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One on One with Joseph Hayes: Richmond wrestling looks past three week season hiatus

RICHMOND — They were about to get ready to make another run.

Every year at Richmond High School is the same. The wrestling team competes for a state championship.

This year, Richmond is expecting the same exact thing. Even if it has to wait to get going this season, after the Michigan High School Athletic Association halted all fall and winter sports seasons in compliance with the state’s orders.

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“As a program, we kind of figured we may not get going on the mats until late December, early January,” Richmond wrestling coach Brandon Day said. “Thankfully, the majority of our kids played a fall sport and we were able to get our two week conditioning program done before the shut down.”

That has given the reigning Blue Water Area Conference champs some preparation for the upcoming season. But there is still work left to be done.

“This entire situation has affected our program,” coach Day said. “We have had to alter our spring-summer training cycles. Our kids and parents have done an outstanding job of doing what they can to prepare for the upcoming season.”

Richmond has included virtual learning as part of their progress and preparation toward a season.

“We are allowed to meet virtually with the kids and Coach Treend, Coach Misko and Coach Burg have done an outstanding job creating a weight training program, conditioning program, with wrestling techniques and running techniques that they can do on their own,” Day said.

“We have to trust that our kids are getting the work in academically and athletically during this time that we cannot physically be with them.”

Without a full training program in place, there is always the threat of more injuries taking place for Richmond and other programs around the state.

But Day believes his athletes are on the right track toward being prepared for the season.

“Injuries are always a concern,” Day said. “Fortunately, most of our kids play fall sports. So we are concerned as we always are but we know our kids just finished a season. So they aren’t coming to us off the couch.

“Meeting with the kids virtually on a daily basis helps give them a plan for workouts and also helps mentally, because it helps all of us get together and laugh.”

While there are still questions about when and if the season will take place, Richmond is taking on a positive approach.

“We are not sure what the season’s going to look like,” Coach Day said. “We know that we have told our kids that our objective is to give them the best season possible and to help our seniors finish what they started.

“Regardless of what the season looks like we are going to do our best to make our school, our families and our community proud. Our kids have dealt with wearing masks, social distancing and virtual learning. We just want to give them a sense of normalcy and give our community something to be proud of. We will get through this and come out the other end stronger than ever.”

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