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The Centerville Elks wrestling team went on a magical run in the first year of the Ohio High School Athletic Association state team tournament.
The Elks claimed the first regional title in the tournament with a win over Mason and advanced to the state tournament at St. John Arena.
It is an experience Centerville coach Alan Bair will not forget.
"It was a great experience going last year," Bair said. "If I had my choice I would go every year. It's great for wrestling and for kids, it gives them more opportunity for good experiences."
While most weekend tournaments consist of sitting in a gym all day, a dual can be completed in the same length of time as a basketball game.
"I think it helps the sport," Bair said. "It is good for fans. Two hours in a gym and go home."
That was the plan when a committee of coaches got together to work on the state dual format.
Former Versailles coach Bill Roll led the charge for more than a decade before handing it off.
"I was a member of the state duals committee," Fairmont coach Frank Baxter said. "We've all firmly believed in this concept for a long, long time. People well before me - Bill Roll - were championing this even longer than the current guys. Our rivalry duals against Beavercreek, Centerville and Miamisburg are exciting, intense, and very well-attended. We already saw that happen last year with this tournament and I know it will continue to build energy."
While Fairmont will get a chance to host the first round, Centerville will travel to eighth-seeded West Carrollton. Conflicts with basketball schedules caused Centerville, Miamisburg and Stebbins to all pass on hosting.
West Carrollton will be a busy place Wednesday night. In addition to the Division I duals being held there, Dayton Christian will host their first round matches at West Carrollton.
The Warriors - the top ranked Division III team in the state - enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed.
"I think we still have a chip on our shoulder," Dayton Christian coach Ted Bray said. "We really haven't proven ourselves. On paper, we look good, but it is one thing to look good on paper and another to walk the walk."
The state duals will be interesting for Carlisle. The Indians will compete in the D-III team tournament and will be in D-II for the individual tournament.
"(The important issue is) scheduling, mainly," Carlisle coach Brian Carter said. "I use to only focus on seeing top D-III schools, but now I need to follow both D-II and D-III schools more closely."
Winners from Wednesday night's first two rounds advance to the regional semis Jan. 29.
Contact this contributing writer at ksjcummings@sbcg lobal.net.