Teurlings wrestling coach Kent Masson believes photos and videos shared from the Louisiana Classic wrestling meet in Gonzalez earlier this month are playing a major role in why the LHSAA announced Tuesday that it is suspending the end of the sport's regular season.
The video seen here was shared by the Advocate and shows athletes and coaches huddled around the final matches seemingly disregarding COVID-19 protocols.
"If you go back and look at the state football championships, they were in the stands, on top of each other, not wearing masks, not social distancing, but nobody is saying anything about that. You have basketball games where people are doing the same exact thing," Masson said. "This is happening all over the place but wrestling is getting the black eye because of that one video, and that's not fair."
Masson acknowledges that the video shines a bad light one the sport, but insists that's not consistent with how tournaments have been handled. He says it's not even consistent with how that particular tournament was handled. Masson said throughout most of the weekend everyone followed protocols.
As a result of the positive cases, many wrestlers, coaches, and teams were put into quarantine. In the memo sent to schools the LHSAA says it's pausing the sport to prevent further outbreaks and to ensure it can hold a championship meet in Baton Rouge next month. The league's executive director Eddie Bonine will hold a press conference Wednesday morning to discuss the decision.
Masson says when he read that memo he was disappointed for the kids.
"The students are the ones we have to focus on and sometimes we kind of lose sight of that because of everything that's going on, and we lose sight of the fact that the kids are the ones who get hurt the most," he said. "I understand we have to do this to protect people, which is the most important thing, too."
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