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Letters to the Editor

"Peak Wrestling in the Beginner Division?"

Why are members of Peak Wrestling who wrestled last year registering in the Beginner Division?

I am not going to name names, but there are at least two boys I recognize from last year registered in the Beginner Division, and they are both from Peak Wrestling.  One just wrestled one of my grandsons, when he wrestled my other grandson almost every weekend last season.

This is one of the reasons why I think it is ridiculous to have a Beginner Division.  People lie.  The rules are laid out, and they lie.  It's much better in freestyle, where there are no Beginner Divisions.  You get who you get, then you don't have people like these Peak Wrestling parents thinking that they don't have to abide by the rules.

I've been involved in wrestling for more than 30 years.  And I think that the Beginner Division is a joke.  Either coaches need to stop telling their wrestlers to register for it when they should not, or they need to police it themselves.  It's impossible for tournament directors to catch that sort of thing.  It's up to the coaches to make sure that their parents are honest and forthright in their dealings.

Wrestling Grandma

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Editor's Response

I understand your concern.  And I have similar thoughts, to be honest.  I prefer the freestyle method, where you might run into a beginner, or you might run into a national champion.  It's all luck of the draw.  And everyone has a first year in the sport.  Thank you for bringing this concern to the forefront.

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Reader's Response

Wrestling Grandma,

Thank you for your concerns about the Peak Wrestlers that have been registered in the beginner division. I understand your frustration with this, but keep in mind that there are a number of clubs that are guilty of the same thing. Each tournament director sets the standard for what a beginner is, and some tournaments view a beginner as someone with less than a year of experience, while others view it as someone with a couple months experience. What is the definition of a true beginner? If you have a wrestler that wrestled last year in the spring, but did not win a match and does not have the experience level of other kids, would you not consider this wrestler a beginner?

As the Peak Club Director, I can’t force parents to put their kids in the correct division, I can only advise what division they should put their child in. Past that it is not in my control, since the parent is the one transporting the child and paying the entry fee. When all is said and done, it is still the parent's decision to register the wrestler in the beginner division. To ask a coach to police 40 kids every week on top of running practices and making sure the kids are enjoying the sport is a lot to ask. The only way to resolve the problem is to remove the beginner class altogether for the fall tournaments. The only problem with that is you are going to discourage wrestlers and parents from taking their first year/inexperienced wrestlers to tournaments. When you're 8-year-old wrestler has to wrestle a group of kids with four-years plus experience it may push the wrestler from the sport.

Now, with our tournament that we are hosting on the 22nd I am going to be able to make sure my Peak kids that should not be wrestling in the beginner class do not; however, I am not able to force other teams to do the same.

Wrestling Grandma – please send me an e-mail directly as I would like to have you provide me with the info of the wrestlers in question.

If you have any additional concerns please contact me directly.

Thanks,

Jacob Phillips
Peak Club Director

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Writer's Response

Coach Phillips:

Just as I thought: you know exactly who I'm talking about.  Don't make excuses.  This type of behavior is responsible for more than just a few wrestling matches.  It's the reason why so many kids today lack character.  Wrestling is hard.  It's supposed to be. 

As far as your tournament, I checked the online registration, and the one my grandsons wrestled last year and this year is registered in the Beginner Division again. 

I'm done talking.  What I said stands on its own merit.

Wrestling Grandma

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Reader's Response

I've been a high school wrestling head coach, have run little league wrestling, and started my own wrestling club. I also have experience in the sport and my experience has been that just because a kid wrestles for one year that does not exclude him from being a beginner. I've had kids who wrestled in my little league program for a few years who I would still consider having beginner level skills. I know one of the wrestlers that the writer is alluding to and I consider him to have beginner wrestling skills. Is he close to moving to the next level? Yes. But he's not there yet. Do some parents lie? Sure they do, but that's usually a small percentage. I believe most parents are honest and have the wrestlers best intentions in mind. Usually, if there are questionable kids in the beginner level they are just barely past that level. You will never see a stud in the beginner level. If you truly have 30 years in the sport you should know this. I also believe that if you are going to post a letter of this type then you should, at the very least, post your true name.

My advice: Continue to encourage your grandson, make it so he loves the sport, and get him great coaching and even better workout partners. Then he won't have to ever worry who he wrestles.

Thanks for a forum like this. It keeps wrestling interesting and pertinent.

Fred Falcon

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Writer's Response

Coach Falcon:

I said I was done talking. But it's not the first time I've said that and it turned out to be wrong. Just ask my husband.

The point is not the boys' skill levels. The point is that the beginner division has a definition of what constitutes a "beginner." If the rules are not going to be followed, then why have them? Why not allow headlocks without an arm? Why not allow locking hands? Why not allow straight-back throws? They're just rules. Like the definition of "beginner." That it might vary from tournament to tournament is irrelevant. It's a rule, and there are people who have decided that certainl rules do not apply to them.

As far as posting my true name, I'm surprised at you. You have always seemed like such an intelligent, articulate man. But, if you notice, I have not identified the specific boys in question, because they are not the ones at fault. Their parents are. So I have not identified myself because that would identify my grandson. I do not want him singled out any more than I want those boys at Peak Wrestling.

Also, in checking the brackets at the tournament tonight, the boys were registered in the correct division this time. So good for you, Coach Phillips. I think a lot of people would benefit from listening more to their grandmas once in a while. Even in the sport of wrestling.

Wrestling Grandma

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