The texts on Max Schneider's phone when he woke up Tuesday morning weren't bearing good news.
Instead, they were alerting the two-time wrestling state champ from Lane that the International Olympic Committee plans to drop the sport from the Olympics after 2020.
"I was pretty surprised," said Schneider, who is taking a redshirt year at Cal Poly after undergoing shoulder surgery. "Especially after we did so well in the Olympic Games for wrestling last year."
The unexpected announcement is hard for Schneider to understand in light of wrestling's place in the Games' history.
"It was there when the Olympics started in the Greek games, like the discus throw," he said.
Local coaches don't expect the sport to go down without a fight.
"I'm not giving up hope, that it's gone for good," said Mark Miedona, Schneider's coach at Lane. "The wrestling community is going to come together. I'm crossing my fingers. In my mind — and I'm biased — I think they'll find a way to keep it."
Montini coach Israel Martinez called the move "devastating."
"It takes away the biggest goal, to be an Olympic champion," he added.
Like Miedona, Martinez expects a push to get the IOC to reconsider its decision.
"Wrestling is more than just a sport, it's a lifestyle," he said. "What [the IOC] can't control is the successful businessmen and business women [who support wrestling]. They're going to unite as a community and develop a way to get back in."
But Oak Park-River Forest coach Mike Powell suggested that even if the IOC doesn't change its mind, there could be benefits.
"The silver lining in this is that with the corrupt IOC out of the way, maybe FILA [the sport's world governing body] will reinstate the previously dropped weight classes and change several of the rules that the IOC pushed for over the last 20 years," Powell said in an email. "Having the IOC out of the picture could turn out to be a good thing."
Contributing: George M. Wilcox