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For York Wrestling Coach Ryan Vottero, getting his wrestlers as much mat time as possible early in the season is of the utmost importance.
While other teams around the nation compete in invitationals that can limit wrestlers to as few as two bouts, Vottero decided to host a 10-team tournament that guarantees every wrestler at least five bouts.
The York Super Duals, which Vottero hopes will become an annual event for the York wrestling team, will run from 8 a.m. to roughly 6 p.m. Dec. 5 at York High School.
Not wanting to poach teams from other local tournaments, York coaches posted advertisements to various online message boards and websites. From there, word of mouth took over.
Reception to the York Super Duals has exceeded Vottero’s expectations as teams from across Virginia and as far away as Maryland have registered to compete.
“I didn’t know what to expect to be honest,” Vottero said of the reception to the York Super Duals. “I tried to pull teams from different areas who aren’t used to wrestling down here.”
Along with York, the participating teams in the York Super Duals are Cox (Virginia Beach), Deep Creek (Chesapeake), James River (Midlothian), L.C. Byrd (Chesterfield), Lakeland (Suffolk), Peninsula Catholic (Newport News), Nandua (Onley), St. Mary’s Ryken (Leonardstown, Md.) and Warwick (Newport News).
Without knowing the strength of each team, Vottero said he was still excited to have his wrestlers compete against teams from across the state and region. Exposure to different styles of wrestling, he said, is crucial to becoming a better wrestler.
“I think it’s absolutely amazing for a team to wrestle a team from another state,” he said. “Wrestling changes from city to city, state to state and region to region. To experience wrestling a team we haven’t seen before, it’s exciting.”
Weigh-ins will begin at 8 a.m. Dec. 5 with the first bouts starting at 9 a.m. The 10 teams will be separated into two pools with the teams in each pool wrestling round-robin style.
After the completion of the duals, the top wrestlers from each pool will square off in the semifinals scheduled tentatively for 5 p.m. The championship bouts will pair the top placers in each pool against each other immediately after the completion of the semifinal round.
The York Super Duals will be open to the public for a $5 entry fee.