The wrestling postseason undergoes changes every off season and this year is no different.
In the previous years under the sectional qualifier format there have been three tournaments with the top five advancing to the state tournament, leaving one wild card spot to fill out the 16-team man brackets.
Now, there will be four sectional tournaments per division with the top four advancing to fill out the bracket completely.
The seeding, one coach believes, will be a 1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3 format meaning the four sectional champions will grab the top four seeds and will face a fourth-place finisher from a different sectional in the first round.
This is a great positive move that most of the coaches have been pushing for in recent years.
The one sticking point is the fields in some of the sectionals are uneven. Some of the sectionals are overloaded with top programs and others are filled with much more traditionally weak programs.
Some of it is geographical – just about all of the top Division I programs other than Sunnyside and Cibola – are in the East Valley. The problem is Sunnyside, along with Tucson which is now coached by former Sunnyside coach Robert DeBerry, is bunched in with the East Valley and Ahwatukee schools.
In other words, the fifth-place alternate (assuming there is one) will be a stronger wrestler than many of the other state qualifiers from the other sectionals.
It will probably need to be tweaked and it is clear the two sides (AIA and coaches) are willing to make changes.
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.