TYNDALL -- Bon Homme Scotland/Avon is one of four Class B wrestling teams that went unbeaten in dual competition this season and only Winner Area accumulated more seed points.
But BHSA will not be one of the eight teams competing in the first year of the rebooted South Dakota High School Activities Association dual meet on Feb. 27-28 after opting out before the Dec. 31 deadline.
With the quarterfinal duals scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, directly following the individual quarterfinals and the semifinal, third place and championship duals beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, BHSA head coach Darren Kriz felt the schedule was too condensed to compete in both tournaments.
“I was more worried about the stress on the kids,” Kriz said. “They have to worry about wrestling a first round or quarterfinal match and then a dual. I was just worried about the stress on the kids. I wasn’t too wild about the format.”
Heading into Saturday’s Region 3B tournament in Winner, BHSA is armed with five wrestlers with at least 30 wins and three more with 20, headlined by two-time defending state champion Josh Crownover.
Younger brother Isaac Crownover has a team-high 39 wins at 132 pounds, while Jordan Gall (195), Jordan Rueb (170) and Micah DeBoer (285) are all aiming for deep runs in the individual state tournament.
Despite a stellar regular season, Kriz has no regrets about opting out of the state dual tournament this season.
In fact, he believes his wrestlers may have an advantage in the individual tournament against those participating in the dual tournament due to potentially competing in three fewer matches.
“Do I second-guess myself on the decision? I don’t think so,” Kriz said. “I still think that it’s going to be tough on the kids, worrying about an individual tournament and a dual tournament. I sat down with the seniors and we’re sticking by our decision. Hopefully it’ll show Saturday night when the smoke clears.”
Kriz is not close-minded when it comes to decisions about future tournaments, however. He will be using this year to monitor the format and how wrestlers and teams perform.
Not only are there added matches to physically endure and mentally prepare for, but with the addition of the third day, there will be another weigh-in and that is also something Kriz will focus on.
“There’s an extra weigh-in that’s going to play a role -- let alone having those extra matches on Thursday and Friday,” Kriz said. “From an outsider looking in, it may seem like a lot, but as a coach, you think about those things. At the time, I thought it was a good idea to opt out, but we’ll see how it pans out.”