Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Iowegian Wrestlers must remove "ash crosses"

. The start of this year's competition falls on Ash Wednesday. Catholics typically apply ash crosses on their foreheads in observance of the first day of Lent. Catholic high school wrestlers will have to remove ashes from their forehead when the state wrestling tournament begins Wednesday.

But Iowa High School Athletic Association officials banned the practice for wrestlers when they hit the mat, saying the ash could get into an opponent's eyes or mouths. ``There's no disrespect to Catholicism,'' said Bud Legg, an athletic association spokesman who also is Catholic.

He said all wrestlers undergo a skin and nail check prior to competition.

Rev. Kenneth Kuntz of St. Mary's Church in Iowa City, says he doesn't agree with the decision but won't challenge it because applying ash is optional. ``There are some hills worth dying on, and some that aren't,'' he said. ``For me, this isn't that big of a deal.'' Mason City GlobeGazette

Did Vern Gagne require that in the old AWA when Hulk Hogan went up against Jesse "the Body?"

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