Thirty high school wrestling teams set to compete at First Arena in inaugural Southern Tier Memorial tournament
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) - High school wrestlers from all over are set to compete on a big stage this weekend in the inaugural Southern Tier Memorial tournament which will be held at First Arena.
The tournament will take place from Friday, January 13th to Saturday, January 14th.
The tournament brings together the Horseheads Mark Stephens Classic, Waverly's Jim McCloe Memorial Tournament, and Tioga Sgt. Justin Rogers Memorial Tournament. It will also honor former Elmira Southside state champion, Jeff Reese.
The tournament will feature 30 teams ranging from New York to Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida.
Waverly Head Coach and Tournament Director, Devan Witman says it was a group effort between people from Waverly, Horseheads, and Tioga to put this together, and there is a lot of excitement for the student-athletes to wrestle in a venue like First Arena with top-notch competition.
"We met up with Horseheads coach Brett Owen, Tioga's coach Kris Harrington, my Superintendent Eric Knolles, and my old assistant coach Charlie Hughes and said how are we going to do this bigger and we thought let's do it at First Arena," said Witman. "The only way to do this tournament is to bring back the days of the Reese Memorial in the early 2000s and really make this an extravagant event for all of the wrestlers that are attending."
"I think it's a really special tournament to have a memorial for all of these great wrestlers and coaches that contributed to our sport in the area" Witman added.
Witman says they were surprised with the number of teams that are participating in the first year as they look forward to what the future of the tournament holds.
We kind of thought that eighteen to twenty teams would be a successful first year. Out of the gate to get thirty teams is very special for us. It gives us a lot of expectations going forward so this tournament is only going to grow. This is the first year that it's happening and it's already blowing up. I expect this to be probably double the size next year."
The full field for the inaugural Southern Tier Memorial tournament at First Arena can be viewed below.
- Johnson City
- Whitney Point
- Auburn (NY)
- Copenhagen (NY)
- Longwood (NY)
- St. Anthony's (NY)
- Sherburne-Earlville (NY)
- Totenville-A (NY)
- Totenville-B (NY)
- North Penn-Liberty
- Bellefonte (PA)
- Wyoming Area (PA)
- St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)
- Lake Highland (FL)
- Conneaut (OH)