Since 1972, WRAL-TV and Capitol Broadcasting Company have sponsored the WRAL Invitational Wrestling Tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 2014, the WRAL Invitational Wrestling Tournament will be held Dec. 19-20 at Athens Drive High School, 1420 Athens Drive in Raleigh.
These teams make up the field for the 2014 tournament (* pending contract):
Alexander Central (defending WRAL champ, 4A 8th), Athens Christian GA (A, 3rd), Athens Drive, Ashley, Broughton, Bunn, Cape Fear, Cardinal Gibbons, Croatan (2A runnerup), Enka, Fuquay Varina, Havelock*, Heritage, Hillside, Hoke County, Jack Britt (4A runnerup), Jacksonville, Laney (4A 11th), Leesville, Mallard Creek, Middle Creek, Millbrook, New Kent VA (3A 3rd), Northern Durham, Oscar Smith VA (6A 17th ), Panther Creek*, Parkland (4A champions), Pine Forest, Riverside, Rock Hill SC (4A dual champion), Rocky Mount (3A 6th), Rosewood (1A 4th), Southern Lee, Southern Vance, Union Pines (3A 7th), Wake Forest, West Forsyth, West Johnston
Hotel details: Discounts for teams and fans around Raleigh
The field includes 38 teams from across the country in a double-elimination tournament. The tournament is held on six mats. Look for the field to be finalized by Sept. 15.
Weight classes: 106,113,120,126,132,138,145,152,160,170,182,195,220,285
Sanction: The tournament is sanctioned by the NCHSAA. All participants must be certified by NCHSAA. National Federation & NCHSAA 2014-2015 rules apply.
Pairings: Available daily during the tournament from TrackWrestling.com
Awards: Medals for top 5 placers. Trophies for team champions, runners-up and most falls in least time (championship). 6-place scoring.
2014 Tournament Schedule
|Friday, Dec. 19||Saturday, Dec. 20|
1 p.m. Weigh-ins
1:45 p.m. Coaches scratch meeting
2:30 p.m. First Round (6 mats in 3 locations)
5:30 p.m. (approx.) Championship 2nd round & Consolation 1st Round
7 p.m. (approx.) Consolation 2nd round
7:00 a.m. Weigh-ins
8:00 a.m. Quarterfinals (mats 1-3) & consol. 3rd round
10:15 a.m. (approx.) Semifinals (mats 1-2) and Consolation 4th round
1:00 p.m. (approx.) Consolation quarterfinals (3 mats)
2:00 p.m. (approx.) Consolation Semifinals (3 mats)
4:00 p.m. (approx.) Championship Finals, 3rd place, 5th place (3 mats) and Awards Ceremony (awards to top 5 places)
Tickets are $6 Friday, $10 Saturday and $6 for final matches only.
In October 1972, Bob Caudle of WRAL-TV in Raleigh proposed that a high school wrestling tournament be held at North Carolina State University. This signaled the birth of the WRAL Invitational Wrestling Tournament! The tournament committee consisted of Johnny Clements and Watson Hollifield, the city and county athletic directors, and tournament director, Jerry Barker, then assistant wrestling coach at NC State. Seven Raleigh area schools participated and the finals were held in the WRAL-TV studio.
Since that time, more than 7,000 wrestlers from hundreds of teams from across the country have participated in what has become one of the most competitive and highly anticipated high school wrestling events of the year. Wrestlers who participate in the WRAL Invitational Wrestling Tournament regularly go on to state championships and collegiate wrestling careers.
Alexander Central won the team title in 2013. Two wrestlers from West Johnston – Sam Campbell at 220 and George Nathaniel at 160 – won their weight classes.
RJ Cloninger, of Lake Norman, (126 pounds) recorded the most falls – 4 falls in 6:04. New Kent, Va., took home the team sportsmanship award.