After a few lean years, at least by its standards, Johnson City appears on have regained its place among Section 4’s elite this season.
This weekend, however, will provide the ultimate barometer as to where the Wildcats stand.
Johnson City is the top seed in the 12-team Section 4 Dual Meet Tournament, which kicks off Friday with four first-round matches and culminates Saturday at Chenango Forks with quarterfinal, semifinal, and championship matches. Quarterfinal rounds begin at 9 a.m., semifinals at 1 p.m. and the championship match is at 4.
Union-Endicott is the defending champion, while JC seeks its first Section 4 Dual Meet Tournament title since 2003.
“It’s certainly something we try to use as motivation,” Wildcats coach Jordan Glenn said of the 10-year title drought. “Last year, we got to the semifinals against U-E, they had better numbers, more experience, and they got us.
“When you’re close, though, the guys get a little more hungry.”
Last year, Union-Endicott beat Johnson City 46-23 in the semifinals. The Tigers won the title with a 41-32 victory against Greene.
U-E is seeded second and could meet third-seeded Greene in the semifinals if the seeds hold.
“The kids are excited,” Union-Endicott coach Josh Ruff said. “We’re going in thinking that we’ve got a shot to be in the finals. If we wrestle our best, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be in the finals.”
Johnson City, Union-Endicott, Greene and fourth-seeded Vestal receive first-round byes. In first-round matches today, fifth-seeded Newark Valley hosts Unatego, sixth-seeded Susquehanna Valley hosts Tioga, seventh-seeded Chenango Forks hosts Watkins Glen and eighth-seeded Sidney hosts Whitney Point.