"There's no place like home."
What does the above quote have to do with wrestling? Well, it reminds me of Rennie Rodarmel, Toby Goguts, Harry Weinhofer, and Martin Winnick. Who are they? These guys were my practice partners in high school, who made my wrestling workout sessions a living hell!
So what's my point? You don't have to spend thousands of dollars, traveling across the country throughout the year to experience great competition. Often it is right in your own backyard. Allow me to prove my point.
I remember occasions when wrestlers, local and afar, won so-called "national championships" at well-publicized, big money-making tournaments at such locations as Las Vegas, Reno, Fargo, Virginia Beach, etc. Now here's the irony. None of them ever won a "state wrestling title" in their home state. Hmmm.
So, what's wrong with this picture?
It's quite simple. Often the best wrestlers around the country do not attend these over-rated competitions for one reason or another. For example, they may spend their summers attending outstanding clinics to fine tune their already highly successful moves, they may be participating in baseball (another sport in which they excel), or they, quite frankly, can't afford to go to these events because of their family's economic circumstances.
Believe me; there's enough competition in our own upper Ohio Valley "tri-state" area to keep any outstanding wrestler on his toes. For those of you who are not aware of this - Ohio and Pennsylvania are arguably considered the "top two" scholastic mat sport states in the country. Perennially, the Keystone State and Buckeye State have the most NCAA Division I All-Americans.
I know there is one local coach who would definitely agree with me - Oak Glen's ultra-successful mat mentor Larry Shaw. He knows that the best competition is only an hour's ride (east or west), be it wrestling Claymont, Ohio (2009 state runner-ups) or scrimmaging with Pennsylvania's Shadyside Academy (2009 state champs). Win or lose, Coach Shaw has seen to it that his squads have always been exposed to the best competition year-in and year-out.
Moreover, Coach Shaw annually sends his teams to outstanding summer clinics in Ohio and Pennsylvania, such as the Clarion Wrestling Camp, etc., which are only a couple hours drive. Maybe that's why his mat squads have won more consecutive state championships than any other school in any sport in West Virginia (13 state titles in a row).
Yes, you often find the best competition close at hand. For me, it began in the practice room. And quite honestly, what title would you rather have as a scholastic wrestler - a championship at some pseudo-national event far, far away, or being crowned a "state champion" in Huntington or Columbus?
To me, that's an easy question to answer.
The best definition I have come across for an illegal holds is "any maneuver used that could cause bodily harm, intentionally or not."
Examples of illegal moves include: full nelson, back bows, headlocks (without an arm encircled), forceful trips, pulling a thumb or less than four fingers, restricting breathing and/or circulation, and any holds used for punishment alone.
The penalties for illegal holds are assessed in the following order: