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Former Mercury sports editor Don Seeley passed away in June 2013 from a heart attack. For more than a decade Seeley wrote about local sports. Featured here are his columns that were previously printed in The Mercury.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New format in postseason seedings

This column originally ran in the Dec. 7, 2010 edition of The Pottstown Mercury

The District 1 Wrestling Steering Committee was a busy bunch during the offseason. Come to think of it, that’s nothing new. But what the committee discussed, debated and eventually decided on in recent months certainly created a new way or two of doing things for this season, which gets under way in just three days.

“We are always open to improving District 1 wrestling,” said former Methacton head coach Dennis Kellon, now in his second year as chairman of the steering committee.

There’s no question the district has made significant strides in recent years, both on and off the mats. And the major change written into the 2010-2011 guide – which deals with postseason seedings – is arguably one of the best moves yet.

Three criteria will be used to seed wrestlers for the postseason, the three-week grind (sectionals, districts and regionals) that leads to PIAA Championships in Hershey.

The first awards points based on a wrestler’s won-loss record, except now that number will be determined by the individual’s winning percentage instead of the previous point system. A wrestler is awarded one point for each win, and his total points are then divided by his total bouts. For example, if a wrestler owns a 20-0 record, he would have a winning percentage of 100, or 100 points. If he owns a 16-6 record, he would have a winning percentage 72.7, or 73 points (when rounded out to two decimal points).

However, wrestlers entering the postseason must have competed in a minimum of 12 bouts to get the full points. If not, eight points for each bout under the minimum are subtracted from his totals. For example, if a wrestler is 8-0, his win

ning percentage of 100, or 100 points, would be reduced to 68. If a wrestler is 5-1, his winning percentage of 83, or 83 points, would be reduced to 35.

“We’ve gone with a percentage now rather than the regular point system we used for a number of years,” Kellon explained.

The second of the three criteria – prestige points – has been in place for several years now, too. Bonus points are awarded to wrestlers for their finishes in the previous year’s postseason tournaments. Wrestlers receive 1-7 points for finishing among the top four in their respective sectionals; 8-25 points for finishing among the top six in districts; 30-60 points for finishing among the top six in regionals; and 65-100 for finishing among the top eight in states.

The third and final segment of the postseason seedings’ criteria, which focuses on the caliber of a wrestlers’ competition, is new. Bonus points will be awarded for competing against opponents – Pennsylvania opponents, that is – who medaled in last year’s regional and state tournaments.

Just wrestling an opponent who was sixth or fifth in a regional earns an individual two points, beating them earns an individual 15 and 18 points, respectively. Wrestling an opponent who was fourth, third, second or first in a regional is good for three points, and beating them earns an individual 20, 23, 25 and 30 points, respectively.

Those bonus points increase when going up against returning state medalists. Four points are awarded to wrestlers who go up against any returning state medalist. Defeating opponents who were eighth on up to first at last year’s state tournament earns a wrestler 33, 35, 38, 40, 43, 45, 48 and 50 points, respectively.

“The coaches and our steering committee talked about the addition of the third criteria,” Kellon explained. “Each representative of our committee surveyed their respective league to get a feel for the change. Although it wasn’t unanimous, a great majority of the coaches were in a favor of it.

“The (third criteria) encourages more teams to improve their strength of schedule, encourages them to look for better non-league matches and tournaments. Schools are open to schedule teams in or out of District 1, and to enter more competitive events.”

That new criteria could help during the regular season – or league season – as well.

“It should help create better match-ups and fewer forfeits,” Kellon added.


The top four wrestlers in each weight class advance from the six AAA sections to districts, while the top five in each weight class advance from the District 1 North and District 1 South tournaments to the Southeast Regional.

District 1’s regional entourage (10 in each weight class) will team up with District 12’s qualifiers (three in each weight class) to complete the AAA regional lineup. Unofficially, a 16-man bracket – with opening-round byes, of course – will be used at the regional this season.

As it’s been since 2003, the Southeast Regional’s top four finishers in each weight class advance to states.


The District 1 Team Duals get under way Thursday, Jan. 27 at four different sites – Council Rock North, Hatboro-Horsham, Pottsgrove and Rustin. The final rounds will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 4-5, at Council Rock South. The top four teams advance to the state team duals tournament, with the second-, third- and fourth-place teams opening up the Monday. Feb. 7 and the champion earning a bye into the quarterfinals.


The individual postseason begins with the six sectionals on Saturday, Feb. 19. The sites are Neshaminy (Section One), Pottsgrove (Two), Hatboro-Horsham (Three), Boyertown (Four), Ridley (Five), and Garnet Valley (Six). The District 1-North and District 1-South tournaments, set for Feb. 25-26, will be held at Council Rock North and Spring-Ford, respectively. The Southeast Regional, scheduled for Mar. 4-5, returns to Oxford.

The District 1-Class AA Tournament, set for Feb. 25-26, will be held at Pottstown, while the AA Southeast Regional will be held the following weekend at Wilson (West Lawn).

The PIAA Championships, for both the AAA and AA brackets, will be held Thursday through Saturday, Mar. 10-12, in Hershey.


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