BY RAUL GARCIA
All the big names in wrestling from the Valley and Corpus Christi will meet at Sharyland Pioneer to take part in the two-day first annual Grapefruit Bowl beginning today.
Nine mats will showcase 750 boys matches and 500 girls matches between 32 schools who will be participating in the weekend event. Championship matches are slated to run Saturday into the afternoon and evening.
The tournament used to be called the All-Valley Championship, but was renamed the Grapefruit Bowl to expand the tournament and attract more teams from outside of the Valley. It is the largest wrestling tournament in the region and will take place in two of three gymnasiums at Sharyland Pioneer.
“We are trying to get teams to come to us, instead of us going to them,” Sharyland Pioneer head coach Richard Eckley said. “We have five out of the six Corpus Christi High Schools who will be here.”
Participating schools are Corpus Christi Carroll, Corpus Christi King, Corpus Christi Miller, Corpus Christi Moody, Corpus Christi Ray, Donna High, Donna North, Edcouch-Elsa, Edinburg High, Edinburg North, Edinburg Vela, Grulla, La Joya High, La Joya Palmview, Los Fresnos, McAllen High, McAllen Memorial, McAllen Rowe, Mission High, Mission Veterans, PSJA High, PSJA Memorial, PSJA North, PSJA Southwest, Rio Grande City, San Benito, Sharyland High, Sharyland Pioneer, Valley View, Weslaco East and Weslaco High.
The nonstop action will show wrestlers executing throws, arm locks, ankle picks and more of their array of wrestling moves to score points or pin their opponent.
Many of the wrestlers will also be in the hunt for payback and to gauge the Corpus Christi competition they may encounter at regionals.
“The light weight boys are going to be exciting,” Eckley said. “They are always going at it in the fight, they scrap and it’s a lot of fun to watch.”