Editors note: This article was inadvertently left out of a package on county wrestling on Tuesday.
By BOB PUTNAM
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 21, 2001
The biggest number of those who quit wrestling, coaches say, come from the junior varsity level.
"There's just not a lot of incentive for them," Clearwater coach Tad Hazlewood said. "I know a lot of parents get angry because they pay to watch their kid, and half the time, he doesn't get to wrestle because there is a forfeit."
In a poll conducted last week, the Times asked the 16 public school coaches what could be done to keep the sport thriving. The overwhelming favorite was to allow JV wrestlers to go to tournaments.
Coaches have asked before. Each time, they've been met with resistence.
The county does not allow JV wrestlers to go to tournaments. The county also shortened the JV season six seasons ago from 15 dual meets to 10. Coaches argue taking JV teams to tournaments would not cost extra because they are using their own transportation.
Countryside coach Dave Frayer said about a decade ago, he made a proposal to the county to send JV wrestlers to tournaments and allow 11th-graders to participate on JV. "I proposed it for three straight years, and each time, the answer was no," he said. "So I just stopped proposing it. There's no cost to the county, so I don't understand the reasoning behind not allowing it"