Will there be a wrestling season?

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Chase Johnson, Writer

Blythewood High School’s wrestling team began practice on Monday, November 9, but the athletes are unsure of whether they will have a competitive season. Many wrestlers and wrestling teams are struggling because of the pandemic. 

High school wrestlers are weighing in over their weight class because of quarantine and also because they haven’t done any workouts since last March. Therefore, the rules of weights might be changed and increased due to the mass majority of the wrestlers being overweight which could affect their season and their record. 

The season might be canceled because of the change in social distance guidelines, including how many wrestlers are allowed in a room and how many can wrestle in a tournament. There are about 200 wrestlers in each tournament and each wrestler wrestles about 4 times throughout the entire day. Because of cleaning protocols and social distancing, meets could take much longer to complete or the number of wrestlers might have to be lowered

Coaches are looking up to colleges that are already wrestling, but colleges only wrestle in individual tournaments. That’s a big difference between 100 people and 200 people, and therefore can go against the social distance guidelines.  

High school practice will be in pods of 3 or 4, so if someone in that pod gets COVID-19, instead of the whole team having to quarantine, only that pod will. The pods are based on weight class and skill. There are veteran and rookie wrestlers the coach is trying to distribute them evenly so they can learn from the vetern. 

 The weight room is also limited to only 3 players and one coach so that can affect the training and conditioning that will go on in a regular season. For now, conditioning is only social distance running, which isn’t really effective training for a real match. Before COVID-19, practice would include free room wrestling, which is wrestling for an hour straight which simulates in an actual match. But now there is less conditioning and that can change on who wins and who doesn’t. But by next week they are allowing full contact in practice so that gives wrestlers one month to condition before their first match. 

In previous seasons, high school wrestling teams were allowed to have a match any time of the week so some high schools had 3 matches in one week. But now due to COVI-19 guidelines, teams can only have a match every four days. That limits the numbers of matches by almost half, and wrestlers who used to have 50 plus matches now will have 30 or less matches this season.