PIAA votes to keep individual qualifiers in wrestling status quo

Monday, May 30, 2022 | 5:59 PM

After months of debate, the PIAA Board of Directors decided to keep the number of qualifiers per region the same as the previous two-year cycle.

The PIAA originally planned to take an individual qualifier away from the WPIAL in Class 3A because seven teams from the district dropped to Class 2A. The new proposal would have given the Class 2A Southwest Regional a seventh qualifier.

The PIAA wrestling steering committee came up with a formula that would reward regions by success in the PIAA tournament. That proposal originally was passed by the committee, 12-3.

The reason for the new proposal, spearheaded by WPIAL wrestling committee chairman Frank Vulcano, was to keep the fourth qualifier for the WPIAL in Class 3A, which has displayed its dominance over the years at the state level in the individual tournament. That proposal would have given the WPIAL five qualifiers in Class 3A and taken two away from the Southeast Region (District 1, Philadelphia suburbs)

But when the wrestling steering committee heard that change would not be approved by the directors, the committee met again and proposed to keep things the same and revisit the success formula for future consideration.

The PIAA Board of Directors approved that proposal, keeping the WPIAL at four qualifiers in Class 3A and reducing the Southwest Region to six qualifiers in Class 2A.

“I’m happy that we’re keeping four qualifiers,” Franklin Regional coach Matt Lebe said. “I hope they consider the formula down the road.”

A couple of coaches in Class 2A expressed questions on social media about why the WPIAL doesn’t get its own regional based on the increase of teams for the two-year cycle.

The board also voted to keep the team tournament to two tournaments. Also passed was the amount of dual matches a team must wrestle to qualify for the team tournament. Teams are required to wrestle in seven duals to be eligible.

Powerade expands

The 56th Annual Powerade Tournament will be held Dec.29 and 30 at Canon-McMillan High School.

The field will expand to 64.

This year’s field will include teams from Florida (Southwest Miami and Lake Highlands Prep), Illinois (Homewood Flossmoor and Lockport), Ohio (Moeller, St. Edwards and Wadsworth), New York (Williamsville North and Starpoint), Maryland (McDonogh and St. Mary’s Ryken), Washington (Orting), Tennessee (Signal Mountain and Dobyns Bennett), New Jersey (Delbarton, Howell, St. Peter’s Prep, Southern Regional and St. Joseph Regional), Virginia (Fauquier) and West Virginia (Parkersburg South).

Other top teams include Erie Prep, Waynesburg, Chestnut Ridge, Wyoming Seminary, Malvern Prep, Norwin, Burrell, Connellsville, Canon-McMillan, Bishop McCort, Reynolds, Norwin and State College.

Young picked for Hall of Fame

Penn-Trafford grad Shane Young, a three-time PIAA champion, has been selected to the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame.

Young won titles in 2007, ‘08 and ‘09. His career record was 153-19. He also was a three-time WPIAL champion.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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