Two of northwest Ohio’s top wrestling invitationals are scheduled for the next two weekends.
The 41st annual Perrysburg Invitational Tournament, commonly referred to as “The PIT,” is set for Friday and Saturday.
This year’s 21-team field includes the host Yellow Jackets, along with area Division I power Clay, plus Defiance, Delta, Edgewood, Findlay, Fostoria, Fremont St. Joseph, Hamilton, Hicksville, McComb, Mohawk, Napoleon, North Baltimore, Northview, Northwood, Oak Harbor, Southview, Wauseon, Whitmer, and Wooster.
Clay is ranked No. 5 in the D-I state coaches poll, Wauseon is ranked No. 9 in the D-II poll, and Delta is No. 3 in D-III.
Wrestling competition opens Friday from 5 to 9:30 p.m. and resumes Saturday at 9 a.m. Matches to determine third through eighth place in each weight class start at 3 p.m., and the championship matches under the spotlight begin at 5 p.m.
Last year at the PIT, Wauseon placed nine wrestlers in championship matches and won six individual titles on the way to its third straight team title in the event. Oak Harbor was second in the 2012 PIT team standings.
The weekend following the PIT, Jan. 18-19, Clay will play host the Michael Casey Memorial tournament, formerly known as the Maumee Bay Classic.
The event at Clay began two years ago after the final Mary Kerr Memorial tournament was held at Waite in 2010. That tourney ceased after Waite and the other five Toledo Public Schools high schools were forced to drop their wrestling programs because of budget cuts.
For more than two decades, the tournament field at Waite was often rated as the best for any in-season event in northwest Ohio. Wrestling supporters, school administrators, and the coaching staff at Clay have made an effort to continue to the prestige of the former Waite tourney with the annual Maumee Bay event.
Host Clay won last year’s 27-team Maumee Bay event, scoring 281 team points to easily top runner-up Lorain’s 172. Perrysburg was third in the 2012 tournament with 146.5 points.
All three of Clay’s individual champions from last year’s tourney — Mike Screptock (126 pounds), Jacob Conine (132), and Garrett Gray (285) — have graduated, but the Eagles returned three wrestlers who were Maumee Bay runners-up a year ago.