Encounter With “Dead” Raccoon Ends Wrestling Team’s Bid for Fourth Consecutive Championship

Dumbass Category LogoDon’t you just hate it when that happens to you? Your high school wrestling team is on its way to the state championships (you’re almost assured to repeat) and you stop to pick up a dead raccoon on the road, you throw it in the storage area and it turns out to be alive–or a zombie–and possibly have rabies? And the fact that it ran off means there’s no way to know for sure, so everyone on the bus is banned from competing?

I just hate when that happens!

Here are the details from the Grand Forks Herald about why Carrington High School (ND) will not have another wrestling trophy in the case this spring:

Grafton police Sgt. Anthony Dumas said the raccoon was found somewhere on the Carrington team’s trip to the tournament, and it was stowed in the storage area of the bus.  “They thought it was dead, so they picked it up,” he said. Duchscherer said the Carrington coaches were aware of the raccoon.

In Grafton, Dumas said, the storage area was opened, and it became clear the raccoon was still alive. Dumas said no one was scratched or bit by the animal. “It just trotted away,” he said.  About 10:30 a.m., a caller, who was concerned about having a potentially rabid animal on a bus full of young people, reported the incident to authorities. Dumas, who responded to the call, said police looked for the raccoon, hoping to catch it so it could be tested for rabies, but it was not found. The school isn’t sure how many wrestlers were exposed to the raccoon.

Michelle Feist, a public health official working in the disease control department of the North Dakota Department of Health, was contacted by Carrington school officials after the raccoon was discovered.   Feist said there is no concern about health risk to wrestlers who competed against Carrington’s athletes. “The Carrington wrestlers, if they were bitten or scratched by the raccoon or were playing around the raccoon’s mouth and had an open cut, that could be exposure to it,’’ Feist said. “We haven’t assessed any of those kids yet.

Carrington beat Larimore 64-15 in the quarterfinals and Mayville-Portland-Clifford-Galesburg 66-13 in the finals and was scheduled to meet North Border-Cavalier in the championship.   Instead, North Border-Cavalier won the championship by forfeit.