If its District 6 Class AAA Tournament seeds hold true, then Philipsburg-Osceola will qualify more wrestlers to the Northwest Regional Tournament than it has in awhile.
The Mounties' top seed is second-seeded 145-pounder Logan Walstrom (25-10), who is a returning district runner-up. He's seeded behind Central Mountain's unbeaten returning district champion Brian Brill (34-0).
P-O has five wrestlers seeded third in Brian Evans (112), Andrew Greenawalt (130), Kenny Myers (135), Luke Greenawalt (152) and Brad Anstine (189). Chris Rocco (119) is seeded fourth.
P-O has two other returning placewinners in Myers (135), who was fourth at 130, and Rocco (119), who was fifth at 103.
"We've had a real good month of February," P-O coach Tim McCamley said. "The kids have practiced hard, and I think they're really looking forward to this. Everybody is 0-0 again. Whatever happened during the dual meet season really doesn't have a whole lot to do with what's going to happen here.
"My coach always told me you shoot for a seed above you. I don't set goals. They have their own individual goals. I expect us to make a good showing. I expect us to wrestle every match hard and look forward to every match. It should be fun."
On the mats
What: District 6 Class AAA Tournament
When: Today, 5:30 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m.
Where: Altoona Fieldhouse
What's at stake: Top four at each weight advance to Northwest Regional Tournament
Going for five: Central Mountain has won four straight District 6 team titles
The 11-team tournament begins at 5:30 p.m. today at the Altoona Fieldhouse. The preliminaries, quarterfinals and a consolation round will be wrestled on the first day. Wrestling resumes at 11 a.m. Saturday with the semifinals. The consolation finals are scheduled for 5 p.m., and the championship finals will follow at 7.
The top four at every weight class advance to the Northwest Regional Tournament next week at the Fieldhouse. That's a change from the past couple years in which only the top three have advanced.
Altoona could also have its share of placers if the seeds hold true. The Mountain Lions have the only top seed among area teams in 112-pounder T.J. Brandt, who captured the 103-pound title last season.
They also have a second seed in senior Wendell Myers (135), who was a district runner-up as a sophomore, a third seed in senior Jake Hines (140), a two-time finalist who was a champion as a freshman, and a No. 4 seed in senior Braeden Luciano (285), who placed third at the district tournament last season.
"We have some tough matches in there," Altoona coach Joel Gilbert said. "Our guys are going to have to go out and get after their opponents. Hopefully, we're mentally, physically and emotionally tough enough these guys down and get ourselves to the finals."
The rest of the Lions are seeded fifth or higher, including 125-pounder Amedeo Perini, who was a district runner-up last season, and looking to place at a tournament that now includes Westmont Hilltop.
"We are looking to exceed our seeds, but everybody here is looking to exceed their seeds, except for the No. 1 guy. It will be a great district tournament. I think this is going to be the toughest tournament it's been in five or 10 years."
While it is shaping up to be a tough tournament, the Lions can be comforted in the fact that they're wrestling in their own gym this week. The regional qualifiers will return to the Fieldhouse next week.
"It's always good to have the homefield advantage," Gilbert said. "You're used to the environment. You're used to the area. You have the opportunity to have your own locker room and your own locker."
Hollidaysburg will be looking to exceed its seeds. The Golden Tigers have a No. 3 seed in Damian Huff (103) and a No. 4 seed in Damian Lascoli (160). Lascoli placed third at 152 last season.
"We're looking forward to it," Hollidaysburg coach Mike Moore said. "We have four or five guys that can compete at getting out of the tournament to the regional tournament. It will be exciting to see those five guys battle, compete and see how the chips fall.
"This is what it's about. This is the exciting part of the season. This is why kids wrestle from grade school to now."