Sports

Westfield High School Wrestling Coach Weighs in on NJSIAA Rule Changes

f7a25348aa7f73ecf01d_wrestling.jpg
Scotch Plains-Fanwood wrestler Mikey Ramos and Westfield wrestler Isaiah Reese in February. Credits: Michael Bruchert
f7a25348aa7f73ecf01d_wrestling.jpg

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ – Major change is coming for New Jersey high school wrestling after the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association’s (NJSIAA) Executive Committee successfully passed three rule proposals that will alter  the culture of the sport in New Jersey.

The committee passed proposals to add two programs to the each of the team tournament brackets (going from six teams to eight), add fourth place regional finishers to the state championship bracket and realign the district and regional participants to spread out the state’s top programs.

These proposals will have to be passed again at the Executive Committee’s October meeting in order for the changes to go into effect for the 2016-17 season.

Sign Up for E-News

NJSIAA Executive Director Steve Timko told NJ Advanced Media the proposed changes were necessary to make the championship sport better.

“Coaches know that there was a problem out there and they wanted us to fix it,” Timko said. “Without hesitation this is good for wrestling.”

The two biggest changes involve the fourth place regional finisher and the district/region realignment.

By allowing the wrestler who comes in fourth place at the region tournament to advance to the NJSIAA State Championship, the NJSIAA is giving 112 additional wrestlers the experience of a state championship. Additionally, this proposed addition would change the format of the state championship, requiring all region winners to compete in the first round. In previous years, all region winners received a first round bye.

“There are parts of the proposal that I think are positive and parts that are negative,” Westfield head wrestling coach Glen Kurz said. “I don't think you need to bring in region fourth place finishers and send them to Atlantic City. I love the consolation round of the regions where kids are battling for their ticket to the states. I think that match will lose something as both wrestlers are assured a trip to AC. I also don't think you need to have eight teams qualify for sectionals. I can't imagine there will be many No. 8 seeds competing with  No. 1 seeds.”

According to the NJSIAA, changes to the district/region tournament alignment will create better competition at all levels of the individual tournament. According to NJ Advance Media, the NJSIAA created a formula to redraw the district/region lines based on five-year totals or averages of state championship medals from every region.

“I don't know whether the district and re-alignment will work,” Kurz said. “We need to wait and see how it plays out. If it evens things out, great. My main concerns are that my district now has teams from Union, Middlesex, Essex, Somerset and Hunterdon County. We don't have many head-to-heads with those teams during the season, so it will make seeding difficult for both tournaments.’

Depending on which sites are selected to host, wrestlers could be forced to travel more, Kurz pointed out.

“I’d hate to see a kid sitting on a bus for an hour before such an important event,” he said. “Also, we've hosted the district tournament since the 1960s. It would be a shame if we can no longer host. It's a good money-maker for our parent fund, and I like having my kids wrestle their district matches at home.”

The additions to the Team Tournament give an opportunity to two more programs to win a state championship. In previous seasons, only the top six programs in each section were placed in the bracket, with the Top 2 teams getting byes to the semifinals. In the proposed eight-team bracket, there would be no byes.

The 2016-17 wrestling season officially opens with practices scheduled for Nov. 21. Opening day for regular season matches is Dec. 16, while the NJSIAA Wrestling Team Tournament begins on Feb. 6. The wrestling season culminates in the individual state championship tournament on March 3-5, 2017 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

Additional reporting by Jackie Lieberman.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Former Chair of Union County Democratic Committee Jerry Green Dies at 79

April 19, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-22) has died at age 79, according to an email to TAPinto Plainfield from Councilwoman-at-Large Rebecca Williams. (Williams also shared the information on her Facebook page.)

On Jan. 24, Green  resigned as Chairman of the Union County Democratic Committee "to focus his energy on recovering from an illness." At the time, ...

2018 Municipal Budget is on Collision Course with Principles of Financial Soundness & Stability

April 18, 2018

Having chaired the town council’s finance committee in the recent past, I appreciate the hard work that goes into developing a municipal budget for a town as large and dynamic as Westfield. But as I have expressed publicly and also to the mayor and my council colleagues, I do not support the adoption of Westfield’s 2018 municipal budget. Although the budget contains much that I ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_256ae6910e9127d6507f_picture

Thu, April 19, 7:00 PM

Westfield High School Auditorium, Westfield

Panel on Transitioning to 100% Renewable Energy

Education Green

Carousel_image_dd2853d55f77b53a02e6_13244600_824512737683830_2011645362359518113_n

Thu, April 19, 8:00 PM

Molly Maguires Irish Pub and Restaurant, Clark

Open Mic Night @ Molly Maguires in Clark

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Thu, April 19, 8:00 PM

Union County Torah Center, Westfield

“The Jewish View on Reincarnation”

Religions And Spirituality

Westfield Police Blotter: Residence Burglarized & More

April 18, 2018

April 11, 2018 10:23 a.m.

Raymond Rodgers, 56, of Westfield, NJ was arrested in the area of E. Broad Street. Rodgers was arrested pursuant to an unrelated traffic investigation. Rogers was transported to Westfield Police HQ without incident. At WPD HQ, Rodgers was processed and released after posting the full bail amount ($250). Rodgers was arrested on the strength of an outstanding Westfield ...

Imagine Holds Annual Board Retreat

April 18, 2018

Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss held its annual board retreat on Saturday April 14th at its center in Mountainside.  "It was a valuable, thought-provoking, and educational day for all of us," said John Toriello, Chair of Governance.  "The board and staff worked together to establish the goals of the retreat and facilitate the agenda.  It was a great team ...

McKinley School Kicks Off its Annual Fundraising Effort for Pediatric Cancer Research

It was an enthusiastic start as students and staff kicked off the 7th Annual McKinley School Mini-THON, a schoolwide, energetic effort to raise money for leukemia and pediatric cancer research.

“As you know, McKinley School does a lot to give back [to the community],” said McKinley principal Marc Biunno as he addressed students and staff gathered in the gymnasium on April 11.

Get Your Home Ready for Summer Before its TOO HOT

Finally, the weather is getting warmer and you are shedding those down coats. Now is a great time to start thinking about summer and getting your home prepared. Paying attention to a few maintenance items can alleviate painful repairs later on if you wait too long. The line ahead of you will build as the summer rush starts. So, let’s not wait.

Check your roof   (hire the expert ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Fear of Rising Rates? Remember The Reason You Own Bonds

If the current interest environment has you concerned about your bond portfolio, remember why you are investing in bonds.  The role bonds, or fixed income, play in a portfolio is not solely based on performance.  Bonds are used to offer stability, particularly when stock market volatility is rising. Rate hikes can dampen bond performance, but keep perspective on how rising rates impact ...

Hellenic Therapy Center

April 13, 2018

Dropping Off Our Kids At College – Learning How To Adjust

Hellenic Therapy Center

 

Whether your kid is a freshman entering college for the first time or returning back to college, there are so many emotions we experience as parents.  There are differences in a parent’s reaction to the departure of a first child, an only child or even the last child.  Feelings ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 14

On this week’s AtlantiCast, an internationally recognized orthopedic oncologist takes a leadership role at Atlantic Health System, see the newest weapon in the fight against HPV-related cancers, Atlantic Health System leads the Castle Connolly / Inside Jersey Rankings, and much more!

 

Obituaries

Oct 21, 1944 - Apr 14, 2018
Kathleen A. Hertell passed away peacefully with family at her bedside on April 14, 2018. Loving ...
Read more

Edison Cop Arrested, Charged With Computer Theft and Stalking

April 18, 2018

EDISON, NJ - An Edison police officer has been arrested and charged with computer theft and stalking.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief Thomas Bryan of the Edison Police Department on Tuesday announced the arrest of Paul Pappas. The 43-year-old officer, an Edison resident, has been charged with computer theft/criminal activity in the second degree and stalking in the fourth ...