It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the wrestling season races by.
Here we sit, still wringing out the remnants of New Year's Eve parties, and we're just a little bit more than a month away from the post-season tournaments starting.
You can partly blame the holiday break for this since it takes away a chunk of the calendar, but it also means that crucial conference dual meets are held in December - which is a shame because it takes away from those races come the end of the regular season because things are disjointed.
Now, and any wrestling fan will tell you this, what people remember about a wrestling season is what happens in the individual post-season tournaments. That's just a fact.
But, and take it from a traditionalist who would love to see the Saturday afternoon conference dual meet brought back, the dual-meet season is fun.
Just look at the Suburban One League.
While Council Rock South is the class of the National Conference, teams like Neshaminy, Council Rock North, Pennsbury and Harry S. Truman are not shabby at all.
The Continental? Quakertown, North Penn and Souderton are legit and don't discount Central Bucks East, either. "Quakertown is going to be tough for any of us to beat," one SOL Continental Conference coach said. "They're pretty tough top to bottom."
And the American? Wissahickon is the front-runner, but Hatboro-Horsham, Abington and a sleeper in Upper Dublin will make that conference interesting, too.
(We'll look at other leagues as the season goes along).
The bottom line is go and check out a dual meet, you might be surprised.
Nice work by Pennridge's Evan Widing, North Penn's Patrick O'Neill and the Council Rock South Golden Hawks at last weekend's rugged Bethlehem Holiday Wrestling Classic at Bethlehem Liberty High School (or, better known as "the Hurricane").
Widing, a senior, who is four wins shy of 100 for his career, won the 152-pound title with a 5-2 win over Wilson West Lawn's Brandon Connor.
O'Neill, also a senior, who placed seventh in the state last season at 160, won the 160-pound crown at the Hurricane. O'Neill edged Eric Lance of Texas in an ultimate tiebreaker in the championship match. A year ago, O'Neill went 2-3 at the Hurricane. What a difference 12 months can make.
On the team side, the Golden Hawks placed fifth and were the top non-District 11 finisher in the standings. While not crowning a champion, junior Kyle Waterman picked up a bronze medal at 113 for the Golden Hawks and senior Eric Woloshyn was fourth at 145.
Council Rock South truly showed its depth because it ain't easy to place fifth at a tournament as tough as the Hurricane without having any wrestlers reach the finals let alone win a championship. But, when you do have eight wrestlers bring home medals, like the Golden Hawks did, good things end up happening. Host Liberty, which had four individuals titlists, took home the team title.
Matches to watch
Central Bucks West at Souderton, Wednesday, 7: Both of these teams are looking to be in the hunt for the Suburban One League Continental Conference title.
Neshaminy at Council Rock South, Wednesday, 7: Neshaminy is a pretty darn good dual-meet team, but the Golden Hawks are a notch above everybody else. They've won two-straight PIAA District One Class 3A Dual-Meet Championship titles and look like the favorites to make it three straight.
Wissahickon at Hatboro-Horsham, Wednesday, 7: The word from several coaches is that the Trojans are the team to beat in the Suburban One League American Conference. Can the Hatters change that thinking? They'll need to be at their best to do so.
Rock Yard Duals at Council Rock North, Saturday, 8:30 a.m.: This eight-team dual-meet tournament includes Archbishop Wood, Neshaminy, William Tennent and the host Indians. Spring-Ford, Downingtown West, Methacton and Ridley round out what is a really strong field.