Coaches have mixed feeling about PIAA wrestling proposals

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Sunday, December 6, 2020 | 10:02 PM


Wrestling coaches around Westmoreland County had mixed feelings about the PIAA’s proposal for how to handle postseason tournaments amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The PIAA board of directors will meet Wednesday and will consider reducing the amount of teams and individuals that will qualify for the state tournaments because of the ongoing global pandemic.

Because the PIAA wants an eight-man bracket at individual tournaments, the state board’s wrestling committee is considering two Super Regions where wrestlers will qualify in both classifications.

The team tournaments will have 16 teams, and the brackets will be broken into East and West. The first round and quarterfinals will be at the home sites of higher seeds, and the semifinals and finals on one day — Class AA on Friday and Class AAA on Saturday.

The WPIAL still will hold its individual tournaments in Class AAA and Class AA, and Class AA still will hold a Southwest Regional for wrestlers from the WPIAL and Districts 5 and 6. The Super Regions would follow.

“They had to do something,” Latrobe wrestling coach Mark Mears said. “It’s better than just taking district champions. At least many wrestlers from the WPIAL have a chance to advance.”

Wrestlers from around the WPIAL have been working hard to get ready for the season, which is scheduled to begin Friday.

Latrobe is competing in a scrimmage at Monroeville Convention Center on Saturday. Its first dual match is scheduled for later this month against Mars. The Wildcats are scheduled to compete at the Powerade Tournament at Monroeville Convention Center on Dec. 28.

Derry coach Mike Weinell said he’s not fond of the idea of adding another round of postseason tournaments.

“We are already wrestling three districts,” Weinell said. “Obviously, I’m not happy. I want to get as many kids as I can go to the state tournament. We already have a Southwest Regional, now we have to wrestle to Northwest. What I really don’t like is the WPIAL is only taking a couple to the regional.”

Weinell said the southwest region, at times, has numerous PIAA place winners.

“I get what they are doing,” Weinell said. “I’d rather see us go at it and see what happens.”

Greensburg Salem coach Randy Parsley admittedly said he hadn’t seen the proposal.

“It’s kind of crazy,” Parsley said. “You’re putting more people at the tournament. I don’t know what to expect. I know they just want to have an eight-man bracket.”

With a lot of individual tournaments canceled or postponed, more duals tournaments are popping up around the WPIAL.

All three coaches said they’re trying to enter as many duals tournaments as possible.

Officials are even considering making the Westmoreland County Coaches Association tournament into a duals event this season.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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