HS WRESTLING: District Tourney Changes Location

January 26, 2019

District 2 wrestling’s path to the state championships will not begin at the Kingston Armory for the first time in several years.

The district’s individual tournament, less than a month away, changed location for both its Class 3A and 2A competitions. They will now be held Feb. 22-23 at Hazleton Area High School instead of their most recent home in Wilkes-Barre.

Jay Starnes, District 2’s wrestling chair, confirmed the venue change in an email Friday afternoon.

“Unfortunately, we did have an unforeseen change,” Starnes wrote. “Due to an issue with the rental contract that could not be resolved, we have moved the Individual District 2 Tournament to Hazleton Area High School. We will be running both divisions (2A and 3A) at Hazleton.”

District 2’s individual wrestling tournament had been held at the 109th Field Artillery Armory, widely known as the Kingston Armory, the past five years (2014-18). It’s the first leg of the individual postseason, followed by the regional and state tournaments.

The Armory offered a unique championship atmosphere for D2’s wrestlers. It provided limited seating on the mat level plus an oval ring of additional bleachers on the second floor, all beneath a giant American flag and a roof with plenty of lighting from its glass windows.

Wrestlers are now back to a traditional gymnasium setting for next month’s tournament. Hazleton Area hosted the Class 3A field in 2013, while Class 2A’s action was held at Lake-Lehman the year before both competitions moved next to Kirby Park and the Market Street Bridge for a half-decade.

While the location changed, the schedule was not altered. Preliminaries, quarterfinals and the first two consolation rounds will be wrestled Feb. 22 starting at 5 p.m.; action will resume with semifinals the following day at

10 a.m.

Wrestlers who advance from districts are still headed to the same locations for the Northeast Regional tournaments on March 1-2. Class 3A’s regionals will be held at Liberty High School in Bethlehem; Williamsport hosts Class 2A.

Hershey’s Giant Center will hold the PIAA championships from March 7-9.

Because of inclement weather affecting conference schedules, seeding for the upcoming District 2 Team Duals will be moved from Monday to Tuesday, Starnes wrote. The team tournament will still begin at four sites Wednesday and conclude Feb. 2 at Pittston Area.

The District 2 Team Duals used to be held at the Armory, too, as a one-day tournament in 2014 and ’15. Since the 2016 postseason, however, the duals have shifted to an opening night held at the Wyoming Valley Conference and Lackawanna League’s top seeds in 3A and 2A and a second day at Pittston Area.

Contact the writer: eshultz@citizensvoice.com; 570-821-2054;

@CVEricShultz on Twitter

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