The first IHSWCA State Duals Invitational was staged Saturday, Dec. 22 at Westfield High School. (Truth Photo by Steve Krah) Penn wrestler Kobe Woods (left) is expected back for 2013-14 and could represent the Kingsmen in the IHSWCA State Duals invitational. (Truth Photo by Steve Krah)Penn appears to have a solid chance of returning to the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association State Duals invitational while Jimtown and Fairfield are in the running.
The first IHSWCA State Duals invitational - created as an answer to the elimination of the IHSAA Team State Tournament - was held Dec. 22, 2012 at Westfield High School.
There were 24 teams - eight each in Class 3A, 2A and 1A. The champions were Perry Meridian (3A), Yorktown (2A) and Adams Central (1A). Penn finished third in 3A while Elkhart Memorial was sixth in 3A and Jimtown fifth in 2A.
Trent McCormick, Yorktown head coach and IHSWCA president, said finalizing the field for the next State Duals is a priority and the selection committee would like to have a list completed by April. That is when the members can meet face-to-face.
While some data still needs cross-checking and all positions are unofficial until 2013-14 IHSAA enrollment figures are released, Penn appears to have one of the wild card spots in 3A with Jimtown and Fairfield among the eligible teams in 2A.
"No one should celebrate yet," said McCormick.
The top team from each semistate (four teams) plus the next two best scores from each class qualify automatically. Also, the seventh team is chosen from among the highest available team and any teams within 30 points (for 3A and 2A) and 35 points (for 1A). The eighth team is then chosen in the same fashion as the seventh, considering only the schools remaining after the removal of the seventh.
As semistate champs, Merrillville, East Noble, Perry Meridian and Franklin have locked in 3A berths while the same could be said of Plymouth, Yorktown, Lebanon and Danville in 2A and Bremen, Fremont, Clinton Central and South Putnam, all pending IHSAA enrollment change.
Though also unofficial, it appears that the tournament will be staged Jan. 4, 2014.
"This seems to be the least invasive date for teams across the state over the holidays," said McCormick.
McCormick said Westfield is a top candidate to host the event again. Rumblings in the wrestling community had the tournament moving to the Pepsi Coliseum on the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.
"We are just not big enough yet to be able to afford a Coliseum," said McCormick.