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January 17, 2012 - Michael Palmer
Saving the best for last.

Seedings are designed to do just that, save the best for last. The premier match ups in any tournament are not in the opening round, these are supposed to take place in the quarterfinals, semifinals or in a perfect world, the finals.

Still it is an honor to earn the number one seed.

The OVAC pairings are out and it is a tribute to the local programs that we have a good showing in the seedings. Harrison Central and Shadyside both have the honor of top seeded wrestlers.

The Tigers seeded Ian Baker at 138 pounds and Alex Quinn at 152. The Huskies seeded Doug Eddya t 160 and Matt Shurina at 195. Yes, I typed those weight classes correctly

The most significant changes in weight classes in high school wrestling in 23 years took place this season. All of the weights except 145, 152, 160 and 285 pounds were changed. The National Federation of State High School Associations Wrestling Rules Committee approved an upward shift of the weight classes, beginning with the 103-pound class moving to 106 pounds, which resulted in new weights for 10 of the 14 classes.

It has been a bit confusing for many coaches, wrestlers and fans including me. I have to memorize a new set of numbers for matches. I had to do the same thing when my wrestler went to college, so it is not entirely a new concept.

This weekend is dedicated to the OVAC wrestling tournament and deservedly so. This is a major event, a huge tournament that is run by mainly volunteers. It goes off quite smoothly and there are many people who work tirelessly for days straight that make it all possible.

The tournament is a great source of pride for the Ohio Valley and those who have wrestled, coached, covered the event for the media and even the parents and fans appreciate the special nature of this event on a national scale.

Wrestling is the sixth-most popular sport for boys at the high school level with 272,890 participants in 10,363 schools during the 2009-10 season, according to the NFHS Athletics Participation Survey. In addition, 6,134 girls were involved in wrestling in 1,009 high schools.

The preview comes out Wednesday and wrestling begins Thursday. If you can not make it over to the event, our sports editor will be tweeting updates.

The championships are televised and that is really a big deal for the wrestlers, even Don Sloan and Rob Metzger get formal for the finals. I always manage to get a cameo appearance, accidentally of course, so roll those DVRs.


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