Arizona prep wrestling

Postseason in limbo due to skin infections

By Quentin Jodie
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, Feb. 10, 2014

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In Arizona, the sectional and state wrestling tournaments have been put on hold due to the spread of an undetermined skin-related infection.

On Monday, the Arizona Interscholastic Associationreleased a press release regarding the postponement and stated that they are working closely with public health officials to "identify the nature of the infection(s)."

The AIA has requested that schools and families respond to the Maricopa County health officials as quickly as possible.

"We hope that this will come to a timely resolution," AIA Associate Executive Director Chuck Schmidt said in the press release. "We realize that this was an inconvenience and disappointment for many and yet, reducing the possible spread of infection had to take priority."

The sectional tournament was supposed to have taken place on Feb. 8 at 16 different sites to determine the state qualifiers for this year's tournament, which was scheduled to take place at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, Ariz., on Feb. 13-15.

Tuba City coach Brandon Williams said he understands that the AIA is looking out for the health and safety of the kids but the postponement of the tournament has inconvenienced them.

"A lot of my kids had a lot of confidence going into the sectional tournament," Williams said, while adding that the last time they wrestled was during the Page Invitational on Jan. 25.

"We haven't wrestled in over two weeks," he said. "We made our schedule so that we would have a one week break before sectionals and now the layoff is too long. The kids have to find a way to build themselves back up."

The AIA said they will make an "informed decision" by the end of business day on Tuesday on whether to proceed with the post-season tournament as early asFeb. 14.

Williams said the rumor going around is that the AIA will forgo the sectional tournament this year and go with a 64-man bracket at the state tournament. He said the wrestlers with a winning record over common opponents within the same division will be invited.

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