Odds are that none of the three area Class AAA wrestlers - Altoona's T.J. Brandt (112), Philipsburg-Osceola's Logan Walstrom (145) and Hollidaysburg's Damian Lascoli (160) - will be state champions or be finalists this week.
But you never know. Upsets happen every year at the PIAA Championships.
Who would have thought Warrior Run's three-time state champion Jason Betz would get spladled and pinned by Pine Richland's little known Jeremy Lengle in the 1995 tournament?
Everybody expected Forest Hills' returning state champ Jake Strayer to meet up with Juniata Valley freshman Garrett Scott in the 119-pound finals of the 2003 Class AA tournamennt, but Strayer was spladled and pinned by Donegal's Ryan Storm in the first round.
Scott was expected to capture his fourth title as a senor, but he was suspended the day he was to leave for Hershey, sending shockwaves around the state.
Brandt is coming off of a Northwest Regional finals loss to Brashear's Godwin Nyama, but he beat Hempfield's returning 103-pound runner-up Austin Miller, 4-3, this season. So, he's capable of beating tough competition and placing, as are Walstrom and Lascoli.
Brandt is in the same bracket as New Oxford's Jordan Conaway, who was a favorite to win a state title at 103 last season, but Canon-McMillan's Conner Schram upset him, 7-6, in the quarterfinals on his way to winning gold. I'm picking Schram over Conaway, who beat Brandt at the Mountaineer Tournament, in the weight.
Walstrom and Lascoli are also situated in some very tough weights, and they'll have to be at the top of their games to place. Walstrom's District 6 opponent, Central Mountain's Brian Brill is the pick here to win at 145. Lascoli could face off with Nazareth's Ryan Krecker, my pick to win 160, in the quarterfinals.
I'm looking forward to seeing if Nazareth's Zach Horan, a three-time state runner-up, will finally win a title. He'll face a huge challenge from South Western's unbeaten Cameron Throckmorton in the 130-pound quarters, but he should win this year.
I'll also be looking forward to seeing Kennard-Dale freshman phenom Chance Marstellar, who has been called the LeBron James of wrestling. He should win the 152-pound weight class, and his opponent could be Bradford's Mark Havers, who was an unbeaten sophomore when he lost to Central Dauphin's Marshall Peppelaman in the 152-pound finals.
Franklin Regional's Nico Megaludis is my pick for the Outstanding Wrestler award, and Central Dauphin will win the team title.
103 POUNDS: Finalists: Colin Ochs, Governor Mifflin vs. Billy Rappo, Council Rock South. Champion: Rappo. Comment: Rappo will face a big semifinal test against Canon-McMillan's Colt Shorts in the semis.
112 POUNDS: Finalists: Jordan Conaway, New Oxford vs. Connor Schram, Canon-McMillan. Champion: Schram. Comment: Altoona's T.J. Brandt is in a tough bracket with Conaway and Liberty's Anthony Cabrera.
119 POUNDS: Finalists: Matt Harkins, Hatboro Horsham vs. Tyson Dippery, Central Dauphin. Champion: Dippery. Comment: This is loaded weight class. Anyone can win.
125 POUNDS: Finalists: Nico Megaludis, Franklin Regional vs. Jeremy Minich, Boyertown. Champion: Megaludis. Comment: The only question is who will Megaludis beat in the finals?
130 POUNDS: Finalists: Zach Horan, Nazareth vs. Brandon Choate, Blue Mountain. Champion: Horan. Comment: Interested to see what Westmont's Tanner Hough can do in Choate's bracket.
135 POUNDS: Finalists: Joey Rizzolino, Easton vs. Dan Neff, Solanco. Champion: Neff. Comment: Council Rock South's Matt Rappo will test Rizzolino in the semifinals.
140 POUNDS: Finalists: Matt Martoccio, Council Rock South vs. Mitch Minotti, Easton. Champion: Martoccio. Comment: Martoccio's first bout in states last year was against Blue Mountain's two-time champ Josh Kindig.
145 POUNDS: Finalists: Brian Brill, Central Mountain vs. Nick Catalano, Canon-McMillan. Champion: Brill. Comment: It's like one of the Altons has come back somehow in Brill's body.
152 POUNDS: Finalists: Mark Havers, Bradford vs. Chance Marstellar, Kennard-Dale. Champion: Marstellar. Comment: It will be my first chance to see the phenom Marstellar.
160 POUNDS: Finalists: Zach Thomson, Mechanicsburg vs. Ryan Krecker, Nazareth. Champion: Krecker. Comment: Hollidaysburg's Damian Lascoli could face Krecker in quarterfinals.
171 POUNDS: Finalists: J.M. Staudenmayer, Plymouth Whitemarsh vs. Travis Moyer, Blue Mountain. Champion: Staudenmayer. Comment: Staudenmayer will face big test in quarters against Bethel Park's Nick Bonaccorsi.
189 POUNDS: Finalists: Perry Hills, Pittsburgh Central Catholic vs. Matt McCutcheon, Kiski Area. Champion: Hills. Comment: Hills has beaten Central Dauphin's returning champ Kenny Courts twice.
215 POUNDS: Finalists: Zachary Nye, East Pennsboro vs. Tarek Haddad, Parkland. Champion: Nye. Comment: Nye is in a tough bracket, but he should make it through.
285 POUNDS: Finalists: Alec Gluvna, Corry vs. Cody Klempay, Canon-McMillan. Champion: Klempay. Comment: Another loaded weight class where anybody could make it through.
OUTSTANDING WRESTLER: Nico Megaludis, Franklin Regional.
TEAM CHAMPION: Central Dauphin. Comment: Will get challenged by Canon-McMillan.
LAST WEEK'S NORTHWEST REGIONAL AAA RECORD: 15 of 29.
Todd Irwin can be reached at 946-7464 or at firstname.lastname@example.org