Biglerville wrestling coach Bob Gano doesn't mince words when it comes to the changes to Saturday's District 3 Class AA sectional tournament format.
"We thought we had something that was working. This is crazy," said the Canner coach.
After having three sectional tournaments the last few years, the Class AA programs are now down to two. And if that wasn't bad enough, Gano's squad along with the district's state team tournament participants -- Bermudian Springs and Boiling Springs -- are all lumped together in the same sectional at Susquenita.
Gano sees the reduction in sectional tournaments, as well as the three top-10 teams in the same one, as taking this group of 26 Class AA teams the wrong direction.
"We've made major gains in the district in the last 20 years," the veteran coach said. "We're getting pretty darn good as teams and individuals. But now we seem to be taking a step back."
Just last week's PIAA Class AA Team Wrestling Championships show what Gano is talking about. Both the YAIAA Division I champ Eagles and Mid-Penn power Bubblers reached the semifinals of the state team tournament.
Those two teams were only a win away from wrestling a third dual match of this season. Add in meeting individually at the sectional tournament, District 3 tournament, PIAA Class AA Southeast Regional Championships and finally the PIAA Championships, and it is conceivable that a Bermudian competitor could meet a Boiling Springs counterpart seven times.
It's almost as bad for Gano's grapplers who could hit the mat against a wrestler from either of those teams six times between two regular-season encounters and four postseason ones.
"Eventually, the weaker wrestler may figure out how to beat the better one, and that isn't necessarily a good thing. ... We want our best five kids to get out of districts," Gano said.
Six wrestlers in each weight class for both sectionals will advance to next week's District 3 Class AA tournament.
Big-school event: Eastern York is now part of the Class AAA Section V tournament at South Western, bringing the field to 14 YAIAA teams. The top three finishers at each weight class move on to the District 3 Class AAA Championships with a shot at the state tournament.
The biggest story for the Class AAA sectional is 10 returning sectional champions looking to repeat. But at least three of them will not return to the top of the medal stand because they are in the same weight class as another gold medal winner.
At 126, top-seeded Rodney Sunday of Dallastown was last season's 113-pound champion. Spring Grove's Alec Zorbaugh, the 2012 champ at 120 is the No. 3 seed at the same weight class.
Dallastown's Wes Hoover and Spring Grove's Mike Hartman are seeded No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, at 138. Last season, Hoover won at 132 while Hartman took 145.
Kennard-Dale's Chance Marsteller is the returning gold medalist and top seed at 160, dropping down a weight class from where he spent most of the regular season. Northeastern's Jeb Payne, winner at 152 last season, is seeded second behind the Ram junior.
The host school has only one returning champion, Aram Moffitt, but Mustang coach Brad Zeigler is hoping to get a few more competitors through to next weekend.
"I have approached things a bit different this year but not too much. I taught a lot (of technique) last year. I was also learning myself as a second year head coach about maybe just focusing on a few areas this year," he said.