Wresting Amongst New COVID-19 Regulations

Gabby Pippins

Several sports at Plano West are beginning to start up this winter, but some are facing new challenges amongst new COVID-19 rules and regulations. Wrestling has arguably taken the hardest hit as their season has been pushed back multiple times.

“I have not been able to really see all of the changes yet because the season has been pushed back so many times,” junior wrestler Lorelei Jenkins said. “I have to wait until March for tournaments to start.”

Not only has the season been delayed several times, but the season is not as long as usual. Instead of going from November to February, it will only last 4-6 weeks beginning in March.

“The only new rules that have impacted me are our shortened season which limits the amount of matches we can have,” junior wrestler Farid Mobarak said. “It is not a major change though because we still have a state tournament which I am happy about, because I am still able to train and earn a state championship that I fell short of last year as a runner-up.”

Even with a lot of changes happening, some wrestlers are not too upset with them and know that the changes are for the better.

“The rules are safety first, as with any sport but honestly they do not seem too bad,” senior wrestler Aidan Losasso said. “We work around the masks and we sanitize the mats more, it has made wrestling a lot cleaner over the past few months.”

Although there have been several changes made to the season and its length, it has not greatly affected wrestlers’ decisions to play in the future.

“I am a senior this year,” senior wrestler Devin Patton said. “I have committed to Texas Wesleyan on an academic and athletic scholarship. So, yes, I have full intention on wrestling in college.”

Most junior wrestlers also share the same views.

“I am a junior, and there is no way that I would not wrestle if there was an opportunity to,” Jenkins said.

As far as the rules go, most would like to allow their usual competitions.

“The only change I would want is allowing us to have tournaments which we cannot this year,” Mobarak said. “We can only have team-team duals, only for one month as we will start in March. This is frustrating because normally our season starts in November and ends in February…what makes me the most mad about this is how football and other sports like baseball and volleyball had little to no delay on their seasons and are cut short for little to no competition compared to what wrestling has just been impacted with this year.”

Some are more dissatisfied with how long the seasons are.

“I would make the season its usual length because I would get closer to 40 matches rather than 20 at most,” Patton said.

Many wrestlers would like changes to be enforced, but a few would like to keep things as they are.

“Honestly, changing or altering any of the rules would probably turn out for the worse,” Losasso said. “The rules exist for a reason, and that is to keep us safe. If there were no negative repercussions I would want to take off the mask more during practices, because breathing super hard and wearing a cloth mask both get it wet from the moisture in your breath, and it gets uncomfortable and kind of stuffy.”