At Kennett Tourney, Four Mats, No Waiting

Posted: January 28, 2000

One of the best improvements in the sport of wrestling the past few seasons is the administration of tournaments.

Years ago, tournaments would start early on a Saturday morning, with "breaks" built in to separate the quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship rounds.

And many times, the championships would not go off until late on Saturday night, making it a very, very long day for wrestlers, coaches, and fans.

But these days, most tournaments do not have breaks between rounds. And few tourneys are run as efficiently as the show at Kennett High, which is set to go off tomorrow at 9 a.m.

"We run it straight through," Kennett athletic director Jeff Thomas said. "Honestly, last year the only time we stopped was for 10 minutes to allow the bookkeeper time to catch up with the action. We have four mats, and we go."

That means the finals should go off somewhere in the mid-afternoon range. Both the championship finals and the consolation finals will be run at the same time.

The host Blue Demons are having somewhat of a trying year, with a 0-6 dual-match record. But they have some talent on their squad, especially at 103 pounds, where sophomore Tyler Jones is having an outstanding season. He is sporting a 15-1 record, his only loss coming in the season-opening Great Valley Tournament.

"I'm pleased with all the kids in the practice room," Kennett wrestling coach Tyrone Johnson said. "I know we're not pleased with the losses. But it's a process. And we're in the middle of this process."

PRIME-TIME EVENT Kennett Wrestling Tournament

Time and place: The bouts will start at 9 a.m. at Kennett High School in Kennett Square. The tournament will run continuously, with finals set to go off at approximately 3 p.m.

The teams: The host Blue Demons will welcome two fellow members of the Southern Chester County League - Unionville and Avon Grove - to its 10-team tournament. Haverford High and Penncrest of the Central League will also be on hand, as will Owen J. Roberts of the Pioneer Athletic Conference, and Coatesville of the Ches-Mont League. New Hope also invades, as do Delaware teams Concord and A.I. DuPont.

The wrestlers: Three wrestlers with PIAA state tournament experience will highlight the individual matchups. Unionville's Zack Leathers is currently 13-0 at 125 pounds, Roberts' Aaron Brown is 15-1 at 130, and Haverford High's Joe Jones is 19-2 at 145. All are ranked in their respective weight classes in The Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania wrestling rankings. Other talents scheduled for work on the Kennett mats include Kennett's Tyler Jones (103), Coatesville's Josh Springer (119), Penncrest's Evan Bell (125), and Avon Grove's Greg Peterson (275).

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