New York State is unique as it is one of the only states, if not the only state which has a 99-pound weight class and allows underclassmen to wrestle varsity.
This presents its own unique set of variables.
Everything about the philosophy of choice will render itself obsolete in the 99-pound weight class in New York State.
In this weight class, the overriding elements of choice will be weight and age.
A 7th or 8th grader who wrestles varsity at 99 pounds in New York is usually a very talented wrestler.
A wrestler who has had recent success as a youth wrestler.
Sometimes this 7th or 8th grader is barely making the minimum weight in order to compete, which is 91 pounds.
Most of the time this 7th or 8th-grade wrestler is not even close to the 99-pound maximum limit and is not cutting weight.
A majority of the wrestlers in this weight class are underclassmen, but not always.
In certain occasions, the weight class will have older wrestlers (9-12th graders) who are cutting weight.
There is a tremendous difference in strength between a prepubescent teen and a teen who has hit puberty.
Youth strength versus Man strength.
Add in the difference in weight – of one wrestler coming down from 104 pounds and the other barely making the minimum weight – and you have yourself a dilemma.
The dilemma is for the stud 7th or 8th grader who is more talented than his elder classmen, has more accolades and by all logic should win the match.
But a combination of weight and age shortens the gap in talent in this weight class.
What complicates the issue is by all rights the underclassman is a better wrestler to the naked eye.
But the naked eye can not feel the strength or weight of an older, heavier, although less talented opponent.
One could attempt to ignore this fact, at their own peril or one can choose to understand this phenomenon, as it will only last for 1-2 years’ maximum.
It is highly advisable for a light underclassman to use his speed to win matches.
When a 2-year age difference and a 4-pound weight advantage exists, understand that the advantage position for the underclassmen will most likely be the neutral position – where speed is more of a determining factor, rather than girth and strength.