While all the Class AAA and AA teams that made the semifinals of the District 6 Duals all deserve to be there, especially in Class AA, I had to stifle a laugh when I saw the teams that weren't in the field.
Penn Cambria didn't even qualify for the quarterfinals, finishing 12th in the team standings, but of their five losses, three were to District 6 Duals qualifier Claysburg-Kimmel by two points, 33-31, and to semifinalists Westmont Hilltop, 36-31, and Forest Hills, 37-30, and a fourth was to District 5 power Bedford, 38-25.
So there's the Panthers watching as eighth-seeded Southern Huntingdon qualifies for the quarterfinals and gets blown away by Huntingdon, 58-12. Forest Hills beat sixth-seeded Penns Valley with relative ease, 45-25, and Westmont beat undermanned Tyrone, 44-18.
When they were healthy and had a full lineup, the Golden Eagles hung with Huntingdon before falling, 32-28, in the Richland Duals semifinals. When they weren't healthy, they were getting beaten by the Hilltoppers and then by the Bearcats in the regularly-scheduled match, 48-25. They deserved to be there based on what they did with a healthy lineup.
What if Penn Cambria had made the field. How about the Panthers facing off against the Bearcats in the quarterfinals? Now that would have been a heck of a match.
Why didn't Penn Cambria make the field? Unlike the other teams, the Panthers' schedule is built more toward tournaments. Under the current district point standings format, the more dual meets a team wrestles and wins, the more points it amasses. With only 10 dual meets and five losses, it's easy to see why they didn't make it.
I still would like to see the qualifying teams re-seeded, and maybe the field in Class AA should be expanded from eight to 12 or 16 teams. Some of the teams would have to wrestle one more match to make the semifinals.
Then there's Bald Eagle Area, which would have been the third seed in Class AAA, but the Eagles chose not to enter the Duals for the first time in the event's history. Indian Valley and Lewistown also didn't enter, so that left the door open for Johnstown and State College to wrestle in the quarterfinals. Johnstown was blown away by Altoona, while undermanned State College upset undermanned Philipsburg-Osceola.
Schopp aims for record
While the emphasis is on team this week with the district duals and the PIAA Duals in Hershey, there's a possible individual matchup to look forward to on Thursday.
When Tyrone visits Central Cambria, weather permitting, on Thursday, A.J. Schopp will go for his school and area record-setting 150th win. Always looking for the big bout, Schopp could move up to 140 to wrestle fellow returning state runner-up Phil Steinberg to reach the milestone.
12 to go in HOF
For the second straight year, District 6 will induct 12 into the Hall of Fame before the Class AA finals on Feb. 20 and the before the Class AAA finals on Feb. 27 at the Altoona Fieldhouse.
Included in the 22nd Hall of Fame class are Hollidaysburg 1948 state champ Julius Walter, Tyrone 1952 state champ Blair Walk and Philipsburg 1951 state champ Bob Good.
Todd Irwin can be reached at 946-7464 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.