Powerade Wrestling Tournament grows to 55 teams for 2020

Monday, May 4, 2020 | 2:56 PM

The Powerade Wrestling Tournament is billed as one of the top high school competitions in the country.

And the 54th annual tournament, scheduled for Dec. 29-30 at Canon-McMillan High School, again will feature some of the top wrestlers east of the Mississippi River.

The tournament has grown to 55 teams, including 23 WPIAL programs and 20 others from across Pennsylvania, notably returning prep school champion Wyoming Seminary.

Frank Vulcano Jr., the tournament director and Canon-McMillan athletic director, said there are 12 new teams entered, replacing the 11 that left the field.

“This is the most teams we’ve had if they all show up,” Vulcano said. “Last year, one team backed out at the last minute. We might be able to take another team, and that’s it.

“I’ve already turned away between 10 to 15 teams. We just don’t invite individuals like other tournaments (Ironman and Beast of the East). We invite teams and programs that will make us better.”

Among the new teams are North Allegheny and Chartiers Valley.

Some of the other new teams include Cleveland’s St. Edward and Akron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary, Bergen Catholic from New Jersey and Central Mountain (District 6) from near Lock Haven.

“We’re always trying to get better,” Vulcano said. “I believe we have two of the big three teams in the country in Wyoming Seminary and St. Edward. Anytime you get one of the big three in makes your tournament better.”

Blair Academy in New Jersey, a previous participant, is not attending this season.

There are four returning champions expected to participate — Waynesburg’s Mac Church (106 pounds), Reynolds’ Gary Steen (113), Council Rock North’s Kyle Hauserman (120) and Malvern Prep’s Cole Deery (285) — as well as nine runners-up and 60 total placewinners.

Returning or past PIAA champions planning to compete are Latrobe’s Vinny Kilkeary, Franklin Regional’s Carter Dibert, Hempfield’s Ethan Berginc, Steen, Waynesburg’s Wyatt Henson, Seneca Valley’s Alejandro Herrera-Rondon, Mifflin County’s Trey Kibe, Stroudsburg’s Len Pinto, Forest Hills’ Jackson Arrington, Mt. Pleasant’s Dayton Pitzer and Montoursville’s Brandon Wentzel.

54th annual Powerade Tournament

Dec. 29-30 at Canon-McMillan

Teams participating

WPIAL: Burrell, Canon-McMillan, Chartiers Valley*, Connellsville, Derry, Franklin Regional, Freedom, Hampton, Hempfield, Kiski Area, Latrobe, Mt. Lebanon, Mt. Pleasant, North Allegheny*, Norwin, Peters Township, Quaker Valley, Seneca Valley, South Park, Thomas Jefferson, Trinity, Waynesburg and West Allegheny.

Pennsylvania: Benton (District 4)*, Cedar Cliff (D3), Central Mountain (D6)*, Chestnut Ridge (D5), Council Rock North (D1), Dallastown (D3)*, DuBois (D9), Cathedral Prep (D10), Faith Christian (D1)*, Forest Hills (D6), Malvern Prep, Manheim Township (D3)*, Mifflin County (D6), Montoursville (D4), Reynolds (D10), Saegertown (D10), St. Joseph Academy (D6), Stroudsburg (D11), Williamsport (D4)* and Wyoming Seminary.

Ohio: St. Mary-St. Vincent*, St. Edward*, Mason, Moeller and Wadsworth.

New Jersey: Bergan Catholic*, DePaul and Howell.

West Virgina: Parkersburg South and Point Pleasant*.

Maryland: Bullis Prep.

Virginia: Oscar Smith.

Teams not returning

Arlington-Martin (Texas), Camden Catholic, N.J., Christiansburg, Va., Ellwood City, Elizabeth Forward, North Hills, St. Clairsville, Ohio, Parkersburg, W.Va., Pope John Paul III, Riversbend, Va., Turner Asbury, Va.

*Denotes new teams.

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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