High School Wrestler Penalized Point for 2 Second Prayer Prior to Match

Nicholas Fant is a junior at Wake Forest-Rolesville High School in Wake Forest, North Carolina.  He is a wrestler in the 220 pound weight class who always drops to one knee for a two second prayer prior to entering the ring to start a match.  Fant made it to the state finals where he and his coach had mapped out his strategy for his first match.

When Fant approached the wrestling mat, he dropped to one knee for two seconds for his prayer and then entered the ring.  To his and his coach’s shock, the state wrestling referee instantly penalized Fant one point for stalling.  This was the first time that anyone had penalized him for doing what he normally did before every match.

The point penalty caused Fant to change his strategy at the last second and he ended up losing the match 3-0 to his opponent.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations’ rulebook, there are 27 pages that describe a variety of reasons that may lead a referee to issue a penalty point for stalling.  Among those reasons are unnecessary changing or adjusting of equipment, not returning from out of bounds fast enough and delaying in taking the starting position to begin a match.  Nothing in the rule says anything about a two second prayer.

Sam Hershey, Fant’s coach questioned the call and said that he wanted someone to clarify it for him.  David Whitfield, the Commissioner for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association told the local news that the referee was justified in making the call.  He explained:

“When the referee called them to the center of the mat, at that point it’s time to wrestle.  It had everything to do with the rules of wrestling.  You have discretion in all rules as it relates to wrestling, but in this case, one of the wrestlers was in the circle waiting.”

However, another wrestling official disagrees with Whitfield and the call made against Fant.  David Culbreth, an official with the Southeastern Wrestling Officials Association said he would not have made the call against Fant, explaining:

“God gets two seconds.  I’m not going to call that. But if it turned into a 60-second prayer, he’d probably get a verbal warning — or I might try to say ‘Amen’ for him.”

If I were Fant and his coach, I would protest the call to the highest authority possible and even take it to the media as a possible religious discrimination.  Fant had kneeled and prayed his two second prayer before every match and it was never called nor was he ever warned.  To make such a call in the all-important state finals is unethical and sends a very negative message to all high school athletes that some officials are going to penalize you for your faith and there’s nothing you can do about it.

And if any of you say it’s no big deal because he lost anyway, let me tell you.  When an athlete has a strategy all laid out and then is forced to alter it at the last minute because of something so wrong, it can throw everything off, including the mental concentration of the athlete.  He’s now wondering what to do and what course of action to take, but it’s too late because the match has already started.

I believe that Fant was treated unfairly and very possibly for religious reasons and should be given another chance to wrestle the same opponent using his original strategy.  I also believe that the referee be given a warning before he is allowed to ref anymore wrestling matches.



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Posted in Christianity, Liberalism, Religion, Sports Tagged with: , , , , ,
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Ruyle/100001085161358 Joe Ruyle

    Would anyone care to wager on who that ref voted for in the last election?

    • http://www.facebook.com/ru.ko.549 Ru Ko

      Right on Joe!

  • fideux

    Im thinking that when the time comes, David Whitfield, the commissioner of the North Carolina High School Athletic Assn., and the referee that called the foul won’t have a prayer! They also won’t have a heating bill to worry about.

  • marineh2ominer

    The WHOLE point is that progressives , and obviosly this coach is one , is to destroy Christianity in America , the progressives want to be the ONLY GOD to rule over us so there are NO inalienable rights , only the rights THEY choose to allow us . Just keep voting for progressives , we will get there , to hell that is !

  • [email protected]

    WAKE Up America!!! The Soft Invasion of America, started years ago…

    He who hesitates is lost.

    You Never see the ragheads hesitate!

  • Incredulous1

    So what’s the name of the referee? Why is he being protected? It’s long overdue that atheists have to live with the consequences of their militant anti-Christian actions. Bet that ref. has neighbors and co-workers who would “punish” him if they knew who he was. Just sayin’… And may God have Mercy on his soul.

  • sg

    I wonder if this ref was paid to throw the match? Yes Christians are being attached here and abroad, but our muslim pres. remains silent. the anti-Christian DOJ speaks nothing, sees nothing, hears nothing unless it is the call for prayer from the nearby mosques. We are becoming a muslim state mixed with socialist/communist foundation. How proud our Founding Fathers must be.

  • richcarro

    They should put the ref on the mat with this young man. Most refs are nothing more then wimps. And to have this young man dump this ref, it will make that ref think twice before he does that again. And to this young man, I say God is with you. It’s time we start getting rid of all these Socialist Teachers.

  • bob3443

    Again, this is just another example of the biggest scourge our nation has ever seen. I refer to the entire contemptible, loathsome, and witless machinations of the imbeciles who stridently promote the agenda of “political correctness”!

    As a nation we have put a stop to this insanity. Too many people are being intimidated by malcontents and wackos for no reason other than speaking their minds in a nation that has a constitution that guarantees free speech.

    I wonder if the referee would have done the same thing if the kid had knelt down to check a shoelace?

    • bluefallsriver

      I guess I have to disagree on this one. I wouldn’t have even considered making such a call as this ref. But I don’t see this as a Liberal-Conservative issue. If he had wanted to pray before the match I say go for it; but once the match is started the ref has the right to make such a call. This seems trivial to me when I look at the major issues we are facing today in our country. Whether the ref was liberal or conservative has nothing to do with this. Rules are rules

  • bhudda

    The orignal school system was designed by the community for which it served and was funded by the city tax payers then the country tax payers ,then the state tax payers now some federal money too .A story of the Native Americans , Some time back ,the Braves hunted and fished all day and the women did most of the work .No taxes , no money , no politics , no wars .The white man came along and said we can make things better . I look back and see the old ways ,maybe not politically correct but better .

  • Josias

    If it was a prayer to Allah, they would have given him a point!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/George-Vieto/100000372915035 George Vieto

    Sounds like that referee worked for Vince K McMahon of the W W E. A chicken crap call.

  • TheTexasCooke

    I would have walked away without entering the ring….but then I don’t like *ssholes as a group.

  • tomyj1


  • katchaturian

    Reminiscent of an end zone incident two years ago. There is no way the NFHS can justify this idiocy. How many 30 second and one minute time outs have gone to 40+ and 60+. Thousands! In basketball officials are taught to notify, apparently deaf coaches, when the first horn has sounded. While some teams are on the floor in adequate time, whatever that is to the pinhead wrestling official, delays are common . . in excess of two seconds. I suppose REFEREE MAGAZINE will come to the official’s defense. Sad. This should have nothing to do with Christianity and a whole lot to do with common sense. What’s that?

  • skeeve

    so much for religious freedom in America, the very nation Created by Christians to permit religious freedom is now engaging in hatred against Christianity. To use the typical responce, the ref should be charged with religious discrimination and pulled from ANY youth function.

  • http://profiles.google.com/pudbertsavannahga Mort Leith

    But MUZLIMS can block streets in New Dork City every day to pray to their satan….

    The Muzlim Odumbo has been at war with Christians the whole time,,, and the liberal media continues to say nothing, just like the media in Russia and China…

  • snowperson

    Would they have penalized him if he used a prayer rug?

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.ryan.75286100 Kevin Ryan

    first they took prayer out of school. now they are taking prayer out of sports. next the national anthem will not be sung.