As one would expect, when the news broke last week that the International Olympic Committee voted by secret ballot to eliminate wrestling from the games starting in 2020, there was significant outcry regarding the decision in the Montgomery County wrestling ranks.
Throughout Maryland wrestling circles, the sudden and surprising decision was met with disbelief and action. There currently are multiple petitions circulating the internet — both in Maryland and worldwide — letters to the White House, IOC members and posts in dozens of Facebook communities to try to reverse the decision.
“That is unbelievable. I just can’t believe they would do that,” said Damascus coach John Furgeson. “What else do they want kids to strive for if they want to be an Olympian? The wrestling community is very down about it, but I think they’re going to try and fight it as much as possible.”
Perhaps one of the wrestlers most affected by the decision is Our Lady of Good Counsel standout Kyle Snyder, who is ranked No. 1 in the country in this weight class and has never lost a match during his high school tenure. The Ohio State recruit recently won a Maryland Independents state title (helping Good Counsel to the overall team title in the process) and is one of the more dominant athletes the county has seen in recent history.
Plenty of other wrestlers also shared the dream of one day competing in the Olympics and representing their country, but that dream now is in serious jeopardy.
“I think there is a strong, strong community and a strong sense of brotherhood among wrestlers that will try to fight the decision,” Furgeson said. “I hope they will hear our petitions. It will be a sad day to see that end at the Olympic level. There’s so much positive stuff that comes out of the sport.
“There’s nothing like it. I played 16 years of football and wrestling was the toughest thing I had to go through. To appreciate what the Olympic wrestlers had to go through is unbelievable.”
Even though he came four points short of capturing a title at the Montgomery County Public Schools Wrestling Tournament at Montgomery Blair on Saturday, Poolesville’s 145-pounder, Cody Dorsey, notched his 100th high school victory earlier in the tournament. Dorsey lost to Bethesda-Chevy Chase’s Justin Elwell in the finals, 9-5.
Sherwood’s Chris Minor also recorded his 100th victory.
4A/3A West Regional Championships, Friday and Saturday at Sherwood High School.