The wrestling season has been going full force for about three weeks now, and already some wrestlers and teams are starting to create a buzz in the wrestling community.
It's a time when expectations are pretty high, and fans and experts predict what might happen the rest of the season. Here's a few things I think will happen:
n Tyrone's Ronnie Garbinsky will finally win a state title, but it won't be easy. The state semifinals have been as much of a roadblock for Garbinsky as the finals were for his former teammate A.J. Schopp, who won a title last season as a senior.
Garbinsky doesn't have Schopp in "The Cage" pushing him to get better. Their workout sessions and occasional eliminations were something to behold from what I'm told by coach Blair Packer. But I'm sure the driven Garbinsky will find a way to push himself and find that little extra to get him over the hump.
n Bedford's regular-season winning streak will end. It has to at some point, right? Counting only regularly-scheduled dual meets and excluding the District 5 and PIAA Duals, the Bisons have won 48 in a row and haven't lost a regular-season dual meet since a 35-28 setback to Central Cambria on Dec. 19, 2006.
Bedford has a lot of new, young starters in the lineup, and if it's going to be beaten, this is the year. It could come tonight at Westmont Hilltop or Thursday at home against Chestnut Ridge. .
n Hollidaysburg's losing streak will end. The Golden Tigers have lost 31 in a row, and their last win was a 58-18 win over Haverford in the Altoona-Wendy's Duals on Jan. 26, 2008.
The Tigers are a little more deeper this year, and they have some nice, young talent. Their best chance for a win is Dec. 29 at Glendale.
Reminder to coaches
I want to remind area coaches to call in their results after a match if we're not there and not rely on the NWCA results getting e-mailed to us.
Some coaches have been under the mistaken impression that those results get e-mailed to us immediately, but that's not the case. Often, those results reach us after our deadline, which is normally 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 p.m. Saturday. Plus, we get so many winter sports results called in on a nightly basis, we don't always have time to check the e-mail after a point.
I don't often plug other publications, but wrestling fans should get a couple wrestling-related ones. The first one is Tom Elling's Wrestling Handbook, and the second is a subscription to the Pennsylvania Wrestling Newsmagazine.
Elling's book is amazing again, and it's grown to 376 pages. It includes everything from a list of Pennsylvania's returning state placers to the new rules changes to results from other states. To buy it, go to his state web site.
PWN, owned by former Hollidaysburg coach Joe Baranik, includes reports on districts throughout the state, college wrestling reports, profiles on some of the best wrestlers and even junior high rankings. To get it, go to www.pawrestling.net for subscription information.
Todd Irwin can be reached at 946-7464 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.