CIF won't postpone state tourney for 'mat herpes'


BAKERSFIELD – The CIF State office released a statement Thursday saying that this weekend’s state wrestling tournament will proceed. Wrestling begins at 9 a.m. Friday at the Rabobank Arena.

The statement came after the parents of Blake Flovin, a senior from Archbishop Mitty High in San Jose, sent a letter requesting that the tournament be postponed after their son was diagnosed with a form of herpes, known as “mat herpes” after competing at the Central Coast Section championships, Feb. 19-20.

Here is an excerpt of a statement from CIF Executive Director Roger Blake: “After a thorough medical review of this situation, we have concluded that this week’s CIF State Boys Wrestling Championships will proceed as scheduled for March 4-5, at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.

“With regard to California high school wrestling championships, it is standard operating procedure for certified trainers and physicians to conduct a careful skin evaluation of every wrestler before weigh-ins on both days of the tournament. Physicians and certified athletic trainers are trained to detect symptoms and make a determination as to the nature of the condition and whether the student-athlete may compete without posing a risk to himself of any other competitor. ….

“We are confident that our practices, along with an exhaustive medical review of this particular situation, ensure that there is no justification for concern about the spread of a contagious disease at the event.”

Per usual practices, each wrestler will undergo a groom check before weigh-ins before the start of both days.

There are 26 O.C. wrestlers competing in this year’s championships.

Servite’s Liam Cronin finished second last year at 106 pounds. Justin Thomas (Calvary Chapel) was second at 152 pounds. He wrestled for Santiago of Corona last year. His brother Jeremy Thomas was third at 145 pounds.

Cronin (113) and Justin Thomas (160) enter this weekend ranked No. 1 in the state. Jeremy Thomas (170) slips to second after losing to Palm Desert’s Anthony Mantanona at the CIF-SS Masters Meet. Mantanona is now No. 1.

Last year, there were nine O.C. state medalists. Mater Dei’s Jed Smith (170) was seventh at last year’s tournament. He enters this year ranked fifth in the state.

Calvary Chapel’s Johnny Knowles (145) and San Clemente’s Tyler Meisinger (152) are ranked fifth in the state at their weights.

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