High school wrestling coaches will soon be spending as much time at the computer as they will on the mats.
In a move toward better health practices, the Arizona Interscholastic Association has instituted a new rule this season that requires coaches to log on to a Web site and chart weights of their wrestlers.
With the AIA Weight Certification Program, coaches have begun certifying wrestlers’ weight classes, something they’ve done in the past, but with a bit less work involved.
To keep wrestlers from losing too much weight during a week and in between matches, coaches must log in weights after each match.
If a coach wanted to change a wrestler to a lower weight class, the program would make sure the wrestler didn’t lose too much weight in a short period of time to qualify for the class. Wrestlers can not lose more than 1.5 percent of their body weight in a week.
“The software would just kick you out (of the lower class),” Tempe Corona del Sol coach Dave Vibber said. “This program will take the guess-work out and make sure kids are in the proper weight class.
“It’s good for wrestling,” Vibber added. “It’s going to help high school kids manage their weight.”
Most coaches agree, but those who have big numbers in their program have a lot of extra work on their hand punching in numbers after each match.
“The only negative about it is all the extra time involved, having to input data, especially if you have 70 kids on your team,” Mountain View coach Bob Callison said. “On the positive side, it’s healthier for kids.”
High school wrestling has received a lot of scrutiny over the years with kids losing too much weight in short periods of time, with occasionally tragic consequences.
Coaches, athletes and parents can all check in on the site, Mesa coach Bobby Williams said.
“I think we’re getting more strict on our weight control and body-fat testing,” Williams said. “This program will serve to control wrestlers’ weights. It’s crucial that kids do not lose too much.”
Teams to watch
1. Mesa: They’ll be younger, but with three straight state titles, the Jackrabbits are the team for whom everyone’s gunning.
2. Corona del Sol: Runners-up last year; have eight state place winners returning.
3. Mountain View: Had 16 seniors graduate, 14 the season before and 14 the season prior to that. It doesn’t seem to matter. The Toros are always in the mix.
4. Red Mountain: Another power in Mesa.
5. Highland: Program will be a strong contender to get a third title in the 2000s.
6. Brophy: Program coming on strong.
7. Marcos de Niza: May be best of non-5A-I schools.
5 wrestlers to watch
1. Luke Macchiaroli, Corona del Sol, Sr., 215: Already has won two state titles, was runner-up for another.
2. Aaron Pavlenko, Marcos de Niza, Sr., 189: He and Macchiaroli are the state’s nationally ranked wrestlers.
3. Blake Mabry, Highland, Sr., 130: Defending state champion lost only once last season.
4. Victor Montano, Mesa, Sr., 119: Top wrestler for most-feared program.
5. Colton Kiernan, Desert Vista, Sr., 171: Defending champ was fourth as a sophomore, too.
Others to watch
Max Mejia, Chandler, So.; Daniel Covert, Highland, Sr.; Shane McGough, Desert Mountain, Jr.; Andrew Patino, Coronado, So.; Jake Goddard, Queen Creek, Sr.; Bryan Click, Brophy, Sr.; Derek Felton, Corona del Sol, Jr.; Ty Johnson, Highland, Sr.; Mikey Baca, Marcos de Niza, Jr.; Jacob Westra, Mountain View, Sr.; Ty Wheeler, Basha, Sr.; Cody Saul, Red Mountain, Sr.; Jordan Huntley, Red Mountain, Sr.; Clint Norton, Brophy, Sr.; Cody Norton, Brophy, Sr.; DeAngelo Johnson, Canyon State Academy, Sr.; Hayden Tippett, McClintock, Jr.; Craig Lazenby, Paradise Valley, Sr.
Tuesday: Mountain View at Brophy.
Dec. 10: Corona del Sol, Gilbert Highland and Mesa in double-dual meet at Mesa.
Dec. 12-13: Westwood Warrior Classic.
Dec. 19-20: McClintock Invitational.
Jan. 9-10: Peoria Wrestling Invitational.
Jan. 16-17: Tucson Flowing Wells Tournament.
Jan. 28: Red Mountain, Mesa and Mountain View battle at Mountain View.
Did you know?
• Vanessa Vega is a Chandler freshman and girls middle school national champion.
• Ty Wheeler of Basha, a region champion and fifth in the state meet last year, competes year-round in rodeo in team roping and steer wrestling.
• DeAngelo Bush of Mountain View had a two-pound cyst removed from his stomach in the fall.