OXFORD – The 59th Annual Clyde Cole Wrestling Tournament kicks off on Friday.
The tournament has seen three NCAA ' Division-I Champions and more than 50 Section IV and New York .State Champions in action over the 59 years of existence happens right here Chenango County to kick off every wrestling season. The 2019 Clyde Cole Tournament, hosted by the Oxford Rotary Club and Oxford Academy and Central School, will see just as much talent over the course of two days, Friday evening and all day Saturday at the high school gymnasium.
Once the action begins on Friday at 5 p.m. , 18 programs from both near and far will battle for the team trophy. As well each wrestler looks to take home the first place medal and the favored Clyde Cole Champions jacket. Along with medals handed out to the first, second and third place finishers, an outstanding wrestler plaque that is voted on by coaches and referees will be awarded at the end of the tournament. Also to be handed out to individuals are the Pin award (most pins in the shortest time), the Directors plaque (least amount of points against), and the Sportsmanship award. (Wrestler who displays the best qualities of sportsmanship)
However, the tournament is more than just wrestling. Beyond the action that takes place on the mat, there is the behind the scenes work that is necessary to have a successful weekend full of wrestling. Year after year, numerous volunteers from the community and school participate in different roles, whether it be scoreboard operation, announcing bouts throughout the day or helping within the concessions area. over 50 volunteers are on hand at any given time. "Because of this cooperation from the community, school, and Rotary, the tournament continues to flourish," said Terry Stark of the Oxford Rotary Club.
Stark also stated that proceeds from the tournament are directed to the wrestling program and many other student programs including college scholarships, student achievement awards and the Rotary Youth Leadership programs. Additionally, proceeds support the annual spring Easter Egg Hunt , summer reading program , and the fall October Fest.
On top of the fundraising and community service efforts, the tournament has become a way that many wrestlers, coaches, and members of the wrestling world have built long-term friendships. This year, 18 program including several local teams being challenged by teams from other parts of the state.
This year's local field includes Oxford-Greene, Norwich, Sherburne-Earlville, Bainbridge-Guilford-Afton-Harpursville, and Sidney. Other regional teams include Maine-Endwell ,Chenango Forks, Vestal Groton and Spencer-VanEtten. Strong returning contenders from outside the area include Carthage, Elder-Liberty-Sullivan West (ELS) and perennial powerhouses Queensbury and Shenendehowa. It appears this year's tournament can again be expected to be one of the strongest in the area and provide a high level of competition very early in the season.
The wrestling begins on Friday at 5 p.m. with both the preliminary and quarterfinal matches. On Saturday, the action continues with the semifinal bouts as well as the first round of wrestle backs. The finals are scheduled to begin no earlier than 5 p.m. that evening.
Admission for each session is $4 for adults, $3 for students. A tournament pass, which can be purchased Friday night for $10, includes admission for the entire tournament
-Information from the Oxford Rotary Club