MASCOUTAH — One of the oldest and most prestigious pre-holiday wrestling tournaments in the state, the Mascoutah Invitational will feature a familiar face in its 2013 event.
After an absence of several years, the Belleville East Lancers will return to compete when competition begins at 4 p.m. on Friday at Mascoutah High School.
Coached by former Southern Illinois University Edwardsville All-American Maurice Brown, the Lancers were originally scheduled to compete in the Fox Tournament in Arnold, Mo. on Dec. 6-7.
But when freezing rain prevented the Lancers from traveling, East suddenly was short one tournament.
"Mascoutah Athletic Director (Fritz) Holcolmb is a former coach at East and a good friend. So when we couldn't get to Fox, we called (Mascoutah) wrestling coach Chris (Lindsay) and Fritz about possibly competing here,'' Brown said. "They had an opening and so here we are.
"Right now, it's just a one year deal. But with the number of teams expanding and quality programs competing we're happy to be back. We're looking for a great two days of wrestling.''
Event: Mascoutah Invitational.
Dates and times: Friday, 4 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. Finals start at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $4 for adults, $3 for students
Teams competing: Alton, Anna-Jonesboro, Belleville East, Civic Memorial, Carbondale, Centralia, Champaign Central, Collinsville, Wood River, East St. Louis, Herrin, Highland, Marion, Mascoutah, Mattoon, Mount Vernon, Murphysboro, O'Fallon, Oakville, (Mo.), Quincy, Roxana, Triad, Waterloo and West Frankfort.
Defending champion: Alton
Teams to watch: Alton, East St. Louis, Belleville East, Triad, Quincy, Champaign Central and O'Fallon.