DZ hosts middle school wrestlers

Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2003

More than 100 middle school wrestlers from around Southeast will descend upon Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School this weekend for the Juneau Tournament.

About 70 local wrestlers in grades 6-8 - 45 from Dzantik'i Heeni and 25 from Floyd Dryden - are expected to participate in the two-day tourney, along with 16 wrestlers from Hoonah and 18 from Ketchikan.

Dzantik'i Heeni wrestling coach Kris Mercer said the tournament is the largest middle-school wrestling event in Juneau this season, and second-largest in Southeast behind next month's region championships in Ketchikan.

Mercer said his wrestlers are looking forward to facing competition other than Floyd Dryden, who they've competed against twice this season.

"It gives them some different competition," he said of this weekend's event. "It gets a little old wrestling the same guys over and over. ... You don't have any tricks - they've seen them all."

Even with their high level of familiarity, Mercer said the Dzantik'i Heeni and Floyd Dryden teams have battled to within a few points of each other in their meets this season.

"They won the first the first one by two a couple of weeks ago, and we won by six last Thursday," he said. "It's come right down to the wire each time."

Mercer said the public is encouraged to come out and cheer on the wrestlers as they compete at Dzantik'i Heeni.

Matches will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon and 2-4 p.m. Semifinals will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, with finals held from 6-8 p.m.

There are seven weight classes; the tournament will be held on a double-elimination format.

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