Wrestling notebook: Twist added to WPIAL Class AA individual tournament

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 | 7:45 PM

The WPIAL Class AA individual wrestling tournament gets underway Feb. 15 at Canon-McMillan, and there will be a different twist to this year’s tournament.

In previous years, the section tournament was held the first day and the WPIAL tournament the next day.

This year, the section tournament will begin at 3 p.m. with the finals at 7.

The change comes a few hours later. The wrestling committee has decided the opening round of the WPIAL tournament will begin at 9:30 the same night.

The wrestlers would then return Saturday to begin the quarterfinals at 10 a.m.

The semifinals are scheduled for 12:20 p.m. and the finals at 5.

“I’d rather see them eliminate the section tournament and have one big tournament.” Derry coach Mike Weinell said. “At least starting the WPIAL tournament on Friday allows for complete wrestlebacks on Saturday.”

The change will allow wrestlers to compete five times, if needed, on the second day. A wrestler cannot wrestle more than five times in a day.

The top four wrestlers in each of the 14 weight classes advance out of the section tournament.

Then the top seven place winners at the WPIAL tournament advance to the PIAA Southwest Regional on Feb. 22-23 at the Kovalchik Complex at IUP.

The Class AAA section tournaments will be held Feb. 23 at Kiski Area (Section 1), Connellsville (2), Fox Chapel (3) and Chartiers Valley (4).

The WPIAL Class AAA tournament is set for March 1-2 at Canon-McMillan.

No. 1 gets bumped out

Entering the District 11 Class AAA tournament Saturday, Bethlehem Liberty was ranked No. 1 in the state by various outlets, including Trib HSSN.

But after losing to No. 2 Bethlehem Catholic in the finals, District 11 allows loser’s bracket teams to challenge for second place. Northampton, which lost to Bethlehem Catholic in the semifinals, defeated Liberty.

District 11 has a rich wrestling tradition but has just 21 Class AAA teams and only two qualifiers. The WPIAL has 46 Class AAA teams and gets three PIAA qualifiers.

District 1 (61 teams) and District 3 (57) have the most qualifiers at four each.

Changes coming?

There are a lot of rumors circulating in the wrestling committee about changes to the number of weight classes.

Canon-McMillan athletic director Frank Vulcano, the chairman of the WPIAL wrestling committee, said he’s heard the rumors but has not seen anything definite.

He said the state committee will meet April 3 and any recommendations made by the committee will be presented to the PIAA Board of Directors in May.

“I don’t see that happening,” Weinell said. “I know we’re able to fill all 14 weight classes.”

Derry took a full squad to Penn-Trafford on Saturday and won the Ultimate Warrior Classic. Dom DeLuca (220) and heavyweight Noah Cymmerman won titles, while Ty Cymmerman (126), Jason Baker (138) and Trey Weinell (152) placed second in the round-robin tournament.

PCN re-airing WPIAL events

The Pennsylvania Cable Network lost its bid to broadcast the PIAA team and individual championships to FloWrestling, but it will be re-airing some WPIAL wrestling events broadcast by Trib HSSN.

PCN’s tape-delayed broadcast of the WPIAL Class AAA team finals will air at 7 p.m. Friday, and the WPIAL Class AA individual wrestling finals will air at 9 p.m. Feb. 22.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at [email protected] or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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