(By: Con Marshall)
The 34nd annual Chadron High School Invitational Wrestling Tournament will be this weekend in the Nelson Physical Activity Center at Chadron State College.
The action will begin at noon Friday. After going through three championship rounds and a spate of wrestle-backs on Friday, the competition will resume at 9 a.m. Saturday and continue until the 14 weight class champions are crowned that afternoon.
The Chadron State wrestling team also will dual Western Colorado State on Friday evening, beginning around 6 o’clock.
Twenty-two teams have entered the tournament, the same as last year. The tourney was begun by the late Bill Kant, long-time Cardinals’ wrestling coach, to help area teams have an experience similar to the state tournament.
The Nebraska teams entered besides the Cardinals are Alliance JV, Bayard, Bridgeport, Chase County, Crawford, Gordon-Rushville, Hay Springs, Hemingford, Minatare, Mitchell, Morrill, Ogallala and Valentine.
The South Dakota entries are Hill City, Hot Springs, Little Wound, Newell and Pine Ridge.
The only Wyoming team entered is Casper Natrona, but two first-time participants from Colorado–Longmont High and Mead High, located near Longmont–have signed up.
Valentine is the defending team champion. The Badgers won their first Chadron Tourney title last year by scoring 192.5 points, 6.5 more than runner-up Alliance. Casper Natrona was third a year ago.
The Valentine Badgers have won the last two Class C state tournament championships and are ranked first in the class again this year.
Chadron, which has a 7-3 dual record, could challenge for a high placing. The Cardinals finished eighth last year.
Tickets to attend the tournament are $7 for adults and $5 for students each day.