Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

No Holds Barred: Coach George Hero on MidwoodMania III 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Coach George Hero, the legendary coach and founder of the Midwood High School wrestling team in Brooklyn, New York.

On Saturday, April 21, Midwood High School will be the scene of this year's edition of what has now become an annual tradition, MidwoodMania III.

MidwoodMania III will see a full slate of wrestling matches in folkstyle, freestyle, and Greco-Roman wrestling involving Midwood alumni, coaches, and their rivals.

In the main event, Coach Hero, now 54 years old, will once again take to the mat in a heavyweight match under NCAA rules, facing Mark Shirian of NYU. There are a total of 12 matches scheduled.

MidwoodMania III takes place Saturday, April 21, from 10 AM to 2 PM EDT, at the Campus Road Gymnasium of Midwood High School, 2839 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY, across the street from Brooklyn College.

We spoke with Coach Hero by phone Monday night about this important event, which aims both at fundraising for the team as well as building awareness about wrestling.

As to why he started competing again two years ago after a hiatus of 30 years when he focused on coaching and, of course, teaching, Coach Hero explained, "I think that with wrestling, the best way I can describe it, at least for me, it's an addiction. Wrestling, as far as I'm concerned, is the most challenging, the most demanding, the most difficult sport there is -- and the most rewarding. If you're a wrestler, and you ever competed in wrestling, it gets in our blood. To be very honest, it's very, very difficult to sort of let it go altogether." For others considering returning to the mat, he advised, "I strongly recommend it. It's had a rejuvenating effect on me."

We also discussed the educational and social benefits of wrestling, how the politicians in New York are hurting public education, and much more.

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