 

"We're saving lives," Santiago says. "We're saving lives. We keep 25 to 30 individuals off the street in the winter."

Sheriff Steve Nelson, a former football coach at Harding, agreed with Santiago's sentiments. He says by eliminating the wrestling program, vulnerable young people's hopes are being killed at a crucial turning point in their lives. 

Volleyball and track coach LaDonna Bigelow says a lot of the funding for her programs is also being cut.

Santiago is trying to raise $18,000 through donations to keep the wrestling program alive.