Shore Conference Wrestling Season Will Have Postseason Pod Tournaments
There will be a Shore Conference Wrestling Tournament after all.
Well, sort of.
Similar to the conference postseason structure that was implemented for sports like football and basketball, the wrestling season will also feature a postseason pod “tournament”, according to Point Boro Athletic Director Chris Ferrone, who is the SCT wrestling tournament director.
The news of the postseason pods was first reported by the Asbury Park Press.
Teams will be placed into four-team pods and will wrestle down to a pod champion between April 5 and April 8. A committee of Shore Conference coaches will place teams into pods, similar to a seeding committee for a usual SCT, and the pods will be announced on April 1. Pod matches will be wrestled on either April 5 and 7 or April 6 and 8.
Participation in the pods is not mandatory. Teams can opt-out of the pods and either schedule their own matches or not wrestle at all. It would not be surprising to see teams decide to do the latter in order to give themselves a buffer against possible COVID-19 exposure before the individual postseason begins on April 17.
The four “super region” tournaments will be contested on April 17 and April 18. Shore Conference teams are aligned in Regions 5, 6, 7 and 8. Regions 5 and 6 will be combined into the Central Region and that tournament will be held at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington. Regions 7 and 8 will be combined into the South Region and that tournament will be held at Cherry Hill East High School.
The NJSIAA Championships will be held at Phillipsburg High School and be contested over two days, April 24-25.
Depending on which teams decide to enter, the pods could be a throwback to the original Shore Conference Tournament. The Shore Conference held a team tournament from 1975-2017 before transitioning to an individual tournament beginning with the 2018 season. Brick Memorial won a record 15 SCT team titles, including 10 in a row from 1985-1996 (no tournaments were held in 1992 and 1994). Jackson Memorial is second with six SCT titles. St. John Vianney won the team title on points during the 2018 Individual SCT and Howell has won back-to-back SCT team titles, giving it a total of four between each version of the tournament.