Cheap Seats

Wrestlers worth a look….

First off, happy Halloween to all of you. Whatever your plans are stay safe, be smart and enjoy the day!!! The rain outside reminds me of the changing of the guard (pun intended) of the sports seasons. The meaning of the guard position changes from a large individual who opens holes to a smaller individual who dribbles through holes.

In addition to basketball (and swimming in some schools), the winter also brings about wrestling which has always been an intriguing sport to me. Not professional wrestling, the sport where larger-than-life (due to marketing and also due to what pro wrestlers put in their bodies) figures entertain millions of people and where most of it is choreographed to look real when most of it isn’t. But I’m talking amateur wrestling…nowhere is there a bigger disparity between the amateur and professional versions of a sport.

I was a basketball player until my sophomore year because I realized there was only room for one 5-9 stocky guard on a team (the other kid built like me on the team was not only a bit better than me but the coaches kid too…no way was I going to win that  battle). And, the winter months were valuable hitting-in-the-batting cage time too. I have two lasting memories when it comes to wrestling – one I remember in high school jumping rope as a part of basketball practice and see the wrestlers stagger out of their windowless training room to get water.

Unfortunately, the other image I have of wrestling is seeing almost weekly one of our top wrestlers in high school wearing a heavy sweatsuit, running to classes and sitting in the back of the class spitting in a trash can in order to make weight for a match that week. A lot of times the school of thought is if a wrestler is good at a certain weight, he/she can be really good if they go down a weight class.  I would like to see the folks who oversee youth sports set a “minimum weight” for kids based on body fat and make wrestlers ineligible to compete at certain weight classes.

But I must admit…wrestling meets are really cool. If you’ve never been to one I would argue there isn’t a more intense sport to see live. Lots of darkness, loud music, cheering and screaming…and that’s when the wrestlers first come out. For those of you who have sports “bucket lists” do yourself a favor and go to a high school, middle school or club wrestling meet. Wrestling is action-packed, intense and is something small and bigger kids and both boys and girls can compete in. And where I sit from the cheap seats that makes wrestling one of the best sports that are out there.

PAUL’S PREDICTIONS

It was back to a perfect week for me…got all three games right but this week there’s only two games on the local major college football landscape. To the picks!!!

OREGON STATE 28, USC 18 (game at Corvallis…USC historically struggles there)

And in the return of the upset special…

WASHINGTON STATE 33, Arizona State 20 (Going to be cold in Pullman which is good for Cougs)

Last week: 3-0                   Overall: 26-3

Paul Williams

I am a sports nut who has tried to make the transition from athlete to athletic....err....supporter of my two children and their athletic endeavours. I am also a former sports reporter for The Arlington Times, Marysville Globe, The Skagit Argus and The Coeur d'Alene Press. Follow me on Facebook or on Twitter (@PDub4170).