Column: Tourney time is here

Published 3:35 pm Wednesday, February 9, 2005

By Staff
You may want to check your calendars twice today because it is already tourney time in Michigan.
The regular season wraps up this week for wrestling with conference tournaments slated for Saturday.
The Big 16 Conference Individual Wrestling Tournament will be held in St. Joseph this year.
Thank goodness!
I was tired of driving up to Portage Central High School the past two years, trying to find a parking space in their limited area and then trying to find a seat, which was even more limited.
St. Joseph High School will host the event in its new fieldhouse.
The parking lot may not be the biggest one around, but the facility is fabulous.
There will be six mats spread out on the floor creating non-stop action.
I don't know how the mats will be laid out, but I do know that the fieldhouse seats 600 people or so.
This morning Dowagiac was the site of the Division 3 District Wrestling Tournament draw.
The Chieftains are once again hosting the opening round of the team tournament.
Dowagiac will be looking for its second straight district title when it hosts Berrien Springs, Buchanan and Edwardsburg on Wednesday night.
The match is slated to begin at 6 p.m.
While most people already have Dowagiac penciled into the regional tournament, I believe that the Chieftains are going to face a strong challenge from Buchanan.
Dowagiac nipped Buchanan last weekend at the Brandywine tournament, 36-31, with several close matches that could have gone either way.
On Thursday night, wrestling fans may want to take the short trip over to Niles High School to watch the Vikings try to knock off perennial district champion Lakeshore in the Division 2 District Tournament.
This should be an outstanding match as the Vikings and Lancers have squared off a couple of times this season, with Lakeshore earning a pair of close victories.
Brandywine and Cassopolis will also be on the hunt for district titles next week.
The Rangers are in a three-team district with Lawton and Marcellus.
I believe that the Rangers have to be the favorite going into that draw.
Brandywine will also compete in a three team district which is being hosted by Eau Claire.
The third team, River Valley, would have to be considered the favorite.
Thus kicks off the most exciting part of high school athletics, the post season tournament.
While there are many exciting regular season contests, the finality of the post season seems to bring out the best in all teams.
No matter what has happened during the regular season, the tournaments erase each school's slate and gives them a chance to reach for the gold.
Each team, no matter if they won every game or match, or lost every game or match, has a chance to win a championship.
So good luck to all the athletes as they gear up for a long post season run.