Time to turn focus from duals to postseason

Commentary

We’ve come to the point in the high school wrestling season where we turn our focus from dual meets to postseason tournaments.

The District 6 Class 2A Tournament and the District 5 Tournament begin the postseason around here.

For Chestnut Ridge, its dual meet season lived up to the expectations many, including me, had for such a balanced team.

The Lions finished with a 16-3 record, with two of those losses coming to Duals champion Reynolds in the Ultimate Duals and runner-up Southern Columbia in the PIAA Duals semifinals. They finally found a way to beat Boiling Springs after being 0-5 against the Bubblers.

I wonder how things would have turned out had returning state medalist Kaden Cassidy, whose season was cut short by thumb surgery, been in the lineup. But you won’t find the Lions focusing too much on not having Cassidy in the lineup.

The Lions will be an overwhelming favorite to win their seventh straight District 5 tournament, and their returning state champ, Justin McCoy, is almost a lock to earn his fourth District 5 title. McCoy and the Lions will then turn their focus on the regional and state tournaments.

Huntingdon, which finished with a 23-4 record, finished second at the District 6 Duals and was a win away from meeting up with Chestnut Ridge in the PIAA Duals consolation semifinals.

It will be interesting to see how many wrestlers in the area win titles and are able to advance through the postseason.

Runners-up to be inducted

Twelve wrestlers from the early years of District 6, including 11 from the 1950s, will be inducted into the District 6 Hall of Fame over the next two weekends at the Class 2A and Class 3A district tournaments.

They all have something in common. All 12 of them came up a win shy of winning a state title, falling in their championship bouts.

Of the 12 state runners-up, four wrestled for Philipsburg High School before the merger of Philipsburg and Osceola Mills. Philipsburg’s George Beresford (1952), Ron Butterworth (1952), Dave Bates (1953) and Ralph Moore (1954) will be inducted.

Tyrone’s Tony Scordo, a 1957 runner-up, was also voted in by the District 6 coaches.

State College has three inductees in Joe Wozunk (1954), Jim Byers (1957) and Tom Balent (1959). Also going in are Bellefonte’s George Noll (1956) and Larry Taylor (1963), Lewistown’s Ron Maunder (1959) and Lock Haven’s Len Vuccolo (1956).

Better atmosphere at Rec Hall

I know there was an NCAA attendance record that was set at Saturday night’s Penn State match against Iowa at the Bryce Jordan Center.

But I think there’s still a better atmosphere at Rec Hall.

True, at Rec Hall there’s no raised mat, fire and smoke erupting when Penn State wrestlers run toward the mat and light show. But the fans are closer to the action, and their reactions, especially in the win over Ohio State, can shake the old arena’s roof.

One suggestion for referees at both arenas is to keep opposing coaches from out of their corners. Ohio State’s Tom Ryan did it, and Iowa’s Tom Brands seemed to be daring ref Mike McCormick to tell him to sit down.

Todd Irwin can be reached at tirwin@altoonamirror.com.

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