The countdown is on for the Council Bluffs Wrestling Classic. And the uniquely formatted tournament is still welcoming new guests.
The two-day event, which is set to run at the Mid-America Center on Dec. 13 and 14, began to take shape a few weeks ago. Seventeen high schools have already verbally pledged to take part in what will be a 32-team regional competition.
Former C.B. Lewis Central coach Trevor Carritt hatched the idea years ago. Now two seasons removed from his old position, he's taking the lead on recruiting participants as well as corporate sponsors.
“I'd like to see everyone jump in and be a part of this,” Carritt said. “I think it's going to be great for the area, the economy, the sport – everything.”
Commitments have already come from teams in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and Kansas, with others interested from as far as Kentucky and Louisiana.
A number of features will be unique to the C.B. tournament. Among them:
» The format. Friday's action will break down into four-person pools, with each wrestler competing three times. The top two from each advance to Saturday's traditional 16-person gold bracket, while the bottom pair move to the silver bracket.
The setup guarantees each wrestler at least five matches for the weekend while establishing relatively even fields Saturday.
» Scholarships. Winners at each gold-bracket weight will earn at least $100 to be awarded for college tuition. In future years, the goal is to increase the sum to upwards of $500.
Some Iowa and Nebraska teams are waiting to see what kind of response the new event gets before jumping in, Carritt said, while others are still working on their schedules. He has an advertisement on The Predicament, a website dedicated to Iowa wrestling, in an effort to spread the word.
“It's been a lot of work,” Carritt said. “But the Mid-America Center liked my idea and the (athletic directors) in Council Bluffs really liked it. So we're into this.”
The event is aiming to be held annually on the second weekend in December. Scores will be broadcast live on trackwrestling.com.
Top eight finishers at each weight would earn awards, as would the top six teams according to total points.