With the 2021 calendar set to turn to February, high school wrestlers continue to hope the shortest month of the year will be the one they can don their singlets, stare into the eyes of another grappler and test their mettle on the mats.

And while that still is the plan, on paper, given that it is the lone winter sport in the “high-risk” category and the numbers for COVID-19 are not descending at an ideal pace, a high school wrestling season at this juncture is far from a certainty.

In an email sent to athletic directors from the Maine Principals’ Association on Thursday, Jan. 28, Mike Bisson, assistant executive director, recommended schools “hold off” on beginning Alpha weigh-ins — previously scheduled for Monday, Feb. 1 — “until the [wrestling] committee has met and makes a decision about the season.”

The MPA's wrestling committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

“We delayed the start of the season to buy time and hope that things were improving enough for us to have a wrestling season,” Bisson said. “At this time the numbers are not dramatically better and the Community Sport Guidelines have not opened up for ‘high-risk’ activities like wrestling to move beyond level 2, which only permits physically-distanced team workouts.”

The Community Sports Guidelines has Level 3 as within-team competition and interaction between one cohort of participants, while Level 4 is in-person competition between teams from the same geographic area between two cohorts; Level 5, in-person competition between teams from different geographic areas within Maine; and Level 6, in-person competition between teams from different states.

Currently, the first allowable Maine high school wrestling meet is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 27 and the last countable meet on Saturday, April 10.