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PIAA wrestling format needs revamped

Commentary

March 9, 2014
The Altoona Mirror

After Saturday at the Double AA Regional Wrestling Tournament, when will the coaches from District 5 and 6 admit they cannot compete against the WPIAL and finally force the PIAA to make a new regional?

There was only one champion from District 5, and that was a young man from a school that in over 30 years has never had a regional champion. This school has had many outstanding wrestlers over the past 30 years, but they could not compete against the WPIAL. These teams have a difficult time filling a whole team while the WPIAL teams have twice the number of wrestlers.

Some of the local radio announcers have suggested about adding another class, but this would not be necessary if the PIAA would create a regional tournament between Districts 5, 6 and 9 in Altoona, and make District 7 go up to AAA or have a regional tournament between 7 and 10 at Washington, Pa.

District 6 could have a sectional, which would include Tyrone, Bedford, Penn Valley, Huntingdon, Mount Union, Bellwood-Antis and Juniata and then at Chestnut Ridge, which could include Chestnut Ridge, Hyndman, Everett, Northern Bedford, Tussey Mountain, Southern Huntingdon, Juniata Valley, Claysburg and Central.

In Ebensburg, they could have a sectional for the Indiana and Cambria County schools and Glendale, Mo Valley and West Branch. A sectional could also be held in Richland for all the Johnstown and Somerset schools. Ebensburg and Richland and the Tyrone Sectionals would wrestle the Chestnut Ridge sectional for the district title, and all winners along with District 9 would then go to Altoona for regionals.

I have followed high school wrestling since my father was the chaplain for District 4 Muncy. I also followed District 11 while I was in college in Allentown.

WPIAL and District 11 are far superior to other school districts. I feel the PIAA should try to make it a little easier for the smaller schools to have the opportunities to win a medal at regionals and states.

I know that Pennsylvania is the number one state in wrestling in the country, but if that means the boys from smaller schools do not get a fair chance, then I would rather be number two.

William L. Slick

New Paris

PSU's plight

The Penn State men's basketball team is one game away from having its best Big Ten season under coach Pat Chambers.

I'd love to see the Nits beat Minnesota today to go 7-11 and finish somewhere around ninth or eighth going into the Big Ten tourney. The men need that win or a win in the tournament to advance into the NIT.

This young team would then get more practice time and game experience needed for the 2014-15 season.

If they get there, they will have proven me wrong this year, and I'm happy to admit that.

As for the women's team, I've not been proven wrong, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to analyze the Lady Lions. Look at their history, tradition and pattern. Coquese Washington is another Rene Portland. Build a good program but never a great or outstanding one.

Recruiting wise, Penn State can't stay with the Notre Dames, UConns, Dukes and Baylors.

The pattern is win the Big Ten Title, get a bye and poor tournament preparation results for the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments - evidenced by Friday's blowout loss to Ohio State.

For Maggie Lucas and other WNBA stars before her, it is a very disappointing final chapter to an outstanding basketball career. Attitude and culture need to change to be constant winner. To coin an old Dodger cliche - wait until next year!

Yes, I am full of frustration and disappointment, but I hate to root for a team that could be better.

Les Hart

Duncansville

 
 
 

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