CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Even though a full field won't be on hand for today's Mountain State Athletic Conference wrestling championships, things could still get pretty interesting.
Weigh-ins are scheduled for 9 a.m. today at Parkersburg High School, and matches at 11. Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for students.
Half the teams in the most recent coaches association top 10 were ticketed to compete in the one-day meet, but No. 1-ranked Huntington, the defending state champion and three-time defending MSAC titlist, won't attend.
After talking to Huntington High officials, MSAC commissioner Fred Aldridge excused the Highlanders squad because of an undisclosed health issue.
"Their whole team has been quarantined by doctors,'' Aldridge said, "and they won't release them until next Tuesday or Wednesday at the earliest. They can't practice or anything. Anytime there's a medical reason, there's no way you can penalize them.''
In addition, South Charleston's four-man squad won't be competing in the meet for various reasons.
However, four ranked teams will participate - No. 3 Parkersburg, No. 6 George Washington, No. 9 Ripley and No. 10 Cabell Midland.
GW coach Richard Harper, for one, is looking forward to the event.
"To be honest with you,'' he said, "the MSAC ranks up there as one of the tougher tournaments in the state. The Winner's Choice is pretty tough and the WSAZ [Invitational] is a tough tournament, but the MSAC has a lot of quality teams in there, especially this year.