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Passion for their sport

March 5, 2012 - Seth Staskey
I know all coaches and competitors are competitive and passionate for their trade, but it always seems to be that the wrestling fraternity is on a different level.

After spending the weekend at the 75th annual Ohio High School State Wrestling Championship, I once again came away totally impressed with just how into it the coaches and wrestlers are. I think what put me over the top was Steubenville Big Red.

Obviously, Big Red is known around the Ohio Valley as a football-first school in terms of their athletics. Most would probably put baseball second. I am thinking that wrestling is climbing the ladder. I know it has a ways to go to catch baseball and a long, long, long ways to go to catch football, but the Big Red program is making progress.

What makes me think that is Steubenville has really talented wrestlers who are opting to just wrestle. For instance, Shawn McGhee is a stud at 145 pounds. He finished 4th in the state. He doesn't play football and I am thinking he could have made an impact. Greg Moray -- the 220 pounder who was 4th in the state -- is an absolute stud who is as strong as anyone I've seen. He doesn't play football, either.

There was a time when the best male athletes at Steubenville always played football. It seemed like a must, but wrestling is a different animal. The top-notch wrestlers do it all year round. They love it, live for the training and physical demands that it entails. For instance, St. Paris Graham has won 12 consecutive Division II state titles and its football team was 2-8. I saw their eight wrestlers this weekend, they'd probably help the cause if they chose to play football. But, they're wrestlers.

Even locally, some of the best area wrestlers are focusing on it fulltime. Wrestling's popularity is growing as it and Ultimate Fighting continue to garner more and more attention on the national level.

I think the trend is here to stay and it might get stronger as the years go along.


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