ASHSAA Boys and Girls Wrestling season is underway, with practices on schedule
The American Samoa High School Athletic Association (ASHSAA) boys and girls wrestling season is underway at this time in the Department of Education (DOE) with practices being held for nine schools.
The nine schools include the high schools of Faga’itua, Samoana, Nu’uuli VocTech, Tafuna, South Pacific Academy, Kanana Fou, Manumalo Baptist Academy, Fa’asao Marist, and Leone.
The first of two pre-season clinics are scheduled to be held on Dec. 31st, with the second one having a scheduled day of Jan. 7. Both of these clinics are being held at Tafuna High School, with a scheduled starting time of 8:00 a.m.
“We are hoping to have a better season this year than last year’s debut season,” said the President of the American Samoa Wrestling Association (ASWA) Ethan Lake.
“Official practices started last week and there are nine schools at this time that have teams. We have two pre-season clinics that we will be conducting, with first being on December 31 and the second one on January 7 and both will be at Tafuna High School at 8:00 a.m. We have a lot of wrestlers returning from last year that will be going into the season with some experience under their belt, but at the same time, there are a lot young wrestlers that just started wrestling this season. Hopefully, wrestling will continue to grow in the territory with the benefits you can derive from it falling upon not only the wrestlers themselves, but everyone involved in it,” said Lake.
Lake would also like the public to know that the ASWA is at this time conducting a fundraiser to collect funds for the wrestlers to attend the upcoming 2012 Oceania Wrestling Championships in Sydney, Australia from January 27-29, 2012.
“The wrestlers will be having a, ‘Two Day End to End Island Walk-a-Thon’ that will be from Amanave on the West Side of the island, to Tula on the East Side of the island. They will take on this challenge on January 2nd. and 3rd. 2012. Our goal is to raise enough funds to send the wrestlers to Sydney, Australia for the 2012 Oceania Wrestling Championships that will be from January 27-29 2012,” said Lake.
“Just in case if anyone is wondering if they will actually make this walk, the answer to that question is, ‘Yes’ they will make the whole walk. A lot of the wrestlers have been training constantly throughout the year, not only for the ASHSAA wrestling season, but for the Oceania Wrestling Championships as well, which will lead to the World Games and then eventually to the Olympics,” said Lake.
The most well known wrestler at this time to come out of American Samoa is Carl Floor Jr. who took Gold medals at the last Oceania Wrestling Championships that was held in Apia, Samoa back in February of this year; which qualified him for the World Wrestling Championships held in Instanbul, Turkey this past September. He competed with fellow American Samoan wrestler Caleb Scanlan.
Floor will wrestle in the next Oceania Wrestling Championships in Sydney and if he defends his title, he will compete in an African and Oceania Olympic qualifier on March 16-18 in Casablanca, Morocco. The top two wrestlers advance to the Olympics in London in July 2012.
“Two years ago when I was in high school, this is not where I thought I would be,” said Floor recently to the ‘Times Herald-Record, m.recordonline.com
“I am barely 21 years old and most wrestlers who are in the Olympics are at least 25,” Floor said to the Times-Herald Record. “I will be 25 in the 2016 Olympics. This might not be the first one,” he said.
At this time, Floor is training out of the United States Olympic Training Center, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he is currently the only international freestyle wrestler, according to the website.