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'Weight' a minute: Fountain-Fort Carson postpones wrestling dual with Pine Creek after reporting error
An unidentified member of the Fountain-Fort Carson wrestling team earlier this week self-reported a rules violation related to weight certification protocol, according to a District 8 spokesman, forcing the postponement of Wednesday’s scheduled dual with Pine Creek.
John Fogarty, the district’s director of human resources, said an athlete came forward in the past few days.
“It’s my understanding that an athlete brought it to the attention of his coach,” Fogarty said. “We recently learned the CHSAA protocol for weight certification was not followed for the first event of the season.”
Trojans first-year coach Marcel Cooper declined to be interviewed.
Pine Creek athletic director Matt Mahan received a call late Tuesday from Kelley Eichman, the Fountain-Fort Carson athletic director, requesting a postponement.
“She gave me a call, saying there was something to do with CHSAA,” Mahan said. “Upon recommendation from CHSAA, she asked that we postpone and we’d reschedule at a later date.”
Eichman declined comment on the alleged error in weight certification protocol or any actions by Cooper that could have prevented the mistake.
Bert Borgmann, Colorado High School Activities Association assistant commissioner, also wouldn’t specifically comment, but said the situation is not unprecedented.
“While it’s not normal, it’s not unusual either,” Borgmann said. “The protocol has to be followed pretty tightly.”
Fogarty was hopeful that a revised weight certification protocol would be completed as soon as Thursday. The Trojans’ next scheduled match is Saturday against Pueblo South.
“We’re trying to rectify the situation, and it is my understanding that another certification will be done tomorrow,” Fogarty said. “This is extremely important. We want to handle this as quickly as possible.”
Weight certification involves not only recording an athlete’s weight, but also requires hydration testing and body fat assessment, in accordance with National Federation and CHSAA rules.
In addition, each test, known as the Optimal Performance Calculator system, is witnessed by a doctor, who approves that each wrestler qualifies for his respective weight class, and a parent or guardian must sign the form. Wrestlers can’t compete until the online forms are submitted to CHSAA offices in Aurora.
Pine Creek coach Billy Gabel understands how mistakes can be made and empathizes with Cooper.
“I understand the point that kids’ safety is first, but the entire process is a massive headache,” said Gabel, who led the Eagles to their first 5A state championship last season. “The paperwork is cumbersome, and the time spent is frustrating because it adds more work. I hate that this stuff happens with mistakes. Marcel is a good guy, and hopefully, he can fix it.”