high school wrestlingWell, according to the Los Angeles Times, the rough-and-tumble persona and ability to hang tough as a high school wrestler is quickly fading. The reason… MMA popularity?

I suppose Lisa Dillman conveys a somewhat true point, but as with any sport, there will be your fair share of makers and fakers. Growing pains occur in any sport when it’s notariety is on the rise, and wrestling is no different.

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The popularity of MMA and UFC means participation in high school wrestling is up, according to Southland coaches.

But it’s not all positive. Tap-outs are on the rise, meaning toughness is taking a beating. In wrestling, a tap-out is a request for an injury timeout, after which the match is restarted.

In pro fighting, a competitor who has been pinned into submission and is in pain “taps out,” ending the match. Confusion, apparently, is a byproduct because high school wrestlers are often trying to tap their way out of tough spots.

“You give up,” Temecula Valley Coach Arnold Alpert said.

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