With so much balance at every weight, picking the finalists and the champion for the District 6 Class AA Tournament is always a tough but fun job.
Again, I'm attempting to do that with my postseason picks.
For the wrestlers and coaches, this is the best time of the year. According to my picks, it's going to be a great time for area wrestlers.
I'm picking eight area wrestlers to capture titles.
Penn Cambria's Evan Link and John Julian should capture titles at 103 and 160, respectively, while Tyrone's dynamic duo of A.J. Schopp and Ronnie Garbinsky are the picks at 119 and 125.
Schopp was my pick as Outstanding Wrestler last season, but the vote didn't go his way. If he beats Forest Hills' three-time district champion David Fogle, and he should the way he's wrestling, Schopp should get the media's vote as OW.
Then again, whoever wins the 125-pound title can put a claim to the award. The last time Garbinsky and PC's Pat Myers wrestled, at the Thomas Automotive Family Tournament, it appeared Myers was going to win until Garbinsky hit a throw for a takedown with 14 seconds left to take the lead.
Garbinsky's third caution with 10 seconds left sent the bout into overtime, and he would win in two tiebreakers. If they hook up in a similar bout in the finals at the Fieldhouse, it will be as entertaining as the bout in Bedford.
I'm also picking Central Cambria's Phil Steinberg at 135 and Shane Morris at 285, Claysburg-Kimmel's Daniel Knott at 140, Portage's Shawn Perich at 145 and Huntingdon's Jason Everhart at 215
Steinberg and Young Guns workout partner Perich met in the 135-pound finals last year, and Steinberg left with a 2-0 win. Perich's teammate, Joe Shook, should reach the 189-pound finals, where he'll run into Westmont Hilltop machine Zac Bennett.
Titles by Bennett and Everhart could be instrumental in determining the team champion. The last time Westmont and Huntingdon got together, a defensive pin by Westmont's Aaron Goodwin of Addison Yingling proved to be the difference. Goodwin, by the way, is the most dangerous 14th seed in the tournament.
Huntingdon's Jesse Runk should make the 112-pound finals, but returning 103-pound runner-up Tanner Hough has the edge.
The Hilltoppers and Bearcats could finish 1-2 in the team standings, but Penn Cambria has a very good tournament team and could crash the party.
The following are all of my picks. Remember, they're for entertainment purposes only. Some of them are more entertaining than others.
103 POUNDS: Finalists: Evan Link, Penn Cambria vs. Josh Polacek, Westmont Hilltop. Champion: Link. Comment: Link survived a three-tiebreaker win over Polacek early in season.
112 POUNDS: Finalists: Tanner Hough, Westmont Hilltop vs. Jesse Runk, Huntingdon. Champion: Hough. Comment: Hough lost to Ronnie Garbinsky, 2-0, in last year's finals.
119 POUNDS: Finalists: A.J. Schopp, Tyrone vs. David Fogle, Forest Hills. Champion: Schopp. Comment: Not even a three-time champion can stop Schopp now.
125 POUNDS: Finalists: Pat Myers, Penn Cambria vs. Ronnie Garbinsky, Tyrone. Champion: Garbinsky. Comment: Myers nearly won the last battle, but the nod goes to Garbinsky.
130 POUNDS: Finalists: Trevor Kushner, Westmont Hilltop vs. Luke Lohr, Somerset. Champion: Lohr. Comment: A number of people, including Northern Cambria's Zach Carpinello, could win.
135 POUNDS: Finalists: Phil Steinberg, Central Cambria vs. Richard Brydon, Forest Hills. Champion: Steinberg. Comment: Steinberg beat Brydon, 1-0, during the season.
140 POUNDS: Finalists: Robert Henderson, United vs. Daniel Knott, Claysburg-Kimmel. Champion: Knott. Comment: Tyrone's Cody Weaver could make some noise at 140.
145 POUNDS: Finalists: Pat Dumire, Westmont Hilltop vs. Shawn Perich, Portage. Champion: Perich. Comment: It's going to be tough to beat Perich.
152 POUNDS: Finalists: T.J. Keklak, Westmont Hilltop vs. Chad Miller, Richland. Champion: Miller. Comment: Miller beat Keklak earlier, but he should win a balanced weight.
160 POUNDS: Finalists: John Julian, Penn Cambria vs. Jeremy Barlett, Tyrone. Champion: Julian. Comment: Why is Barlett a seventh seed?
171 POUNDS: Finalists: Ryan Burnheimer, Westmont Hilltop vs. Zack Hicks, Mount Union. Champion: Burnheimer. Comment: Burnheimer is a heck of a freshman.
189 POUNDS: Finalists: Zac Bennett, Westmont Hilltop vs. Joe Shook, Portage. Champion: Bennett. Comment: Bennett is determined to win his second state title.
215 POUNDS: Finalists: Jason Everhart, Huntingdon vs. Jamel Fortson, Mount Union. Champion: Everhart. Comment: The wild card is Richland freshman John Rizzo.
285 POUNDS: Finalists: Josh Duplin, Westmont Hilltop vs. Shane Morris, Central Cambria. Champion: Morris. Comment: Look out for Andy Sarra and Kevin Stager.
OUTSTANDING WRESTLER: A.J. Schopp, Tyrone.
TEAM CHAMPION: Westmont Hilltop. Comment: It feels like I've picked Schopp and Westmont before.