Wrestling controversyMonday, February 15, 2010 By Ryan Murphy
Controversy Weigh-ins By Ryan Murphy In case you didn’t know, the Asheboro High School wrestling team traveled to Anson County High school to wrestle in the Dual State Playoffs first round against Anson County High School with the winner moving on to the second round to wrestle against the winner of JM Robinson and East Rowan later on that evening. An interesting fact about this match is that earlier this year Asheboro and Anson County wrestled each other in the East Montgomery tournament and Asheboro took the victory and won 52-18 also winning that tournament. Asheboro entered the Dual State Playoff Tournament with a 22-3 record with a rematch against Anson County who had a record of 21-12. Coming into this match Asheboro wrestlers and coach knew this wasn’t going to be an easy match especially with the fact that Asheboro school system has been closed for four days the week of January 31 st . This also didn’t help the fact that some kids were close to being overweight for their weight classes. Asheboro continued to work hard at practice and before Asheboro left that day to Anson County on February 9 th, everyone had made weight and we were ready to depart to Anson County. When we got there, we were told to wait for a little bit because weigh-in was at five o’clock but we could still go in the room and check our weight, and once again everyone had made their weight classes. In wrestling everyone worries about making sure they make their weight class. For example, if somebody is wrestling in the weight class 125, he has to make sure, before official weigh-ins, that he is either equal or lower than that weight, preferable lower, to be able to wrestle in that weight class when he goes to weigh in at the official weigh-in time. If somebody is overweight, then that person is disqualified and cannot wrestle that weight class during that day’s match. After maybe ten minutes sitting there, officials called us in for skin check and official weigh-ins. As our whole team was checked, we all sat there waiting to be marked for being eligible to wrestle. You are only marked if you passed the skin check and made weight. The referee called out Asheboro to weigh in and right after all of Asheboro weighed in and left back to their seats in the gym, the coach for Anson County said to our coach that we have seven players that are apparently underweight, meaning those seven individuals apparently lost too much weight, which means they were dehydrated and disqualified to wrestle that night’s matches. Ever since 1997 when three collegiate wrestlers died of dehydration while trying to cut weight to make their weight class, a new rule was issued that wrestlers could cut at the most two pounds from the previous official weigh-ins. So let’s say a wrestler was wrestling at 152, and weighed in one match at 151.7, well the next time that kid wrestles, he should be between 149.7 and 152 to be able to wrestle. Well the first thing you want to do after you make weight is to eat and drink to get your energy back to prepare for the match you wrestle in, and not only do you gain energy back you gain weight back. The point I am getting to, is that when you go into that wrestling room after that weekend’s tournament or match, you are overweight and you do the same thing for the next match by losing weight and wrestling. The problem that happened to the Asheboro team is that we had good and hard working practices like usual and like I said earlier, people like to make sure they are underweight before they depart to their match. What happened to wrestlers on Asheboro is that those wrestlers didn’t gain as much weight as they might normally gain that week and they lost more weight than last time. So let’s say that a wrestler at 152 weighed in at 147, he would be disqualified due to the fact that he was two pounds underweight and would be considered dehydrated. The rule does say, however, that how far the wrestler is underweight is based on good judgment by the coaches, so if a wrestler weighed three pounds underweight than their underweight minimum, you would disqualify them, but if that wrestler was maybe a couple tenths of a pound off their underweight minimum, than good judgment by the coaches would say you are close and probably can wrestle. Well Anson County didn’t give good judgment at all, because none of our wrestlers were more than a pound underweight, but Anson County still disqualified them. So that evening in that single elimination tournament, Asheboro had to forfeit five weight classes due to the underweight rule. I understand the purpose of this wrestling rule but if a wrestler is that close and gave every effort to make that weight class than I find that childless by Anson County to disqualify them because they knew that the Asheboro Wrestling team was going to defeat them that evening and probably end up advancing to the second round.