Kiwanis tournament starts Thursday

Susquehanna’s Tom Maby grapples with Cedar Crest’s Brett Pallas on his way to a fourth place finish at the Tunkhannock Kiwanis Tournament last year at 140 pounds. Maby now wrestles as part of the Blue Ridge/Susquehanna joined squad. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN WOODRUFF

BY KEVIN WOODRUFF

Tunkhannock’s Kiwanis Wrestling Tournament kicks off on Thursday, Dec. 29, and runs into Thursday, marking the event’s 34th year.

Wrestling will start up on Thursday around10:30 a.m.and continue up to the semi-final round, and will pick up at10 a.m.on Friday morning with the final matches taking place tentatively around5 p.m.that evening.

This year’s tournament features a pool of 23 teams, and for the second consecutive year will feature two rooms of wrestling.

There will be two mats in the high school cafeteria, along with the traditional three in the high school gym.

First day action will see the pool of wrestlers slimmed down to the top eight in each weight class, who will move on to the second day of contention.

Last year, Wyalusing was the champion, with Susquehanna taking 20th, Montrose in 22nd andElkLakein 24th.

Tournament director Frank Wadas said there should be good competition this year as there are only four returning champions inWarrenCounty’s Kyle Montague (103),Northeast Bradford’s Zach Green (125), Wyalusing’s Ryan Hart (135) and Lackawanna Trail’s Eric Laytos (215).

This year, with the Blue Ridge and Susquehanna teams combining, the Blue Ridge Raiders will look to make an impact with returning medalist Tom Maby, who took fourth last year.

Montrose’s only medalist from last year, Heather Traver, who took fourth, graduated last spring.

ElkLake’s only medal winner last season was Devin Fiorentino, who took fourth, but graduated last spring.

Looking at the pool of competitors, Wadas said that he believes 2010 champion Wyalusing, along with Pocono Mountain East, who finished fifth,Western Wayne, who took fourth and Coughlin, who placed third, will all have a good chance of taking the team title.

Wadas said that the tournament keeps growing, and that there are several teams from out of the area, includingNanticoke, Cedar Crest,Mt.Carmeland North Penn along withWarrenCounty(Va.), and Mahanoy Area.

He noted that the competition was well balanced last year, with 12 teams in the tournament placing a wrestler in the finals. Wadas hopes that trend continues into this year’s competition.