The wrestling season typically runs from about November through March each year, with some various other opportunities (clinics, tournaments, etc.) occurring during the off season. Below is an explanation of the different events that occur during the season:
Practices will occur anywhere from 2 times (Raiders Blue (Level 2)) to 5 times (High School Varsity) a week. Practices usually consist of a warm-up (running, stretching, etc.), work on specific wrestling skills with a partner, and then usually some form of "live wrestling" where wrestlers try to put the skills they have learned into action.
The youth program (Elementary) takes part in League Matches 4-6 times a year in January and February on either Saturdays or Sundays. The Seneca Valley youth program is part of the WAWA League, which is made up of 23 teams from Western Pennsylvania to Eastern Ohio. League Matches are attended by 4-6 teams from the league, and wrestlers get at least 2 matches each against an opponent near their weight and skill level. Weigh-ins for these matches occur only once, at the beginning of the season, and that weight is assumed for all league matches, except for the final WAWA Open and Novice tournaments, where they will be asked to weigh in again to determine their weight class. There is no extra cost for League Matches.
The youth program (Elementary) will regularly put together a select group of more advanced (usually Raiders Black (Level 3)) wrestlers to compete in dual meets to compete against other highly competitive teams. For these dual meet tournaments, coaches will regularly hold wrestle-offs for each weight class (1 or 2 wrestlers per weight class are chosen) to compete. Wrestlers will weigh in together as a team, usually the day before or morning of, in order to ensure they meet their assigned weight class.
Wrestlers in the youth program who have wrestled for more than 2 years are highly encouraged to compete in Open Tournaments on a weekly basis. These tournaments are hosted throughout the area and these opportunities can be found at pywrestling.com. Typically coaches and wrestlers will share what tournaments they will attend in order to maximize participation and team unity and support. Despite these efforts, it is not always possible for coaches to be present at every tournament. Usually you will be able to find one of the Seneca Valley parents who has been in the program for a while, who can assist with mat-side coaching. Don't be afraid to sit in as "the coach" for your wrestler (see New Parents Info Page). Not knowing if a coach will be at the tournament should not dissuade you from participating. These tournaments usually take place on Saturdays and Sundays.
For Elementary wrestlers with less than 2 years experience, there are many opportunities to test out your skills in Novice Tournaments throughout the area, which can be found at pywrestling.com as well. Novice tournaments are slightly less competitive because these are limited to wrestlers with no more than 2 years competitive experience. These are a great opportunity to challenge your wrestler, improve their skills, and get them used to competition in a less strenuous environment. Competing in these events will only better prepare your child for Open Tournaments, which they will compete in during their third year of wrestling. The same parent coaching tips from the above paragraph apply here as well. These tournaments usually take place on Saturdays and Sundays.
Also for the Elementary program, there are First Year Tournaments for wrestlers within their first year of competition. These tournaments are typically less competitive even than Novice Tournaments.
For both Open and Novice Tournaments registration is typically required in advance, usually no later than the Tuesday or Wednesday before the tournament (although it varies). Those specifics can be found on the registration pages for each respective tournament. Each of these registrations will cost you an additional fee (usually between $20 and $30 per tournament). Weigh-ins are required in order to wrestle the registered weight (you get to choose this weight - so be realistic. If you don't make your registered weight you will not be allowed to wrestle). These weigh-ins typically take place the day of, or evening before the tournaments.
For most tournaments (depending on number of participants) you should plan to be wrestling from about 8am to 5pm (although this varies tournament to tournament). Some tournaments are called "split start," which means they have two different starting times (morning and afternoon) depending on the age group you are registering for. These are good opportunities for wrestlers to wrestle within their age group during one session and an older age group in the other session. These are also tournaments where you can expect to be there for about half the time as a normal tournament (approximately 8am - 1pm or 1pm - 5pm, depending on the age/weight).
End of Season
For the youth program, typically in February the WAWA league season culminates in an Open and Novice WAWA Tournament. These are great ways to judge how our athletes compare with our league competitors. The Open Tournament keeps a team score in which our Seneca Valley youth program has placed in the top 5 the past four years. A top 8 team finish qualifies our program to compete the following year (early season) in the WAWA dual meet tournament. All Novice and Open wrestlers are highly encouraged to compete in the Area 7 State Qualifier. This is an extremely tough tournament but provides great experience for wrestlers of all levels. Upon completion of the WAWA season, the Seneca Valley youth coaches provide extra practices to better prepare interested wrestlers for this tournament.