Wrestlers pin down their own fate-Ditzel opinion

February 19, 2002

Wrestlers pin down their own fate-Ditzel opinion

Normally, I don't mind giving my opinions on sports, be it the Olympics, auto racing or baseball, whatever.

But, on the scholastic level, I think too much opinion is voiced. For example, how do newspapers select their all-star teams. I have to admit that in most sports, it's tough.

Luckily, I cover wrestling. Wrestling is one sport that's settled on the mat - the sport's field of play. No opinion.

Unfortunately, in our coverage area, some teams and wrestlers never meet. Ever hear of Waynesboro, Pa. hooking up with Jefferson, W.Va.? Well, we still select an All-Area Wrestling Team but we need to use a formula to make up such a team.


My predecessors, Tom and Marilyn Janus, developed a formula based on the various state tournaments. I thought it was an outstanding base for my own formula. So, here's how I'll select our first team and honorable mentions this season:

Any wrestler who reaches a state final - be it in West Virginia public schools or Pennsylvania private schools - shall be named to The Herald-Mail All-Area Wrestling first team.

Now, in Maryland and West Virginia public schools, a third-place finisher can also earn first team honors. Because neither state seeds a wrestler according to his record or accomplishments, a wrestler who finishes third might have only lost to a state champion in the tournament. In that case, that wrestler will also earn first-team honors.

Now, if a third-place area finisher loses to the second-place winner, he will make our honorable mention team. All other third-place winners in West Virginia and Maryland public schools and in Maryland and Pennsylvania private schools are honorable mention.

That covers about fourth-fifths of the area. You see, Pennsylvania has many more public schools than either West Virginia or Maryland. A district in Pennsylvania is as large or larger than a state tournament in either of the other two states.

So, we need a slightly different formula for Pennsylvania public school wrestlers. If a wrestler wins a District championship or reaches the state semifinals, he will make first team. A wrestler who qualifies for states makes honorable mention.

That's it for this season, although I reserve the right to make changes next season.

And now for something marginally different...

Wrestling is one sport where everything can be settled on the mat. That, of course, is if the referee working the bout has the same rules interpretations as the next ref. Thus far this season, we've seen a wide range of calls.

Somehow, we need to make this interpretations more alike or else this sport may appear the same as that silly Olympic pairs skating thing last week. Oh, that was opinion.

Al Ditzel is a staff writer for The Morning Herald. he can be reached at 301-733-5131 ext. 7520, or by e-mail at

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