For two years, the District 2 Team Championships were held at the Kingston Armory.
That will change for this season, which starts this weekend with four Wyoming Valley Conference teams in action at tournaments. While the D2 Duals event is moving from the Armory, the individual tournament will remain at the historic venue on Feb. 26-27.
Instead of one-day tournament with eight mats set up at the 109th Field Artillery in Wilkes-Barre (also known as the Kingston Armory), the duals tournament will be held over two days on Wednesday, Feb. 3, for the first two rounds and Saturday, Feb. 6, for the finals. The location for those rounds has yet to be finalized, but should be approved at the next District 2 athletic committee meeting later this month.
“The armory was great for us, but for a one-day event with eight mats it didn’t make much sense for us,” said District 2 wrestling chairman Jay Starnes. “Going back to a two-day format will help us alleviate those costs.”
Preliminary plans for the two-day event will be for the Wyoming Valley Conference No. 1 seed and the No. 1 Lackawanna League seed in each classification hosting two duals on Feb. 3. On Feb. 6, the teams will then convene at a neutral location.
Before being held at the armory for the last two years, the duals tournaments were held on a Friday and Saturday. The change to Wednesday and Saturday, Starnes said, is because wrestling is typically held on Wednesdays during the season. Since top seeds won’t be known until perhaps Feb. 2, venue conflicts could occur with girls basketball games typically held on Thursdays and boys basketball games tipping off normally on Fridays during the regular season.
Season starts Friday
The long-awaited start to the high school wrestling season gets underway on Friday with six local teams in action.
Three WVC teams — Meyers, Berwick and Hanover Area — will travel to Bloomsburg for the two-day DKI Tournament, while Hazleton Area will make the trip to Williamsport High School for the prestigious Tom Best Memorial Top Hat Tournament, which features the possibility of 24 potential state qualifiers participating including Hazleton Area’s Jimmy Hoffman and Chris Lasecki. Both were state qualifiers a year ago.
In a local dual on Friday night, Wyoming Seminary will travel to Benton to take on the Tigers, who have a co-op program with Northwest. Nearly half the roster consists of wrestlers from Northwest.
On Saturday, five more WVC squads kick off their seasons with Lake-Lehman, Dallas, Wyoming Valley West, Tunkhannock and Wyoming Area hitting the road for duals tournaments.
Meanwhile on Saturday, Wyoming Seminary returns home for the Sem Duals, which will start at noon and consist of the Blue Knights, Scranton, St. Anthony’s and Malvern Prep.
The rest of the 14 WVC wrestling squads open their season next week.