MHSAA: Mt. Morris wrestler broke basic weight-in rule - WNEM TV 5

MHSAA: Mt. Morris wrestler broke basic weight-in rule

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Source: Mt. Morris Panthers Source: Mt. Morris Panthers

A Mid-Michigan high school wrestling team will have to forfeit their title as regional champions.

Mt. Morris Schools Superintendent Brooke Ballee-Stone said the Michigan High School Athletic Association informed the school that due to a ‘technicality’ at Wednesday’s regional wrestling competition, Mt. Morris has to vacate its team Regional Championship.

The MHSAA paints a different picture, however. 

Communications Director John R. Johnson said a wrestler on the team broke a basic rule that states, “a contestant shall not wrestle more than one weight class above that class for which the actual weight, at the time of the weight-in, qualifies the competitor.” 

"You get to wrestle at the weight class that your actual weight qualifies you for, and the weight class above that. In this instance, a wrestler participated at a weight two weight classes above what the actual weight taken before the meet would qualify that individual for," Johnson said. "Being ineligible to wrestle at that weight, and then being put in the lineup to participate, brings the same penalty that the use of an ineligible player does in any sport – the team has to forfeit the match or game."

Johnson said the MHSAA was contacted the morning after the meet about what took place, which led to the withdrawal of Mt. Morris from the tournament.

Ballee-Stone said even though this is a challenging time for the team, she doesn’t want to take away from their amazing season.

“…This does not detract from the amazing season our team has had or how proud we are of all of them. We will continue to support our seven individuals as they compete at the state level,” she said in a statement.

The team's state title hopes are over after what school officials are calling a technicality.

"It's not the kid's fault. None of the kids' fault. The people in charge are supposed to handle this," said Mike Hale, Mt. Morris resident.

The team won the regional championship and qualified for the state championship in Mt. Pleasant.

While the team can no longer move on to the state finals, seven wrestlers from the team will be able to compete individually within their weight classes.

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