High School Sports

CIF State Wrestling: Herpes fear won’t delay state meet

Blake Flovin, with parents Rena and Rick in their Sunnyvale home, wants to see a postponement of the CIF State Wrestling Championships this weekend out of fear the Mitty High-San Jose senior may have passed on the herpes virus to other athletes.
Blake Flovin, with parents Rena and Rick in their Sunnyvale home, wants to see a postponement of the CIF State Wrestling Championships this weekend out of fear the Mitty High-San Jose senior may have passed on the herpes virus to other athletes. BAY AREA NEWS GROUP

The CIF State Wrestling Championships will proceed despite a plea for the event’s postponement by a Bay Area wrestler who says he contracted herpes gladiatorum – more commonly referred to as mat herpes – during a recent tournament.

Archbishop Mitty High-San Jose senior Blake Flovin of Sunnyvale revealed his diagnosis to Bay Area media Wednesday, telling the San Jose Mercury News he hoped to prevent other wrestlers from getting the highly contagious virus that he says he contracted during the Central Coast Section championships Feb. 19-20 at Independence High in San Jose.

California Interscholastic Federation Executive Director Roger Blake said Thursday that “after a thorough medical review of this situation” the state championships will go on as scheduled Friday and Saturday at Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena.

“With regard to California high school wrestling championships, it is standard operating procedure for certified trainers and physicians to conduct a careful skin evaluation of every wrestler before weigh-ins on both days of the tournament,” Blake said in a news release. “Physicians and certified athletic trainers are trained to detect symptoms and make a determination as to the nature of the condition and whether the student-athlete may compete without posing a risk to himself or any other competitor.

“We are confident that our practices, along with an exhaustive medical review of this particular situation, ensure that there is no justification for concern about the spread of a contagious disease at the event.”

Flovin, the 220-pound Central Coast Section runner-up, will not be allowed to compete.

The Central Section had its own scare in 2007, when competitors from Clovis, Firebaugh and Sunnyside all missed time because of skin diseases contracted while wrestling.

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