Contact sports face special challenges to restart in the COVID-19 era

The nature of some sports dictates that hard contact isn’t going to ease up, so it will be up to COVID-19 testers to be gatekeepers of sorts. And that might not be enough to keep seasons viable.

Football players ram into each other to begin a play and usually end it with a collision that brings a ball carrier to the ground.

Hockey players pin each other against the boards with body checks and use any physical means necessary to separate an opponent from the puck.

Wrestlers square off inches apart, then almost immediately grab arms, bump heads and exert themselves in face-to-face contact, often breathing the same air for six minutes or more.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, public health officials have stressed social distancing to combat the deadly virus, which is largely spread through infected droplets from coughing, sneezing and talking. But for contact sports, social distancing isn’t a workable option. Continue reading at startribune.com

Ponce Trained – In Wrestling and In Life

Before high school, Orlando Ponce wasn’t going down the best path. When introduced to wrestling, his path started going in a positive direction. After high school, when he thought wrestling was out of his life, Ponce began to go down some troubling roads again. Wrestling would get re-introduced into his life, and he has never looked back.

“My high school coach and the people who influenced me through wrestling,” Ponce said, “if not for them, I would be in a much different situation.”

Now, Ponce has devoted his life to influencing kids through his faith and through wrestling.

Ponce didn’t grow up in a wrestling hotbed.

“I was born in Nicaragua and was raised in South Florida. It was not a big wrestling community. I got a later start in wrestling. My brother started wrestling but dropped out of high school. He encouraged one of my other brothers to wrestle. This brother was a state champion and went on to wrestle for Lock Haven in Pennsylvania. I was a ninth-grader when he was a senior. My brother encouraged me to wrestle.”

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Legendary Coach And Vietnam Vet Stands Tall

By Jeff Bro Olsen

Jerry “JC” Cleveland, who volunteered for the draft to honor a hometown Staples pal who was killed in Vietnam and later fought there himself as an infantryman and earned a Purple Heart, has done his share of fighting outside of at least one Bemidji establishment.

Additionally, he served as the dean of students at Cass Lake High School, where his car was stolen by two students who put some sizable dents in it before abandoning it.

Near daybreak, the two lads ran as fast as they could to surrender to the nearest cop once they spotted Mr. Cleveland approaching them after they came out of a swamp.

At 70, he has a great laugh, even better stories, and takes everything in stride.

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NWHOF-MN Chapter Banquet Rescheduled to September 13

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Minnesota Chapter Banquet originally set for April 25, 2020, has been moved to Sunday, September 13, 2020. The event will still be held at the Austin Holiday Inn Conference Center in Austin, Minn.

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Peter Veldman 1933-2020

Hall of Famer Pete Veldman passed away on January 14th. He was 86 years old.

A native of Hollandale, Minn., Veldman was a 1951 state champion for Albert Lea. He went on to wrestle for the Minnesota Gophers in college placing third and fourth at the Big 10 Championships and was a member of The Gophers’ l957 and l959 Big 10 Championship teams.

Veldman contributed greatly to the sport of wrestling in Minnesota as a wrestler, coach, athletic director, official, scholarship coordinator, and as part of the MSHSL management team at the State Tournament.

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Edwin John Ferkingstad 1932-2020

Hall of Fame Coach Ed Ferkingstad passed away on January 4th. He was 87 years old. Ferkingstad started the wrestling program in Caledonia in 1963. In 1970 his team won a state title under the one-class system. Ferkingstad was inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Dave Bartelma Wrestling Hall of Fame (2009), the Mayo Civic Minnesota Region 1 Wrestling Alumni Hall of Fame, and Caledonia Wrestling Hall of Fame.

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2020 MCC Region I Hall of Fame Banquet to take place on March 7th

The Mayo Civic Center Region I Wrestling Hall of Fame Committee has selected nine new members for induction on Saturday, March 7, 2019.

The Clash Committee will also be honoring the Southeast Minnesota graduating seniors, teams, and coaches. The banquet will be held at Charlie’s Eatery, 1654 US 52 N, Rochester, Minn.

Social Hour is at 5:00 PM, Dinner at 5:30 PM, with the program to follow. For details contact Rick Ties rickties@gmail.com or 507-358-7075 (Cell). The cost of the tickets will be $30.00 per adult.

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