A plan for separate dual-meet wrestling state championships, in addition to the 23-year-old state tournament that crowns individual and team champs, likely will go into effect for the season.
North Carroll coach Dich Bauerlein -- the plan's author -- presented it to the state association's Board of Control at its first of two annual meetings in Ocean City last weekend. It was approved unanimously, 49-0. It will be reviewed by the state superintendents next month.
George McKelvey, coordinator of officials for the state association, said, "I don't think it will be a problem [getting the superintendents approval]."
In the dual-meet tournament, which would be held during the third week of February, teams would compete for separate 2A-1A and 4A-3A state titles, qualifying for regional tournaments "kind of like basketball," said McKelvey.
"Since it's the same weekend as most county tournaments, it will require some scheduling adjustments," said McKelvey.
Based on a point system in which 4A and 3A schools are worth eight points, and 2A and 1A schools are worth six, Bauerlein said the four best teams from each of the eight regions would compete in a quadmeet early in the week. The regional champs would then compete in a quad-meet state championship on the weekend.
"In essence, 16 teams will compete for 2A-1A and 4A-3A state titles," said Bauerlein. "I've been proposing it for a few years now, and I'm tickled to death."
Ned Sparks, executive director of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, was in Kansas City for a meeting of state executive directors and could not be reached for comment.
Supporters of the proposed tournament say it would award team accomplishments more than the exist
ing tournament does.
"It's been a concept that's been worked on for a couple of years. Most of the coaches are in favor of it," said McKelvey, who is also an official with the Maryland Wrestling Officials Association. "I don't think it will affect it [the prestige] of the other state tournament at all."
Upon final approval, Maryland would join such states as Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota with the new dual-meet title format.
"It's nice to have another two-classification tournament, and without disturbing the present one, it's a chance for Maryland to be among the nation's leaders," said Ron Belinko, coordinator of the present state tournament. ". . . this is going to emphasize the team concept."