Parents protest Herwig's treatment

State runner-up ruled out of upcoming tournaments

February 09, 1999|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Craig and Sharon Herwig say their son, Mount St. Joseph wrestler Ryan Herwig, is being penalized for being a growing boy.

They contend that the 5-foot-9, 15-year-old sophomore no longer can handle cutting weight down to the 119-pound weight category.

They also say that second-year coach Brian Murphy has unfairly labeled their son "an undisciplined eater" for missing weight several times. They also say Murphy unfairly insisted that Ryan "make weight at 121 pounds or not wrestle at all."

"That was his ultimatum," said Craig Herwig, whose son was not seeded for this weekend's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association Tournament. Therefore he is ineligible for that event as well as the private schools state tournament two weeks from now.

"So now his season's over -- they just pulled the rug out from under him," said Craig Herwig.

A former two-time junior league state champ, Herwig was 29-3 this year (60-13 in two seasons). He was runner-up both at MIAAs and states last season. Herwig plans to complete the rest of this academic year at St. Joe and then consider transferring.

School officials would not allow Murphy to comment, but issued a statement drawn up by athletic director Tony Brockmeyer and his superiors:

"We are always first and foremost concerned with the health and safety of our athletes. We employ a certified athletic trainer who carefully monitors each wrestler's percentage of body fat and the amount of weight he can safely drop in a given time period. We also strictly follow all recommenda- tions from an athlete's family physician."

Craig Herwig said he had "hoped to resolve the situation" during a meeting last Wednesday with Murphy and Brockmeyer by suggesting that Ryan Herwig be allowed to compete at a higher weight.

Against their 10 league opponents, MIAA wrestlers must weigh in at least five times (50 percent) at the weight they plan to compete at during the conference and private schools' state tournaments.

At the time of their meeting Ryan Herwig had only three weigh-ins at 119 and four at 125, according to his father.

"They still had a match left against Boys' Latin, so I made the suggestion that he [Murphy] bump the lineup or allow Ryan to challenge for 125 or 130," Craig Herwig said.

But Herwig says Murphy told him he would not allow any wrestle-offs at this time and that his lineup was set.

Pub Date: 2/09/99

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