HAMPTON --There have been 32
So as Small brings his Great Bridge wrestling team to the
"It's one of the highlights of our season," he said. "We really look forward to this. It's a great opportunity to see the outstanding state teams and we get to see college wrestling at all different levels. We have some guys who have dreams of being Division I guys, but they might have to look at other options.
"We've put a large emphasis on the tournament this year. Wrestling is individual sport, but there's a very important team concept. The Duals provide and show that."
The Wildcats are the No. 1 seed in the American Division, in which they finished third last year. There are also the National and the Black and Blue divisions with 16 teams — most from Virginia, but seven other states are represented — in each.
Among the teams from the Peninsula and Bay Rivers competing this weekend are
Smithfield coach Chris Wiatt is excited about the challenge of wrestling in a division that includes national powerhouses such as South Plainfield (N.J.),
"It's an honor to wrestle in the National Division," he said. "Of course, we're probably the 16th team of 16 in the division. I look at it as an opportunity for my kids."
The college divisions are the National, which has 16 teams, and the American, which has eight. Old Dominion, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and VMI are in the college National Division. The Apprentice School and Liberty are in the American.
"We consider it a home meet," Old Dominion coach
The college and high school coaches like having both levels competing at the same venue.
"It's a great thing for us," Apprentice coach Bruce Shumaker said. "High school kids get to see us and we get to see them. Hopefully, we can give them another option. Everybody's not a Division I wrestler."