The 2010 District 11 Wrestling Championships are ready to rumble for this weekend.
The first step on the Road to Hershey and the PIAA State Meet for D-11 wrestlers, the Class AA session will convene at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, while the Class AAA field commences at crosstown Liberty High.
Last year both the AAA and AA finals were held at Liberty's Memorial Gym Saturday night, and that will once again be the case this week.
The seeding for the tournaments is scheduled to be completed on Wednesday, with brackets to be posted on the District 11 website by Thursday at 12 noon.
The top four wrestlers in each weight class in Class AA and the top six in Class AAA will advance to Regional competition the following week, with AA at Wilson West Lawn and AAA at Freedom.
THE TIMES NEWS area returns 14 top six placewinners in Class AA, including Northern Lehigh's Craemer Hedash, who won the title at 145 last year, and runners-up Colin Hedash of Northern Lehigh, who was at 150 last year, and Garth Lakitsky of Tamaqua at 189.
In Class AAA, Pleasant Valley returns five top six placewinners, including defending champion Jordan Toledo, who took the title at 125 a year ago. Other Bears who placed were Mike Pokrinchak (fourth), Ernie Klingel (fifth), Jake Chamberlain (fifth) and Mike Dahlstrom (sixth).
The following is a capsule look at the District 11 tournaments.
District 11 Class AA
WHEN - Friday and Saturday
WHERE - Freedom High School, Bethlehem (finals at Liberty High School)
SCHEDULE - Friday, Feb. 26: Pigtails/Preliminaries, 4-7 p.m.; Quarterfinals, 7-9 p.m.; First Round Consolations, 9-10:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27: Second Round Consolations, 9-10:30 a.m.; Semifinals/Third Round Consolations, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Fourth Round Consolations, 1:30-2:30 p.m.; Consolation Finals: 5-6:30 p.m. (at Liberty); Finals, 7:15 p.m. (at Liberty).
TIMES NEWS AREA TEAMS - Jim Thorpe, Lehighton, Northern Lehigh, Northwestern, Palmerton, Panther Valley, Tamaqua.
OTHER TEAMS - Allentown Central Catholic, Bethlehem Catholic, Catasauqua, Mahanoy Area, North Schuylkill, Notre Dame Green Pond, Palisades, Pen Argyl, Pine Grove, Pius X, Salisbury, Saucon Valley, Schuylkill Haven, Tri-Valley, Williams Valley, Wilson.
DEFENDING TEAM CHAMPION - Northern Lehigh.
NUMBER OF RETURNING TOP 6 PLACEWINNERS - 45.
RETURNING CHAMPIONS (6) FROM LAST YEAR - Jamie Welsh, Pen Argyl; Justin Mazza, Pius X; Adam Phillippi, Saucon Valley; Craemer Hedash, Northern Lehigh; Ian Gimbar, Saucon Valley; Ben Ancheff, Williams Valley.
RETURNING RUNNERS-UP (6) - Randy Cruz, Bethlehem Catholic; Cody Kiev