WELLSVILLE - While the weather may be frigid outside, the temperature inside the Wellsville High School gym will be red-hot on Saturday. The cause of this high temperature will be the annual Buck Bailey Wrestling Tournament, which will bring together at least 18 high school wrestling teams and maybe more.
The action on the mats will begin at 9 a.m., running through the day and into the early evening.
"If you're a wrestling fan, there will be plenty of good action here that day," Wellsville athletic director Don Elliott said. "Once again, we will have a good mix of local wrestlers and teams, as well as wrestlers and teams from out of the area. That's what makes for a good combination."
In addition to Wellsville, other teams entered at this time include Columbiana, Crestview, East Liverpool, Malvern, Newcomerstown, Oak Glen "B", Salem (partial), Sandy Valley, South Range, Steubenville Central, Struthers, Toronto, United, Weirton Madonna, West Geauga and Wheeling Park "B". There is the possibility of one or two more teams sending wrestlers.
The tournament is dedicated to the memory of Tom "Buck" Bailey, who was a longtime supporter of the Wellsville wrestling program.
"For years, Mr. Bailey ran the clock and scoreboard at Wellsville wrestling matches," Elliott said. "He was a regular at the state wrestling tournament. To my knowledge, he never missed a Wellsville wrestling match, home or away, for a span of years and years."
Bailey's widow, Jane, is a regular at Wellsville home wrestling matches. She will also be presenting the medals to the individual places on Saturday.
One of the awards Bailey will be presenting is the Dale Nightingale Most Valuable Wrestler Award.
"Dale Nightingale was the impetus behind the wrestling room being built down at Nicholson Stadium," Elliott said. "His sons were outstanding wrestlers for us. Mr. Nightingale also helped coach our teams for a number of years. He was a great all-around supporter of Wellsville wrestling."
After the weigh-ins, which begin at 7 a.m., many of the wrestlers, coaches and fans will descend on the concession stand.
"We will have a fully-stocked concession stand, including pancakes and sausage in the morning," Elliott said. "We will begin serving breakfast at 8 a.m. The concession stand will be open the entire day over in the cafeteria."
Admission prices are $6 for adults and $4 for students.