The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 16, 2014

A Don McCormack column: Main man of mat at OSU coming to PV

Sports Editor

Paying a visit to the variety store...

Going camping

Turns out, Urban Meyer and Dean Hood will not be the only bigtime coaches coming to Ashtabula County this summer to offer their expertise and experience to youngsters.

Tom Ryan, the head wrestling coach at Ohio State University, will return to the area and work the Premier Technique Wrestling Camp next month.

Meyer and Hood, in conjunction with Dr. William A Seeds and ESPN 970 WFUN, will stage their third annual youth camp in July at Spire Institute.

Ryan’s wrestling camp, which will be held at Pymatuning Valley High School, will be conducted Sunday, June 15. The session will run from 10 a.m. and run through 4 p.m.

Ryan, considered one of the top collegiate coaches in the country, will conduct the camp for youngsters ages 7 through 18. Cost for the camp is $45 for each wrestler.

Checkin and walkin registrations will begin on June 15 at 9 a.m.

The pedigree of Ryan, a University of Iowa graduate, is sparkling.

The Wantagh, N.Y. native was a two-time NCAA Division I All-American at 158 pounds for the Hawkeyes, finishing second nationally in 1991 and third in 1992. A member of the Hawkeyes’ 1991 and 1992 national and Big Ten championship teams, Ryan was a two-time Big Ten conference champion during those two years as well.

Ryan began his collegiate career at Syracuse and captured an Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association championship in 1989 before transferring to Iowa.

As a high school grappler, Ryan was a three-time All-Nassau County and All-New York State selection at Wantagh High School.

More details on the camp can be found at the PV Lil Lakers page on Facebook or by calling Bill Campbell at 858-6093.

Taking a hit

Responding to parental safety concerns, the California state Assembly on Thursday passed legislation limiting full-contact practices for high school football teams.

The bill by Assemblyman Ken Cooley, AB2127, passed on a 50-22 vote and now heads to the Senate. It has the support of the California Interscholastic Federation, which oversees high school athletics.

Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova, said he was motivated by the growing anxiety from parents about the risks associated with concussions. The American Academy of Pediatrics, writing in support of the bill, said head injuries from football may lead to long-term brain damage and early-onset dementia.

“There are just a lot of parents today who are worried about what happens if my kids get in these sort of sports,” Cooley said in an interview after the bill passed.

The issue has even caught the attention of the White House, which announced on Thursday plans for a May 29 summit about youth sports safety and concussions.

The California bill limits drills involving game-speed tackling to 90-minute sessions twice a week, while prohibiting such full-contact drills in the offseason. It also applies to private and charter schools.

And finally...

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of one of the best people yours truly has ever had the pleasure of meeting moving on to the next life.

Paul Demshar died after 62 years doing exactly how he lived his life — helping others.

Not a day goes by that he is not missed...

McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at