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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

No Holds Barred: Coach George Hero on MidwoodMania IV: Tag Teams and Titans 

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 27, Midwood High School will be the scene of this year's edition of what has now become an annual tradition, MidwoodMania IV. The event runs from 11 AM to 3 PM, at the Campus Road Gymnasium of Midwood High School, 2839 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, New York 11210, right across the street from Brooklyn College.

While MidwoodMania IV will see a full slate of wrestling matches in folkstyle, freestyle, and Greco-Roman wrestling involving Midwood alumni, coaches, wrestlers, and their rivals, this year there will be a major difference from previous years: Three of the ten matches will be tag team matches.

"We were thinking about doing something a little bit different," Coach Hero said in this interview, which was recorded by phone Tuesday. "One of the things that slows down a lot of wrestling matches is, it is very, very physically demanding." Many wrestlers, he noted, "get kind of tired by the third period, and things really tend to slow down a lot. And I thought what might be an interesting idea would be to create freestyle, folkstyle, real wrestling tag teams."

The three tag team matches at MidwoodMania IV will be held under folkstyle rules, but with some important modifications. Each match will be scheduled for three, four-minute periods. A wrestler can only tag out when there is a break or lull in the action, and must indicate this to the referee. Each team is allowed only one tag per period. Also, a pin ends the period, but not the match.

Coach Hero, who recently turned 55, will be wrestling in one of the tag team matches.

Our discussion with Coach Hero included many more details about MidwoodMania IV, his experience since returning to the mat, how events like this can be used to popularize wrestling, the possibility of the establishment of more tournaments for wrestlers who have finished their schooling, the absurdity of the decision to drop wrestling from the Olympic program, and more.

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