DuBOIS — The District 4/9 Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships are set for Saturday at DuBois Area High School with a field of six teams set to compete for the lone qualifying spot for the state duals next weekend in Hershey.
This is year No. 3 for the combined team event featuring teams from both Districts 4 and 9, with each district coming away with the title the past two years.
DuBois beat St. Marys, 35-29, in the finals two years ago for its six district team crown, while D-4’s Shikellamy bested DuBois, 37-31, in last year’s championship match.
However, Shikellamy’s title was vacated after it wrestled at team states when it was discovered the Braves used an ineligible wrestler in the District 4/9 championship event.
Given those unfortunate circumstances, DuBois looks to get back to the top of the mountain in the D-4/9 team race as the Beavers enter this weekend as the top seed.
The Beavers (11-2) have a bye into the semifinals along with second-seeded Selinsgrove (10-2), a District 4 school.
DuBois enters the duals on a two-match slide, having lost at home to Brookville (40-24) last Thursday and at Brockway (39-32) this past Tuesday. Brookville and Brockway are the first and fourth seeds, respectively, in this weekend’s District 9 Class AA Team Tournament.
Prior to those losses, the Beaver won their first 11 dual meets, including a close 37-36 win against sixth-seeded Clearfield on Dec. 14.
As for Selinsgrove, the Seals’ are 0-1 against teams in the field having dropped a tight 33-32 contest to fourth-seeded Shikellamy on Jan. 15. Selinsgrove only other loss came at Central Mountain (58-15) in its opening dual meet of the season on Dec. 11.
The event kicks off Saturday at 11 a.m. with the quarterfinal round that features battles along district lines.
Third-seeded Cranberry meets Clearfield in a battle of D-9 schools in one quarterfinal match, while District 4 foes Shikellamy (4th seed) and Williamsport (5th seed) square off in the other a the same time on adjacent mats.
Cranberry moved up to Class AAA this season after forging a co-op with nearby Oil City, which is actually a District 10 school. However, since Cranberry is hosting the co-op, the program remains a District 9 one.
The Berries come into the duals sporting a 7-2 record but have faced no one enetring the team event. Cranberry’s two losses have come at the hands of Johnsonburg (36-31 on Dec. 21) and Warren (40-24 on Jan. 15). Johnsonburg is the fifth seed for the D-9 Class AA duals.
Sixth-seeded Clearfield has a 4-5 record and faced just one team (DuBois) entered the team event.
The winner of the Cranberry-Clearfield match gets Selinsgrove in the semifinals, which are slated to begin around 1:30 p.m.
As for the D-4 quarterfinal, fourth-seeded Shikellamy (6-4) and fifth-seeded Williamsport (3-4) meet in a rematch from a Jan. 8 contest Williamsport won at home 39-34).
However, Shik has won four matches in a row and five of its last seven since that loss at Williamsport. The Braves also own the win Selinsgrove, while the fifth-seeded Millionaires have yet to face the Seals.
The winner of the Shik-Williamsport contest advances to face DuBois.
The semifinals winners meet for the title at approximately 4 p.m. Saturday.
The District 4/9 Class AAA champ moves on to wrestle next Thursday (Feb. 7) at 8 p.m. in Hershey against the winner of Monday’s preliminary round match between the District 11 runner-up and fourth-place team from District 3.