Wadena-Deer Creek wrestlers waiting to get their shot at foes like Staples-Motley and Perham won't get that chance in the next eight days. The Minnesota State High School League has suspended the sport for eight days in hopes of containing an out...
Wadena-Deer Creek wrestlers waiting to get their shot at foes like Staples-Motley and Perham won't get that chance in the next eight days. The Minnesota State High School League has suspended the sport for eight days in hopes of containing an outbreak of skin infections.
"The first outbreak was at a tournament in Rochester Dec. 29-30," explained WDC Activities Director Brian Silbernick. "That's where they first noticed it. Ten teams have reported wrestlers with skin lesions on their face, head or neck."
The disease, herpes gladiatorum -- not to be confused with the more dangerous, sexually transmitted variety of herpes -- causes a skin rash.
Silbernick said such diseases are easily passed on in wrestling because the sport includes a lot of direct contact. But he said local wrestling coaches have always been good about limiting exposure.
"They check the kids, they clean the mats. They take lots of precautions," he said. "We've never really had that problem."
The eight-day suspension of wrestling will likely be lifted Feb. 6, and will affect WDC team matches against Staples-Motley and Perham. An individual tournament in Alexandria will also likely be called off. The Staples-Motley match would have been a conference match-up, and Silbernick said he didn't know if that would need to be made up.
"Whether we have to bump another match or wrestle back to back -- it's going to be tough on the wrestlers," he said.
The wrestlers can run and work on strength conditioning, but cannot have contact with other wrestlers, even in practice. Silbernick said it will be hard to get back into the swing of the sport, especially with section tournaments looming just a week later, on Feb. 13.
Silbernick said the decree from the MSHSL doesn't directly affect youth wrestling.