High school wrestling notebook: WPIAL tournament will go as planned Wednesday
By: Paul Schofield
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 | 8:54 PM
With school districts canceling classes for Wednesday ahead of the frigid temperatures that are expected in Western Pennsylvania, WPIAL officials said Tuesday the wrestling team tournament will go on as scheduled.
There are eight sites hosting first-round and quarterfinal matches: four in Class AAA (Kiski Area, Canon-McMillan, Hempfield and Seneca Valley) and four in Class AA (Burrell, Beth-Center, Quaker Valley and Burgettstown).
While many schools do not allow extracurricular activities to take place if school is canceled, WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley said he has been assured by every superintendent that has a school entered in the team tournament that the teams will be able to participate.
“The superintendents understand the predicament and position we’re in with scheduling,” O’Malley said. “The only way we may cancel is if a state of emergency is declared.”
The forecast calls for temperatures in the teens and gusty winds.
O’Malley said the starting times will remain the same: first-round matches at 6 p.m. and quarterfinals around 7:30 p.m.
The winners from the sites will advance to the semifinals and finals Saturday.
The Class AA teams will go to Chartiers-Houston, with the semifinals at noon and finals at 2 p.m. The Class AAA teams will compete at 4 and 6 p.m. at Norwin.
Kiski Area will be looking for its third consecutive Class AAA title, and Burrell goes after its 13th consecutive Class AA championship.
PIAA wrestling switching channels
If high school wrestling fans want to watch the PIAA team and individual tournaments this year, it won’t be on Pennsylvania Cable News network.
That’s because the PIAA and FloSports announced an agreement for live and on-demand coverage through 2022 on FloWrestling.com.
PIAA executive director Dr. Robert Lombardi said the board decided FloSports had the best bid and was awarded the contract in October.
“FloWrestling is the site for the most comprehensive wrestling content in the country,” Lombardi said in a news release. “We are proud to partner with FloSports to broadcast the PIAA team and individual championships on FloWrestling.com to further promote high school wrestling in Pennsylvania, as well as across country and globally.”
Lombardi said Floarena will be recording every match, something PCN was unable to do.
Fans will have to subscribe to Floarena to watch the matches.
Lombardi said attendance at the wrestling championships has declined slowly the past 12 years.
“We’re trying to figure out why,” Lombardi said. “We haven’t raised ticket prices since 2000. We’re hoping Floarena grows the sport.”
Lombardi said wrestling still draws the largest crowds to state events.
This and that
Three wrestlers reached the 100-win milestone last week — Norwin junior Kurtis Phipps, Hempfield senior Kyle Burkholder and Greensburg Salem’s Dajauhn Hertzog. … North Allegheny junior Nick Marcenelle will miss the rest of the season with a back injury, according to NA coach Sanshiro Abe. According to Abe, Marcenelle will not need surgery, just rest. … Norwin won the Sharon Duals by going 5-0 on Saturday. The Knights defeated Indiana (47-27), Laurel (57-18), Knoch (60-12), Burgettstown (47-26) and Eisenhower (45-21). … Burrell had four champions and finished second to Chestnut Ridge from District 5 in the Thomas Chevrolet tournament in Bedford. Chestnut Ridge had 237 points and Burrell 220.5. The Bucs’ champions were Nicholas Salerno (113), Ian Oswalt (120), A.J. Corrado (138) and Austin Mele (160). Mt. Pleasant finished sixth and had three finalists, with freshman Dayton Pitzer winning at 182. Freedom finished ninth, and Trent Schultheis was its only champion at 152.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at email@example.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.