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Section VI, Monsignor Martin Wrestling Qualifiers Set for This Weekend

Despite the chaos caused by this week’s heavy snowfall and subsequent school cancellations throughout WNY, Saturday’s Section VI class tournaments and Sunday’s Monsignor Martin All-Catholic Tournament will go on as scheduled.

In a Tweet from Thursday, January 31st, Section VI executive director Timm Slade confirmed that the class tournaments will proceed as scheduled on Saturday, February 2nd. Sunday is the designated makeup day should any of the tournaments be postponed.

This past offseason, the Section decided to combine the Class C and D schools into one Class C/D sectional-qualifying event. “Tons of mergers, less wrestlers” was a reason for making the change according to Section VI wrestling co-chairman Mike DeBarbieri. Questions regarding the competitive nature of the three Division II class tournaments (classes B, C, and D) that split only thirty-two teams among them was a primary concern leading to the class realignment as well.

Taking into consideration the rules regarding combined wrestling teams/schools, a 2018-2019 BEDS number of 600+ is the cutoff for Division I. Teams/schools with 599 and less are in Division II, according to NYSPHSAA.

This weekend, sixteen teams will compete in both the Section VI Class B and Class C/D tournaments.

Class B’s largest enrollment is Lake Shore with a BEDS of 567. The smallest school in the class is Newfane with 395. Alden is Class C/D’s largest enrollment with 394 and the smallest is Maple Grove with 174.

The Class B tournament will be held at Cheektowaga HS on Saturday while Class C/D is held at Eden HS. The top five place finishers in Class B and C/D will advance to the Section VI Division II state qualifier next weekend.

Class AA and A underwent change this offseason as well.

Both Class AA and A feature ten teams. In 2018-2019 six total schools combined to make the three largest (BEDS wise) squads in the Section at the top of AA. Also, the Olean/Allegany-Limestone and Depew/Cleveland Hill teams were moved in the large school arena under the new combined team BEDS formula introduced by NYSPHSAA.

Class AA’s largest enrollment is the combined Williamsville North + East team with 1,798 students according to the schools’ 2018-2019 BEDS numbers. The smallest in the class is Jamestown with 1,020. Niagara Wheatfield is the largest in Class A with a BEDS of 942 while Starpoint is the smallest in the division with 610.

The Class AA tournament is back at Kenmore West on Saturday. Grand Island will host the Class A tournament. Only the top four place winners from each class will advance to the Section VI Division I state qualifier.

The 53rd Annual Monsignor Martin All-Catholic Tournament will be conducted on Sunday at  St. Mary’s of Lancaster. St. Joe’s is the defending team champion. This weekend’s edition could prove to be one of the more competitive events in recent history due to the significant increase in participation this season across the league’s five squads.

The top five wrestlers in each weight class at All-Catholics will advance to the Catholic High School Athletic Association tournament next weekend at Holy Trinity HS, Long Island. The fifteen CHSAA champions will compete at the NYS Division I Wrestling Championships.

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