State Tournament Analysis

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

NE Regional Champions

For some returning wrestlers this is the last chance to reach goals that have eluded them thus far, others are on their way to Hershey, PA for the first time; either way the last stop in the 2011-2012 PIAA Wrestling Season is the GIANT Center this Thursday.

In the AAA Class there are 10 wrestlers who have already been on top of the podium in Hershey, earning PIAA Championships in previous attempts. Of those 10, six are seniors, two are juniors, and two are sophomores. At least one of those returning State Champions is guaranteed not to repeat with Kennard Dale sophomore Chance Marsteller and Central Mountain senior Brian Brill, both State Champions last season and undefeated to this point, each competing at the 160 LBS weight class.

In the AA Class, 7 wrestlers will be competing this week that have already earned PIAA Gold in previous trips. The biggest story is Derry Area senior Jimmy Gulibon who will be competing for his fourth PIAA Championship. If Jimmy captures this feat he would become only the tenth wrestler in PA’s history ever to do so and the first since Jeremy Hunter from McGuffy in 1993-1996. There is also a new name this season but who comes in with two State Championships of his own. 113 pound wrestler Ryan Diehl from Trinity (Camp Hill) is a junior who has won two West Virginia State Championships and will be looking to earn his first in PA. Also in the 113 LBS bracket is sophomore returning State Champion Jason Nolf of Kittanning who won the 103 LBS title last season.

The Good News: Unlike in recent years the AAA field is rather wide-open with few weights containing an outright favorite. This could mean unexpected State Champions and Medal Winners in several weight classes. My confidence picks for the finals are much more difficult to compile this season then it has in at least five years.

The Bad News: This will be the first year that Championship Finals are wrestled along side all THREE Medal Round matches. That is, in addition to the finals, 3rd/4th place matches, 5th/6th place matches, and 7th/8th place matches will be wrestles as well. Since the announcement of this change I have spoken to countless fans, wrestlers, coaches, referees, sports writers, and promoters of wrestling. Not one of those conversations involved a positive attitude towards the change. After this weekend I am interested in hearing whether or not those attitudes have changed. If not, something must be done to reassess this change by the PIAA.

I will be releasing my preview and predictions of the AAA State Tournament on Tuesday evening (hopefully). Also, be sure to enter this years “Guess The Place” Contest brought to you by![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Leave a Comment