The Moore American

Sports

February 13, 2013

Regional tourney has an unfair look

MOORE — Southmoore and Westmoore made early exits from the Dual State Championship tournament Saturday in Claremore.

The SaberCats fell 34-31 to Muskogee while the Jags were knocked out 52-12 by Union.

All three area schools are back at work Saturday at the Regional Tournament. The top four placers in each weight division will advance to the state tournament Feb. 22-23 at the Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City.

Moore, Westmoore and Southmoore will join Edmond North, Edmond Santa Fe, Eisenhower, Lawton, Midwest City, Muskogee, Mustang, Norman, Norman North, Putnam City, Putnam City North, Putnam City West, U.S. Grant and Yukon at the 6A West Regional at Midwest City.

The East Regional is at Bixby High and will include Bartlesville, Bixby, Booker T. Washington, Broken Arrow, Choctaw, Edmond Memorial, Enid, Jenks, Nathan Hale, Owasso, Ponca City, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Stillwater and Union.

For the ninth consecutive year, the West regional will feature 17 teams while the East has only 15. In some coaches and fans eyes this imbalance gives the East an unfair advantage to winning the state title. With an unbalance number of teams, they have to wrestle more matches than their counterparts on the East and that makes it harder for the top teams in the West to qualify wrestlers for the state meet.

Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA) Assistant Director Mike Clark disagrees.

“The problem is geographic’s and strength,” Clark said. “In a perfect world we would put 16 teams on each side and also divide the powers equally. The problem is this would create an increase in cost for the school in a time where funding is becoming critical. The member schools have let us know that they want geographic’s to be considered more.”

In Class 6A there are 18 teams that can be considered located on the West side of the state and 14 on the East. To make it balanced, the OSSAA would just need to move two teams from the West over into the East regional. But Clark said that would cause an “imbalance of power.”

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