Trojan Wars tourney has added top wrestling competition
In its first year, the Trojan Wars wrestling tournament at Chambersburg had a very nice debut.
Last year, the event got even better, and had a good local story when the host Trojans captured the team title.
This year, thanks to the addition of three of Cumberland County's finest programs - Cumberland Valley, Big Spring and Boiling Springs - the Trojan Wars has kicked up the competitive level a notch or two.
Chambersburg coach Matt Mentzer said, "By adding those three teams, and with us and Shippensburg having good teams, there might be a good Cumberland County-Franklin County perspective.
"Plus, there are a lot of the other teams that have two or three really good kids."
Action begins Thursday at no on at CASHS Field House and wrestling will continue through the championship quarterfinals. Semifinals start at 8:30 a.m. Friday, with the finals slated for around 3:30.
There is also a junior varsity tournament on Thursday in the auxiliary gym starting at 1, and a 17-team middle school tournament begins Friday at 8:30 a.m. in the auxiliary gym and the field house.
Dave Peck is the tournament director of the event, which is run by the Chambersburg Wrestling Boosters.
"We're down to 24 teams now," Peck said. "Parkersburg (W.Va.) had another commitment and Donegal had some scheduling issues.
"Cumberland Valley decided not to go to the Escape The Rock this year, so they had an opening. Big Spring had its middle school team here last year and liked the setup. And Boiling Springs has had its own holiday tournament for years and years, but they aren't anymore and their coach contacted us."
As far as hosting an event of this size, Mentzer said there are mostly positives.
"As far as the kids, it's a huge benefit to prepare at home and sleep in your own bed," he said, "and to have all this good competition coming here.
"To prepare for this event is a huge undertaking. It takes all of our parents - high school, middle school and youth, and the boosters - to pull this off. It's a real big weekend for our program. Fortunately, Dave is very organized and he's done these big events before."
Not including the three out-of-state teams, the Trojan Wars should have 39 wrestlers ranked in the top 25 in the state by Pa. Power Wrestling, including 10 in the top five and 18 in the top 10.
At 120, Jaret Lane of Southern Columbia is No. 1 and Bronson Garber of Upper Dauphin is No. 2 in AA. Lane has already won a pair of Trojan Wars titles.
The loaded bracket at 132 should include No. 2 Chandler Olson of Shippensburg, a defending champion, and No. 4 Wyatt Long of CV, plus Kollin Myers of Boiling Springs, No. 4 in Class AA.
Chambersburg's Drew Peck, gunning for his third title, has some challenges at 182. Peck, No. 3, could meet up with No. 7 Cole Zapf of Downingtown West.
Another good matchup could come at 285, with No. 7 Cameron Tinner of Shippensburg, a defending champion, and Blaine Yinger of Northeastern, ranked No. 5.
Trojan Wars tournament
When: Thursday (starting at noon) and Friday (starting at 8:30 a.m.; finals at around 3:30)
Where: CASHS Field House
Media: Follow @EdGotwalsPO on Twitter; championship finals will be livestreamed on GameTimePA.com and MidPennBroadcasting.com.
Admission: Adults - $10 per day or $15 for a 2-day pass; Students - $7 per day, $10 for 2-day pass
JV tournament: Thursday at 1 in auxiliary gym
Middle school tournament: Friday at 8:30 a.m. in auxiliary gym and field house