Archway Entrance at the USA National Senior Wrestling Championship, Iowa

Photo of the archway entrance at the USA National Senior Wrestling Championship in Iowa this past August. The archway contained a chlorine mist that sprayed anyone entering the arena. There were no reported cases of COVID-19 in weeks afterward.

Dr. Ken Lane, a longtime wrestling medic who’s shown up at anything from high school championships to international, sent a photo from the U.S. National Senior wrestling championships in Iowa this August.

August?

Wrestling?

COVID-19?

Sounds like a solid mixture for spreading that virus.

Lane, a Highland resident, retired from his practice, spoke of the photo. It seemed to be a piece of machinery blowing off steam.

That’s chlorine mist, said Lane.

“Everyone that came into the arena went through that chlorine mist,” said Lane.

That included referees, who wore face shields during the bouts.

That included coaches and athletes, who wore masks during their time inside the arena.

Plus anyone else.

“Everyone’s temperature was taken any time they came into the arena,” said Lane.

It’s mid-November. Those bouts were eight weeks ago.

“No one got sick,” said Lane. “I saw the medical reports.”

Chlorine?

Over 3,000 people showed up on the floor over that three-day period — many of those were repeats — passing through the mister and getting temperatures taken.

Surprised?

“I went [to Iowa] with a very critical eye,” said Lane, who was an accomplished wrestler from Bakersfield. “I was impressed by their discipline.”

In other words, officials wore both face shields and masks. It went on from there. No, it seems unlikely that a major wrestling event could come off in the face of COVID-19 threats.

Lane noted that he flew from California to Iowa on United Airlines, “which has no social distancing. I checked, though. There were 366 people on a 747.”

Noting that 1,000 people died from COVID-19, or symptoms from that disease, on a day in the United States last week, Lane said, “that’s two plane crashes in a day.”

In other words, as a lifetime medical practitioner, he was saying something simple: Be aware of the COVID threat.

“I was a little curious about going to nationals,” said Lane.

As for that chlorine mist, you’ve got to be thinking that chlorine is spread throughout a swimming pool. If that’s the magic potion, then all the aquatics sports ought to be safe for competition.

Footnote on Lane: He’s in the CIF-State Hall of Fame, inducted in 2012 (Lifetime Achievement honors), devoting medical services to every level of amateur wrestling anyone can name.

Guy’s a jewel around these parts.

You’ll hear more from him in the coming weeks.

* * *

Colby Grames, who provided Citrus Valley High with a variety of sharp football play — plenty of blocking, pass catching, tackling from his linebacker spot, plus punting duties, showed up as a tight end at Bucknell (N.J.) University. It was going to be interesting to see how the Blackhawks did without him in the lineup this season.

Trouble is, that particular now-Bison freshman is on the sidelines while the entire team waits out COVID-19 restrictions.

He’s 6-3, 225 — hard to miss, especially when QB Dylan Wheatley was throwing to him last fall.

Bucknell needs Grames’ winning spirit. The Bison were coming off a 3-8 season in 2019, losing to the likes of Temple, Fordham and Villanova, among other schools.

* * *

Auburn’s women’s volleyballers might’ve dropped its first five matches this season to the likes of Florida, Kentucky and South Carolina, but Citrus Valley High product Jackie Barrett is part of the Lady Tigers’ surge under new coach Brent Crouch.

Crouch spent the previous two seasons at USC, of all places, where the Lady Trojans reached the second round of the NCAA playoffs in 2018 and 2019.

Auburn reached out to Barrett, who played everywhere in the Lady Blackhawks’ attack during her prep career, settling in as the Lady Tigers’ 6-foot-1 setter.

While Crouch was leading USC to a combined 40-25 record in 2018-19, Auburn was 19-38 over that same span.

Barrett’s one of four freshmen in the rebuilding phase.

Yes, it’s a shortened season down in Southeastern Conference country. COVID-19 has struck there, too.

* * *

Kind of a cool couple of stories coming up on San Gorgonio High’s baseball coaching turnover: It went from longtime head coach Bill Eatinger, who put in over a couple decades running the Spartans’ dugout, to his longtime assistant coach Ray Aldama.

These guys really care.

You don’t need a small-paper, sports columnist to showcase that, folks, but something needs be pointed out to readers that these guys — any sport — are putting themselves on the line almost year-round.

And for very little money.

* * *

Anyone hear of Safe Sport?

There’s a story going around about a wrestling dad who was caught verbally harassing his 8-year-old at a youth tournament.

Safe Sport rules permitted the ejection of that father from the gymnasium. 

People can report, anonymously, anyone that seems to be abusing a kid, even a parent.

The kid stuck around to wrestle. The mother, trailing behind two police officers with her husband, turned back to give a thumbs-up sign (plus, maybe a little smile) to the reporting party that led to her husband’s ejection.

(Got any sports tips? Want to chat sports? Connect with me at baseballolb@hotmail.com)

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