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High School Sports Blog

The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

December 17, 2007 at 8:19 AM

Wrestling — the most grueling sport?

After all the hoops hoopla we’ve posted the past couple of weeks, I thought I’d weigh in on some wrestling this morning.

Is there a more grueling high-school sport?

Multi-sport athletes are getting tougher to find these days. But when you find one transitioning from football to wrestling, a lot of them will admit they’ve really got to get in shape now.

For a running back who carries the ball 20 times a game or a lineman who plays both ways for four quarters, that might sound absurd. But those six minutes (or more) on a wrestling mat take a massive amount of endurance. The training these athletes put in is rigorous, including miles and miles of running on top of hours of strength and agility work.

Check out a match and watch the incredible effort wrestlers put forth in in competition that can be both physically and mentally exhausting. Not to mention the emotional side of a sport that truly pits one individual against another. Triumphs can be inspiring. Defeats can be devastating.

It is no longer strictly a male’s domain either. More and more females have flocked to the sport and Washington now has a girls state tournament sanctioned by the WIAA. These girls are tough and talented and many of them compete against boys during the regular season.

What other sports don’t get their due? Basketball gets top billing during the winter, for sure, but let’s not forget about the other prep sports. Gymnasts might deal with more pain during a season than any other athletes. The pounding their ankles take makes me wince. And the top swimmers spend countless hours in the pool — some of them for a 50-yard freestyle that’s over in a blink and others for that 500-yard marathon that demands another kind of endurance.

Which athletes draw your respect?

— Sandy Ringer

Tonight’s top basketball games

Skyline at Bellevue, boys basketball, 7:30 p.m. This has become more than a football rivalry. A win over the eighth-ranked Wolverines (3-1, 3-1) would likely vault Skyline (6-0, 5-0) into the top-10. Bellevue’s lone loss was to No. 6 Mercer Island (4-0, 4-0).

Eastlake at Franklin, girls basketball, 7:30 p.m. Wolves (3-2, 2-1) can stay in the hunt with a victory over the Quakers (2-2, 1-2), who can’t afford to fall too far behind.

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