FREEDOM PLAINS – The Christmas holiday treated Kyle Davis nicely.
The 189-pound Beacon High School wrestler received a sound system as a gift, and had a family dinner that consisted of filet mignon and eggplant rollatini.
He was able to enjoy that hearty meal without concern for losing his eligibility to compete in the 195-pound weight class.
“I’m not even close to having to think about cutting weight,” Davis said. “It feels good. I basically lift every day and get a two-hour practice in.”
Davis was one of many area grapplers who competed at the Mid-Hudson Wrestling Invitational at Arlington High School this week, and one of five who finished Wednesday with a title.
While “cutting weight,” the practice of taking sometimes extreme measures to shrink down to the lightest weight class possible for competitions, has been a well-publicized problem in scholastic wrestling, many area athletes said preparations for this week’s event encompassed a healthy regiment of exercise and training without foregoing a filling holiday supper.
For John Jay’s Randy Earl (126) Christmas dinner consisted of prime rib, potatoes and vegetables.
Like Davis, he wasn’t worried about any weight issues, as he made sure to prepare. Before digging in, he ran six miles.
“I’ve been keeping my weight, eating healthy. Knowing that Christmas dinner was going to be big, going for a run before,” Earl said. “I’m always eating healthy.”
Earl said this year has been better than years past, when he had to shave at least 10 pounds to maintain his weight. This year, he added, he only “cuts two or three pounds a week.”
“If I keep my weight down, I’m all good,” Earl said.
By state rule, there is a two-pound “growth allowance” for the maximum limit of each weight class after Dec. 25, making it easier for athletes to continue making weight.
Isaac Matthews (160) of Roy C. Ketcham said he felt no pressure, as coach Josh Shoemaker stressed making the weight before the Mid-Hudson tournament.
“Me and my coach emphasized getting down in weight beforehand,” Matthews said. “I felt great coming in. There was no drag.”
Matthews won the 160-pound championship, pinning Ossining’s Tyrese Marbury in 2:29. Earl won the 126 title, as did Arlington’s Jacquez Poole at 285 and Dennis Robin at 99.
And like Matthews, Davis and Earl, Arlington’s winners prepared before the tournament.
“We always tell them they should run. A lot of them also go to clubs,” Admirals coach Fred Perry said. “They go and they practice, plus we all have practice ourselves.”
A.J. Martelli: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4836, Twitter: @AJM_PoJoSports