It’s the Kielbasa Kid…

and I found a scrapbook of newspaper clippings that my dad put together that took me back to my high school days at Weir High in Weirton, West Virginia It was my freshman year I went tried out for our wrestling team. It was the first organized sport I ever participated in. That’s when I learned that amateur wrestling was a whole lot different than professional wrestling. I was luckier than most guys on the team because I didn’t have to worry about making weight. If you wrestled 138 you better weigh 138 before the match. You could be under but not over, not even a quarter pound over and if you were at weigh in the day of the match you had to forfeit. A lot of guys would wear rubber sweat suits during practice so they would make sure they weren’t over and still there would be guys wearing the rubber sweats on the bus to the match with a spit cup hoping not to be over when it was time for weigh in. I wrestled heavyweight but at 190 I was a light heavyweight as compared to the guys I would have to had to go up against. It didn’t take long to find that out either. It was during our first match of the season against Wintersville High in Ohio, their called Indian Creek Local now. The guy I had to face was, let’s just say to be nice, a round 300 pounds as opposed to a lean 300 pounds. Yeah, he was a biggie. Now there are 13 weight classes that have to wrestle before me, I’m the last to wrestle which means the tension builds as you sit on your folding chair looking across at your opponent as it gets closer and closer to being your turn. Eventually its time to start loosening up because your on deck and the butterflies really start to buzz now as the coach gives you some last minute advice which is better than last minute rites. All I can say is the match was over before it began or as the newspaper clipping read, “Weirton needed a pin in the heavyweight division by Phil Kirzyc to earn the tie and Kirzyc responded by pinning Jones in just 42 seconds. All I remember is getting behind Jones tripping him down and landed on top with my chin buried in his chest. Our team or the Little Riders as we were called went undefeated that season and I didn’t do too bad either going 6-2-1 and with I’m happy to say, no chins in my chest and I’ve got the newspaper clippings from my dads scrapbook to back it up.