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Postseason wrestling playoffs expanding; G-R looks to have new football partner next fall

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 24 December 2016 at 4:55 pm
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Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Postseason Section VI wrestling competition will include both individual and team championship tournaments for the first time this season. Shown here in action is Albion’s Jessy Cruz.

Postseason high school wrestling competition will take on a new look this season with the addition of a Section VI Dual Match (team) championship tournament.

The sectional event will be a prelude to the introduction of a state team championship tournament in February 2018.

The sectional and state team tournaments will be held in addition to the long standing sectional and state individual championships.

The inaugural Section VI Dual Match Tournament is scheduled for Saturday January 28 at Starpoint with eight teams competing for the title in Division 1 (large schools) and eight in Division 2 (small schools).

The competing teams will be selected by the Section VI Wrestling Committee on Sunday January 22.

The traditional road to the state individual championships will then begin on Saturday February 4 with Division Tournaments in five classes (AA, A, B, C and D).

The Section VI championships (state qualifier) tournament will then be held on February 11 in two divisions (Division 1, large schools and Division 2, small schools).

The state championships for Division 1 and Division 2 will then be held on February 24 in Albany.

That busy month long sequence of sectional competition has not only condensed the regular season, which now virtually ends in mid January, but has put the future of the long standing Niagara-Orleans All-League Tournament very much in doubt.

This year’s N-O tourney has been moved back from its original date of January 28 to January 21 because of the advent of the Section VI team tourney whose field will likely include at least one N-O team. And next year, because of the start of the state team tournament, the Section VI event will move into that weekend likely spelling the end of the N-O tourney.

“There’s a 95 to 100 percent chance that this will be the last year for the N-O tournament” said Medina Coach Eric Gross. “There was a consensus at our coaches preseason meeting that this would be the last year. The number of wrestlers competing has been decreasing  in recent years (only 74 last year) and there is a good chance that at least one of our teams will be invited to the sectional tournament so this looks to be the end of an era.”

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Genesee Region League football teams, including Holley, look to be merged with the Livingston County League beginning next fall. Shown here is Hawks quarterback Jeremy Mallett.

The addition of the sectional, and next year the state, team championship tournament which adds to an already crowed calendar of weekend tournament events, also concerns Gross.

“I know what they are trying to accomplish to determine the best team. Pennsylvania has been doing it for some time having both individual and team championship tournaments,” said Gross. “However, I think it’s too much. I think we’re adding a little too much.”

High School Football
G-R looks to have new gridiron partner
The area high school gridiron landscape will likely also have a new look next fall as the Genesee Region League and Livingston County League have reached an agreement to merge for football competition.

Currently the G-R League has only six football squads (Holley, Oakfield-Alabama/Elba, Attica, Alexander, Pembroke and Notre Dame) while the Livingston County loop has 16 teams split into two divisions.

“It’s a positive thing,. Now we’ll have a full league,” said Holley Coach Wil Prince of the merger. “There are a couple of different options they are looking at for a lineup and scheduling with either a three or four team division league setup but nothing is set in stone yet.”