Covid-19 Potentially Crushes the Success of Local Bethel Wrestlers
Lucas Wells ‘21
The 2020-2021 wrestling season, typically held from November through February has been put on hold until mid-January. The decision from CIAC provides some with hope, but for others that is not the case.
The suspension of the season was put into place with efforts supporting the idea that as time proceeds, the COVID-19 cases will decline, prompting a season. Several SWC wrestlers disagree with the ruling and worry there will be a permanent cancellation.
“I think CIAC should limit spectators,” says Chaz Parsell ‘21, a Bethel wrestler. “Play at your own risk, of course, safety measures like temperature checks should be mandated, but no one should have to miss a season.”
Wrestling is not a sport for the meek or the mild. The strenuous practices, damaging matches and ruthless weight cuts are just some of the luxuries of this sport.
“COVID-19 has completely ruined the timing of my weight cut, just as it probably has for many,” said Parsell. “I am glad that they are accommodating the sport and still are trying to have something happen, but moving it to January has messed up the timing. It will suck if the January season gets canceled mid-cut, but we will see.”
Parsell started the sport his sophomore year after being introduced by a fellow teammate. He immediately fell in love with the sport and has been consistently spending money and time on the mats ever since.
“Last year I placed 4th at the SWC tournament. My first year wrestling I barely won any matches, now I am a title contender. The Bethel team I started with has grown with me, just as things got good COVID-19 happened. I put countless hours, countless cash into training and I will be extremely disappointed if those go to waste.
Parsell is not the only one expressing these feelings of concern. However, fellow teammate Nico Velme ‘21, also a 4th place conference finisher, may just have it worse.
“I am a full distance learner by my parent’s request. Even if a season happens, I will most likely not be able to participate,” Velme explained.
Velme also agreed the timing could not be any worse.
“It is unfortunate this had to happen during our senior year, but even if I cannot compete, I hope my friends still can,” Velme added.
Wrestlers around Connecticut await a final decision from CIAC this winter.