Proposal would give boost to H.S. wrestling

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 11 May 2020 at 1:18 pm

High school wrestling teams in New York State face a challenge in every match – filling 15 different weight classes.

And for many programs which struggle with low numbers of wrestlers it is impossible to fill all of those weight classes resulting in matches filled with numerous forfeits.

Now the majority of sections across the state, including Sections VI and V locally, have approved a proposal which would reduce the number of weight classes from 15 to 13.

That proposal will now be a discussion item at May 27 meeting of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s Executive Council. A vote on the proposal is then likely at the Council’s June or July meeting.

Currently the 15 weight classes are 99, 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 ad 285.

The proposal to go to 13 would eliminate one weight class at the lower weights and one at the higher wright.  The four weight classes from 99-120 would be reduced to three (102, 110 and 118).  The four weight classes from 170 to 220 would likewise be reduced to three (172, 189 and 215).

“I think the proposal can be better for wrestling,” said Medina Coach Eric Gross. “Right now there are a lot of forfeits. Overall I think it will help programs all over that are struggling for numbers. I think it’s in the right direction. Hopefully it will make for more competitive dual matches.”

“If it helps programs be better and be more competitive I’m 100 percent behind it,” said Albion Coach Pat Uveino. “We’ve been very fortunate at Albion to have good numbers but there are a lot of programs where numbers are a problem. So if we can help make programs stronger and have less forfeits that will be a great thing.”