CHAMBERSBURG — The 4th edition of the Trojan Wars wrestling tournament is definitely bigger and almost certainly better.
The annual event hosted by the Chambersburg Wrestling Booster Club will begin Friday morning, bringing in almost 1,000 wrestlers to CASHS Field House and the Auxiliary Gym.
Junior varsity wrestling begins at 11 a.m., the varsity begins at 12:15 p.m. and the middle school tournament starts at 4 p.m.
On Saturday, varsity quarterfinals are at 10 a.m., semifinals are 1:30 p.m. and the parade of champions and finals begin at 6.
Six mats will be used in the main gym and another five in the old gym.
Four of the five Franklin County teams are competing, including the Trojans, Shippensburg, James Buchanan and Greencastle-Antrim. Waynesboro participates in the middle school event only — the Indian varsity is at the Conestoga Valley tournament.
Several strong programs from District 3 are competing, including Cumberland Valley, Lower Dauphin, Solanco, Big Spring, Gettysburg, Boiling Springs and Spring Grove, and other premier state programs such as Southern Columbia, Warrior Run, Lewisburg and St. Marys are in the field.
In addition, the event has drawn several very strong programs from outside Pennsylvania, including Smyrna (Del.), J.W. Robinson, Sherando and Clarke County (Va.) and Parkersburg and Washington (W.Va.).
Smyrna leads the way with nine wrestlers seeded in the top eight, followed by Southern Columbia and Robinson with seven each, and Spring Grove with six.
There are five defending champions in the field, including Southern Columbia’s Jaret Lane, who is at 120 pounds and gunning for his fourth Trojan Wars title and the distinctive helmet prize that goes to each champion. The defending PIAA champion is ranked No. 1 at his weight.
Cameron Pine of Washington (170) is attempting to win his third tourney title. Also returning are Kollin Myers (145) of Boiling Springs, Blake Barrick (195) of Big Spring and Bryan Wallace (285) of Clarke County.
Over 50 tournament participants are ranked in the top 25 in the state by PA Power Wrestling. There are also eight wrestlers in the event who have previously won state championships.