Bleacher Bits: Corning wrestling tourney gets it right
I spent a fair amount of time Saturday at the Corning Invitational wrestling tournament at Corning Union High.
Wrestling tournaments are often among the trickiest sporting events we cover, because with multiple schools in the coverage area bringing multiple wrestlers across multiple weight classes, trying to get everything we need can be a daunting task.
But it wasn't.
I spent only a "fair amount" of time and not the entire day at the tournament because it was so smoothly run that I didn't have to.
In the morning I went over for photos of wrestlers from the early rounds who might not make it to the championship round due to the number of outstanding wrestlers in attendance.
Both gymnasiums had three mats end-to-end with matches going constantly, but bouts and what mat they were going to take place on were always clearly announced from the "command center" in the south gym.
When I'd see a singlet I recognized as being from one of the tri-county schools, I was off like a flash with my camera in one hand and notepad in the other. Often, the bout sheets that tell me who the two wrestlers are and what schools they're from are too tiny to read, but the ones Saturday had type big enough that I wasn't constantly pulling out my reading glasses.
And what does a reporter do in between matches? At the Corning meet, you head to the hospitality room for a spread of food that should make most restaurants nervous.
The wrestling parents pull out all the stops, and this year's menu included buffalo stew, antelope with au jus, wild boar meatballs, venison barbecue and clam chowder, to name but a few.
Along with more side dishes that you could shake a stick at was a dessert table that easily numbered 14-18 different selections at any one time.
And the next time you went back, an empty crock pot or serving dish had been replaced with something entirely new from your previous visit. (Hey, it just happened that I had to be there over the lunch AND dinner hours!)
And most importantly on Monday, there were full brackets posted where I could look back and fill in the information I might have missed while I was eating enough to go up two weight classes in the process.
Well done, Corning. I'd bow to your efforts, but my belt buckle might dig into my belly too much.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Like us on Facebook at TCN Sports; follow us on Twitter @TCNvarsity