The largest local high school wrestling tournament will kick off today at Tunkhannock Area High School.
That's right, it's time once again for the Tunkhannock Kiwanis Wrestling Tournament as the 35th edition will be held today and tomorrow at the Wyoming County school as 22 teams will be participating.
Sixteen teams from the District 2 area will be in the event, including six from the Wyoming Valley Conference. In addition to Tunkhannock the host team, GAR, Nanticoke, Coughlin, Lake-Lehman and Wyoming Area will represent the WVC. Wyoming Seminary, which is a prep team but in the D2 area, will be represented at the event by its B team.
From the Lackawanna League, Blue Ridge, Elk Lake, Lackawanna Trail, Montrose, Scranton, Scranton Prep, Valley View and Western Wayne will be on hand.
Districts 4 and 11, which always give D2 fits at the Northeast Regional tournaments, will also be represented. From D4, Northeast Bradford, North Penn and Wyalusing are signed up. From D11, Mahanoy Area and Pocono Mountain East join the event.
A new team from Virginia has been added to this year's tournament in Strasburg High School. The team joins Warren County, as a fellow team from the state. Warren County is coached by Matt Wadas, the son of tournament director Frank Wadas.
The Wyoming Valley Conference returns four champions from last year's event. Lake-Lehman junior Austin Harry and sophomore Jimmy Stuart won golds last year. Coughlin's Bobby Hawkins, a sophomore and Brad Emerick, a senior, also walked away with championships. Overall, the WVC crowned five champions last year, the most for the conference since 2003. Wyoming Area senior Andy Schutz was a runner-up last year. Harry, Emerick and Schutz were all state qualifiers last season.
Wrestling will begin around 10:45 this morning and continue until the semifinals. Only eight wrestlers will remain in each weight class when action begins Saturday at 10 a.m. The finals are slated for 5 p.m. Saturday.
Wyalusing, which has a tournament-record 12 team championships, including the last two, is a strong favorite to claim the title again. Pocono Mountain East was second last year. Coughlin, which finished third last year, and Lake-Lehman, which was fifth, should also be strong contenders.
The 35th annual Tunkhannock Kiwanis Wrestling Tournament
Today and Tomorrow at Tunkhannock H.S.