Student Athletes Contract Herpes While Wrestling
Dan DeRoos, KOIN News 6
NEWBERG, Ore. -- A handful of Oregon high school wrestlers got herpes from practicing their sport.
Concerned parents say they were left in the dark about the risk that their kids were taking.
The problem is believed to have started when the Crater wrestling team picked up herpes simplex-1 during a tournament in Fresno, Calif. Before they knew the problem existed, Crater wrestled Grants Pass, and several members from both teams came down with the disease.
Cleared by doctors, several young men from Crater wrestled in last weekend's Oregon Classic in Redmond.
That brings us to Monday night's exhibition match at Newberg high against a visiting Japanese team. It's not so much the match that parents were worried about. We found some parents whose sons wrestled against Crater this weekend and were told nothing of the problem.
"No, we didn't know about it until the middle of the match, "Dennis Schmitz said.
Schmitz says he only found out because another angry parent brought it to his attention. And although the Crater kids were cleared by doctors to wrestle, parents feel they should have been told.
"That was my biggest concern, was there was no information given, and the coaches didn't even seem to know about it, "Beverly Schmitz said.
"If our kids end up get herpes for the rest of their lives because of that, there's no excuse for that at all -- none, "Dennis Schmitz said.
In defense of the Newberg program, we did talk to the coach who says he does everything he can to keep the mats clean and disinfected. And the parents echoed that sentiment, saying they have no qualms about their sons wrestling in Newberg.
"The team cleans the mats twice a day and the kids are very conscientious about hygiene, "Dave Conant said.
So far, none of the Newberg kids have shown signs of herpes, which can take a couple of days to show up.
Many parents say that had they known, they would have let their sons decide whether or not to wrestle.