High school wrestling to begin next month, without Erie County

Erie County

(WIVB) — Section VI announced Wednesday that it will move forward with the high school wrestling season beginning May 3 – without Erie County high school student-athletes.

The Erie County Department of Health recommended in January that school districts postpone or cancel wrestling activities this season, based on high levels of community transmission and because wrestlers won’t be able to wear a mask while competing. Section VI said the county reaffirmed that stance earlier this month.

Section VI President Brett Banker says local school districts have made it clear that they will not risk the liability associated with deviating from ECDOH recommendations.

“The expectations are clear from our school leaders. Our school districts cannot take on the
liability associated with splitting off from the ECDOH’s recommendation,” Banker said.

“As we have done since the start of this public health crisis, we will continue to rely upon the expertise, knowledge, and recommendations from local and state authorities when making decisions impacting the safety of our student-athletes.”

Wrestling is set to begin for athletes in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Niagara and Orleans counties in less than two weeks. Athletes and coaches in Erie County felt they were left in limbo because ECDOH recommended wrestling be postponed or canceled. Banker added that Section VI plans to continue communications with ECDOH.

Lancaster Wrestling put out a tweet Wednesday expressing disappointment their athletes won’t be able to hit the mat this season.

Read the full Section VI letter below (app users, click here)

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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