The 2021 PIAA wrestling postseason looks a bit different this season as teams are attempting to figure out how to safely hold these events in accordance with the the best COVID-19-related protocols and procedures.
Here is a guide of sorts that highlights and further breaks down some of these differences and adjustments we have already seen, and those we will continue to see, as we get into the heart of individual and team postseason play over the next few days and weeks.
In late December, two major guidelines were put into place to govern the COVID-19-altered postseason: To hold one-day tournaments and have no more than eight individuals in each weight class.
With these guidelines in mind, postseason changes were made:
-The start date for all postseason tournaments was pushed back.
– The WPIAL wrestling committee also condensed its team tournaments format from 11 days to six.
– With respect to the team postseason, he section team championships, which were held, Feb. 8 included only the champion and runner-up from each sub-section. Third-place teams did not participate as they did in the past.
– In regard to the individual portion of the postseason, WPIAL wrestling committee added a sub-section round to its individual tournaments to be in line with the PIAA’s guideline of having no more than eight participants in a tournament.
This means that section tournaments will have a different format as each sub-section will hold a separate qualifier in which the top two finishers advance to the section tournament. Class 2A sub-sections will be held Feb. 16, while the Class 3A sub-sections will be on Feb. 17 (for Sections 1 and 4), and Feb. 18 (for Sections 2 and 3).
The section tournaments will follow on Feb. 19 for Class 2A and Feb. 20 for Class 3A, with only four individuals in each weight class. The top two finishers from each section advance to the WPIAL tournament. The Class 2A section tournaments will be held at Canon-McMillan. A site for the Class 3A tournaments has not been determined.
The WPIAL Class 2A tournament will be held Feb. 20 at Canon-McMillan with only six individuals in each weight class, which cuts the number of participants in half. The top three finishers in each weight class advance to the Southwest Regional, which will be held Feb. 27 at IUP.
As a result, tournaments will not only feature tougher completion, but also it mean that a lot of quality wrestlers will have their seasons end earlier than usual with not as many advancing to the next rounds in 2021.
A Look at District 7:
Dual Team Postseason
The WPIAL Dual Team finals were held on Saturday the 13th. In Class AA #6 Burrell defeated #12 Burgettstown to win their 15th straight WPIAL Team title and in Class AAA #1 Waynesburg vs. #4 Seneca Valley. Winners will advance to the PIAA Dual Team Tournament.
In Class AA there will be six sub-sections in round-robin format on February 16th. The top two wrestlers at each weight will advance to the Sectional Tournaments on February 19th at Canon-McMillan. The following day the top two from each Section advance to the WPIAL Tournament – again at Canon-McMillan. The top three in the WPIAL will advance to the South West Regional at IUP on February 27th. The top five out of the South West Region will qualify for the West Super Region with the top three from the North West Region.
Good luck to everyone competing tonight!
— The WPIAL Wrestling (@WPIALwrestle7) February 16, 2021
In Class AAA it will somewhat similar. There will be four sub-sectional tournaments, round-robin, competed between February 17th and 18th. The top two from each sub-section make the Sectional tournament which will take place across all four sections on February 20th. The top two from each Section will advance to the WPIAL Tournament on February 27th at Canon-McMillan High School. The WPIAL is a self-contained region in the South West and the top three at each weight advance to the West Super Region.
Complete information for the WPIAL can be found here.
An injury sustained Jan. 30 at the 54th Powerade wrestling tournament has sidelined the top 189-pound wrestler in the state.
Mt. Lebanon junior Mac Stout, a PIAA Class 3A runner-up last year, sustained a dislocated elbow in the consolation semifinals and will not participate in Wednesday’s sub-section tournament.
News coming out of @LeboWrestling this morning, per
Top wester in the state at 189, Mac Stout, will have to shut things down due to injury. He will not be taking part in the 2021 postseason. Find out more⬇️ @PghSportsNow @PGSportsNow https://t.co/s1Fvn0ZTHc
— Christopher Miller (@MLLRC93) February 16, 2021
Seneca Valley senior Chanz Shearer will also miss the postseason.
Shearer, a three-year starter who was ranked No. 2 in WPIAL Class 3A at 145 pounds, has been sidelined with an undisclosed injury that was also sustained at the Powerade tournament.
If you want to watch some Class 2A sub-section action, tune in to the Westmoreland Sports Network. WSN will be carrying the Class AA Subsection 3B tournament at Southmoreland High School, Tuesday, Feb. 16th. Schools include Southmoreland, Mt. Pleasant, Derry, Yough, Ligonier Valley and Elizabeth Forward. Watch all 3 mats starting at 5pm on westmorelandsports.com.
*Additional information regarding the approved changes to the postseason by the PIAA board of directors can be found on PA-Wrestling. com here.