Syracuse, NY – New York state high school wrestling teams will have a weaker appearance for the next two seasons.
The central committee of the Athletic Association of the New York Public Schools Public Association approved a two-year trial of reducing school weight classes from 15 to 13. The movement, held on a 28-19 vote, he had already been given thumbs up by the state wrestling committee.
The committee set up the lowest weight class, 99 pounds, and replaced a few others. Previously, the ratings were 99, 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220, 285.
The new ones are 102, 110, 118,126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 172, 189, 215, 285.
The issue was prompted by the difficulty that some smaller schools were opening full teams, especially at the lowest weights. Those teams have been forced to start meeting already with six points for each lost weight class.
Phoenix coach Gene Mills said his team regularly missed two classes whenever it met last year and put his team at 12 points.
“If there were 10 weight classes, almost any of those schools could (fill out a full list),” Mills said. “Now, you have to find 15 children who have a work ethic, pride. It seems (stink) for the big schools that really have these numbers, but for most other schools it’s hard (why have a complete lineup). “
Some programs turn to younger junior varsity wrestlers, who may not be ready for varsity action, to fill lighter slots. The NYSPHSAA said last year there were 719 wrestlers who certified in the 99-pound weight class. Of the 719, 532 were seventh, eighth and ninth graders.
Jeffrey Waldron, Fulton powerhouse coach, has no problem with roster depth but said he understands the reasoning behind the move.
“If it’s good for the sport, I’m not going to fight it just because it’s not good for Fulton,” he said. “I think the same level of play is for schools struggling to fill weight classes.”
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Lindsay Kramer is a reporter for Syracuse and Post-Standard syracuse.com. Do you have a comment or idea for a story? It can be reached via email at LKramer@Syracuse.com.