Ongoing pandemic means changes to high school wrestling season in WPIAL, state

Friday, December 4, 2020 | 7:31 PM

There could be massive changes to high school wrestling this season because of the ongoing pandemic.

Some early season tournaments have been canceled, moved or are on hold.

The WPIAL and PIAA tournaments also could see a drastic change if things involving the coronavirus don’t improve. If the effects of the virus are mitigated, there might be no changes.

The PIAA’s proposed changes regarding the postseason tournaments have riled some people on social media: limiting the individual tournament to eight wrestlers per weight class in each classification and reduce the three-day tournament to a one-day tournament for each classification.

“We’re trying to make it fair,” Canon-McMillan athletic director and WPIAL wrestling committee chairperson Frank Vulcano said. “We’re adding a Super Regional.

“The Class AAA West Regional will consist of teams from the Southwest Region (WPIAL), the Northwest and South Central. The East Regional will be from the Southeast and Northeast regions. The Class AA Super Regional will consist of the Southwest and Northwest regions in the west and Southeast and Northeast regions in the east.”

The WPIAL still will hold its tournaments in Class AAA and Class AA, and Class AA still will hold a Southwest Regional for teams from the WPIAL and Districts 5 and 6.

The PIAA team tournament will be different. There will be a 16-team bracket broken in half: a west bracket and an east bracket. The higher seeds will get home matches during Monday’s first round and Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

The Class AA semifinals and finals would be Friday and the Class AAA semifinals and finals on Saturday.

“Nothing is final yet. It’s just a proposal,” Vulcano said. “Things are changing daily.”

There are numerous changes to local wrestling tournaments.

The list of cancellations includes Chartiers-Houston and Eastern Area at Gateway on Dec. 11 and 12, the Ironman (Dec. 11), Beast of the East (Dec. 18), the Panther Classic at Mt. Aloysius (Dec. 18), King of the Mountain (Dec. 18), West Mifflin (Dec. 28), Burgettstown, Allegheny County Coaches and Tri-County Athletic Director’s tournaments.

In place of the Chartiers-Houston and Eastern Area, there will be a two-day Monroeville Mat Madness on Dec. 11 and 12 at Monroeville Convention Center.

Teams competing on Friday are Frazier, Beth-Center, Greensburg Salem, West Allegheny, Mars, Carlynton, West Greene and Southmoreland. On Saturday, Burrell, Derry Area, Connellsville, Waynesburg, Seneca Valley and Butler will be competing. Vulcano said he could add two more teams on Saturday.

“We just want to get kids five matches,” Vulcano said.

Southmoreland’s holiday tournament will be Dec. 28 at Murrysville Sports Zone and will become a duals event.

“We’ll have two pools,” Southmoreland athletic director and wrestling coach Dan Boring said. “The teams include Butler, Albert Gallatin, Fort, Cherry, Beth-Center, Greensburg Salem, Upper St. Clair, Valley, North Star, Yough and Frazier.”

The Powerade tournament also moved to Monroeville Convention Center. The tournament originally had 54 teams, but Vulcano said he expects the number of teams will drop to the high 40s.

The Hampton Duals are still scheduled for Dec. 12. The teams entered are Hampton, Hempfield, Fox Chapel, Quaker Valley, Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson Morgan and Yough. Hampton coach Chris Hart is hoping to add an eighth team, and that could be Central Catholic.

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

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