I haven't had time to go over them with a fine-toothed comb, but here are some of my initial impressions:
- 132 is loaded. Cambria Heights' Brad Thomas was a district runner-up last year. This year, he's the NINTH SEED. Thomas is just 13-4 and has had some off-the-mat issues, but he's a quality wrestler. Imagine how eighth-seeded Kord Aurand of Mount Union, who is no slouch himself at 24-7, feels after drawing a first-round matchup with Thomas. Penn Cambria's Michael Eckenrode (22-10) and Westmont Hilltop's Mike Walsh (19-7) also are in the top half of the bracket along with top-seeded J.P. Hayles of West Branch, who is 28-5. The district wouldn't do badly in take four qualifiers out of the top half of the bracket. The bottom half is almost as deep.
- 120 isn't bad either. Westmont Hilltop's Logan Blackburn was a District 6 Class AAA champ last year. To repeat the feat in Class AA he'll have to come from the sixth seed. The seventh seed, Quentin Whitsel of Southern Huntingdon is 23-7. Not sure I agree with all of the seeds here, as Central Cambria's Tom Opdenhoff is 25-3 but behind Huntingdon's Matt Wilson (21-12). And Tyrone's Jason Schopp, who really struggled at the Thomas Tournament, is the second seed at 22-6. I expect the regional qualifiers to look a lot different than the seeds.
- Noah Tarr of Blairsville is at 145 after spending most of the season at 138. Neither weight looks particularly deep, but at 29-2, Tarr isn't concentrating on a trip regionals as much as he is a strong placement and a run to Hershey. Not sure, maybe it's just an issue with Tarr maintaining his weight.
- Tyrone's D.J. Wunder is back at 195 pounds. Todd Irwin had a story in the Altoona Mirror today about Wunder and teammate Jared Beckwith both missing the tournament. Fortunately, Wunder got medically cleared to wrestle on Tuesday.
- 220 is deep. Penn Cambria's Seth McLendon, a regional qualifier last year, is the seventh seed. He's just 12-4 because an injury kept him out for the early part of the season, but a bottom half of the bracket that includes him, Moshannon Valley's Jacob Ludwig (23-3) and West Branch's Buzzy Maines (29-2) will be interesting. I look forward to seeing United sophomore Andrew Deitman, as I don't know anything about him despite his 23-2 record.