Four districts pass girls wrestling proposal

Four districts pass girls wrestling proposal
Fairbury wrestler Autumn Branson competing at the Tri County quad on Dec. 6, 2018. Branson is one of three female wrestlers for the Jeffs in 2018-19.

Bowling and girls wrestling are closer than ever to being state-sanctioned sports. During second-stage NSAA legislative district meetings this month, four of the six districts voted for girls wrestling and three of the six for bowling to be considered for sanctioning at the NSAA’s Representative Assembly in April. It takes 60 percent approval from the assembly for sanctioning — bowling failed to receive last year.

Bowling’s state tournament would lead off the winter championship season, as it does now in club competition, with the finals on the Friday before the state wrestling tournament. Girls wrestling would be incorporated into the state championship schedule at the CHI Health Center.

Since it’s been more than 25 years since softball was added as the last NSAA sport, both sports deserve strong consideration for adoption. The only concern here is whether bowling has considered the impact on junior leagues. The NSAA bans outside competition during a sports season. That could kill the leagues.

North-Benson baseball: Omaha North and Omaha Benson had their request approved at Thursday’s NSAA board meeting to combine their players for baseball. The team will be known as the North Vikings and play at Fontenelle Park. With Benson having difficulty fielding teams recently, this is a wise move by the Omaha Public Schools. OPS needs to consider more cooperative sponsorship teams in sports such as golf and tennis because of participation and experience levels. Let the combining schools have their own junior varsity teams to teach those lifelong sports to beginners.

Native American league: Omaha Nation has been asked to join a new football league centered in South Dakota but also including North Dakota. The NSAA wants the Chiefs (0-8 in 2018) to fulfill their 2019 schedule in Eight Man-1. If they enter the league, they would be ineligible for Nebraska’s playoffs but would have to adhere to NSAA rules.

NSAA helping NCAA: The NSAA will be included in the process of selecting worthy players for the new NCAA men’s and women’s basketball recruiting camps that are to be in late June. Nebraska will go to North Kansas City, Missouri. The NSAA will form a selection committee to choose about 25 boys and about the same number of girls. Said NSAA Executive Director Jay Bellar: “The NCAA, at our National Federation winter meeting, said they want to get (college) recruiting back into the high schools.” A philosophy long overdue, it says here.

Classification: Bellar said he will reconvene the NSAA’s classification committee, which he had chaired, to consider other issues now that football made its changes that took effect this past fall. There is a movement to consider nine-man football, which South Dakota’s smaller schools play.

No to wrestler’s appeal: The NSAA denied an eligibility appeal for wrestler Tyler Needham, who was a state qualifier at Papillion-La Vista South last season and had transferred to Millard South for his senior year without his family moving.

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