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Trying to work the bugs out of a new system of conducting a tournament, the first day of the 40th Top Hat Wrestling Tournament was about an 1 1/2 hours late getting started at Williamsport High School on Friday evening.
Once it began, it became clear that weather and time would both be a problem, therefore only one of two championship rounds were wrestled.
Going into the tournament with somewhat of an unknown squad as far as experience was concerned, Bald Eagle Area coach Steve Millward was pleased with the overall effort of his Eagles.
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Winning round of 16 bouts for the Eagles were Cobey Bainey, Mike Kachik, Clint McCaslin, Ryan Guenot, Chase Meyers, David Gawryla and Josh Fye.
Not knowing exactly what to expect, Millward liked what he saw in the Round of 16 from his grapplers.
“Honestly I saw some good real good wrestling from our guys,” said Millward. “Maybe some of the kids who lost could have won the matches if they were in them a little bit longer. They are doing the things we are trying to teach them. Some of the guys were in bouts where they had to force a few shots and they did well. I was pleased with what we saw on the mat and it would have been nice to see a few more kids get through that first round but it didn’t happen. We’ll just come back and try it all again tomorrow.”
Working with an especially young squad, Millward was impressed with several of the performances he saw.
“Those kids showed me a lot of what I was expecting,” he said. “I was not pleased that we didn’t win the matches, but I was pleased with what I saw in the time they were out there.”
Wrestling continues this morning with the championship quarterfinals. First whistle for that round is set for 10 a.m.in the Magic Dome.