Parents Upset Over WVSSAC HSV-1 Decision


Just a day after the WVSSAC rules some wrestlers will not take part this weekend in the state tournament, the decision has left some local parents very angry.  They traveled down state to watch their kids wrestle in the West Virginia State Tournament, but now they won’t.

The WVSSAC released an alert around 4:40 Thursday saying that there has been a confirmed case of HSV-1 in a wrestler who competed in the 145-pound weight class at the AAA Region 4 tournament at Parkersburg South last weekend.  Director of Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department Howard Gamble tells me although it’s unfortunate this had to be done, it is still very needed.

“You don’t want to have an infection or an outbreak larger than the numbers they have right now,” Howard told 7News reporter Nick Conigliaro. “So that’s why the steps are taken, it’s a preventive measure. It does not sit well with families, and I understand that, but I also understand the prevention side. Which is, can we limit additional cases.”

WVSSAC Executive Director Bernie Dolan says the report of the virus originated earlier this week. A second case was reported on Wednesday, and a third Thursday.  

Wrestlers in the Class AAA weight classes of 145, 152, and 170 were all delayed last night after the issue arose Tuesday. The student who tested positive is prohibited from wrestling in the state tournament. And any athlete who was in direct contact with the infected student while he had the lesions now won’t be wrestling this weekend. Which is where parents are beginning to become upset.

“My concern is my son is a senior and he had got robbed to be able to wrestle on this state mat,” concerned Brooke parent Robert Zombeck said. “He’s gonna get to wrestle but it’s gonna be on a state bracket. He’s not going to get to be able to experience this whole experience.”

Gamble tells me this actually is a very common occurrence between wrestlers because of how close in contact they are.

“Wrestlers, which this is very common in can get this type of skin infection and develop lesions,” Howard told 7News. “It is something to be taken serious cause it could lead to other problems.”

Regardless, the parents are mainly angry about because they took days off, traveled to Huntington, paid for the hotel expenses and are now being told they did all for nothing.

“It was very disheartening to know that they had this decision of what they were going to be doing the night prior to when you had all these families come down to learn about it the next day,” said concerned parent Paula Doll.

The other 11 weight classes in the region will compete as normal this weekend. The wrestlers in the three affected classes will hit the mat on or after March 8.

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