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OVAC Ron Mauck Championships Canceled

Originally Scheduled For Mid-January

File Photo by Kim North Cameron’s Ian Bush, right, wrestles to an individual title at last year’s OVAC Ron Mauck Wrestling Championships.

WHEELING — Due to the recent announcement by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice that delayed the start of the high school winter sports season in the state until March 1, the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference has been forced to cancel one of its ‘jewel’ events.

“With this start date for our West Virginia schools and our Ohio schools into their state tournament run we will be unable to hold the OVAC Ron Mauck Wrestling Championships this season,” Tournament Director Dr. Dan Doyle said Thursday afternoon via telephone. “We knew that if either state association made a move it would affect our tournament. That’s what happened. It left us with no window of opportunity.”

The 68th annual three-day event was originally scheduled for mid-January, 2021, inside downtown Wheeling’s WesBanco Arena, but due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, it was reduced to two sessions each on Saturday, Jan. 9 at the John Marshall Fieldhouse and then on Saturday, Jan. 16 at WesBanco Arena. However, those plans were scrapped when the Justice and members of the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission agreed to delay winter sports in the Mountain State to at least Jan. 11.

Plans were then made to have an event at two sites on Saturday, Feb. 13, but that date has also been canceled.

“If we know one thing, it is that plans will change,” Doyle told those in attendance at the preseason meeting in November.

Doyle did commend members of the OVAC Wrestling Committee for their time and diligence in working with this matter.

“I do want to extend my thanks to the members on the committee that put in the time and effort developing a format and a timeline (more than once) in an attempt to have a tournament for our student-athletes,” he praised.

“We will name our dual meet champions for the 2020-21 season based on the dual rankings at the end of the West Virginia season.

“Coaches, good luck to you and your wrestlers this season.”

Ohio begins sectional tournament action on February 22-27, with districts on March 5-6 and the state tournament March 12-14.

“This is the first time the tournament has been totally canceled,” Doyle said. “It has been postponed or delayed to due to weather and flooding a few times, but never totally canceled until this year.”

He said plans are already underway for the 2022.

“It’s a shame this had to happen because the OVAC tries our best to give kids the opportunity to prepare themselves for their respective state tournaments,” Doyle concluded.

According to reports, this years tournament was expected to be wide-open with 66 placers returning from last year.

Parkersburg South is the defending overall team champion.

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