The state team duals are in the rearview mirror and its time to crown the best high school wrestlers in the state.
The trip to Hershey starts Saturday as the District 3 sectionals unwind on three fronts.
The top four wrestlers in sectional will qualify for the District 4 tournament Feb. 21-22 at Williamsport with five wrestlers moving along to the Northeast Regional Feb. 28-29, also at regional.
Four from the region qualify for the state tournament March 5-7 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
This weekend’s sectionals will all start at 10 a.m. with finals and consolation finals starting at 6 p.m.
Southern Columbia, last year’s state champs in the individual team race, will host the Southern Section with these teams: Southern, Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech, Danville, Lewisburg, Line Mountain, Midd-West, Mifflinburg, Milton, Mount Carmel, Shamokin and Sugar Valley Rural Charter.
The Central section is at Hughesville with these schools: Benton, Bloomsburg, Central Columbia, Hughesville, Loyalsock, Meadowbrook Christian, Montgomery, Montoursville, Muncy, South Williamsport and Warrior Run.
The North section, at Troy, features the host team, Athens, Canton, Jersey Shore, North Penn-Liberty, Northeast Bradford, Sayre, Sullivan County, Towanda, Williamson and Wyalusing.
There are many people behind the scenes at wrestling matches.
Officials are probably the most visible but the ticket sellers, clock operators and many others are vital putting on the “show.”
At Mifflinburg, there’s a couple who have contributed much to the program for more than three decades.
Bob and Kay Reedy have been important to Mifflinburg wresters and the wrestling boosters group for more than three decades.
Bob is stepping down because of illness and he and his wife were honored for their service at last week’s Lewisburg-Mifflinburg dual meet.
In addition, the Mifflinburg Kiwanis Club’s Spring Benefit Breakfast will benefit the Reedy family. It is set for March 21 at the Mifflinburg United Methodist Church, Third and Market. It starts at 8:30 a.m. and is hosted in partnership with the Mifflinburg High wrestling team. A goodwill offering will aid the Reedys.
Pitt-Johnstown coach Pat Pacora is now the all-time winning coach in NCAA wrestling.
With PJ’s 22-13 win over Mercyhurst, Pacora had his 617th win and passed the late Dale Thomas of Oregon State.
Pacora, who mines central and western Pennsylvania for talent, has been on the job for 44 years and produced 14 NCAA D-II champions. His overall record is 617-151-8.
John Huckaby, of Lewisburg, has covered amateur wrestling for more than 45 years. He has covered numerous NCAA and PIAA tournaments and attended three Olympic Games. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.