Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wrestling and Football

Please do not consider me a narrow minded sports fan, but I skim Yappi every other day looking for news on coaching changes and prospect names. I have never offered an opinion, and, for the most part, consider it senseless reading. When JJ sold out, I quit reading the other popular fan sports forum. This morning I read comments about wrestling and how it was losing good athletes to football.

Wrestling is tremendous individual competitive sport. Back in the "stone Age," Upper Sandusky did not offer wrestling as a varsity sport. Wrestled in physical education class, but that was about it. Really, I cannot speak from experience, but I did have some assistant football coaches over the years who also coached wrestling. One of my closest friends still coaches wrestling at Eastwood High School. I used to go to meets and also enjoyed watching practices. I still go to a few wrestling meets to watch high school football players wrestle. Wrestlers have all of my respect. I mean they condition really hard. In fact they make me tired just watching.

Two concerns about wrestling for football players. Coaches ask players to lose weight to go to a lower weight class. Now sometimes they do not ask them, but they present a picture that forces them to lose the weight. Selfishly, I am concerned about the potential college football prospect in the 171 weight class or above. Also, dual meets are a thing of the past. To me this limits a lesser wrestler to show his stuff. I am sure that the OHSAA has something to do with this. PLEASE remember, I believe wrestlers are tremendous competitors and that wrestling is an excellent sport.

Wrestling can improve an athletes endurance, leverage and balance. Wrestlers make good defensive linemen. Obviously, wrestling improves an athlete's competitive nature.

A college football prospect can do both - wrestle and play football. But here is my concern. AAU. Players should use good judgment when trying to decide what is best for him. Wrestle AAU all summer and miss football team workouts and team competition during the summer, or stop AAU wrestling workouts July 1, and concentrate on football until the end of the regular football season.

What is best for the "kid?" For the majority of young athletes, play as many sports as you can. Have fun. Enjoy playing sports. For the small minority, concentrate on one sport, but enjoy all of them. A nationally ranked wrestler at Lakewood St Edwards committed to play football at Northwestern next fall. Ohio State assistant coach Luke Fickel was a national champion heavyweight in high school at DeSales and started four years at O-State on the defensive line. Your high school years go fast, enjoy playing sports.

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