The Doc Buchanan Wrestling Invitational returns to the city of Clovis on Friday and Saturday, bringing 43 nationally-ranked wrestlers to town with it.
Considered the premier wrestling tournament in the state of California and one of the most prestigious in the entire country, the “Doc B” will come back to Clovis High School after it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
While the latest surge of COVID-19 has postponed or canceled high school sporting events in the past month, Clovis High athletic director Jesse Hardwick confirmed that, as of Tuesday, no out-of-state teams have pulled out of the meet yet.
“There’s always that nerve-wrecking thought if some of the out-of-state teams fall into that situation of flights being canceled,” Hardwick said.
Wrestling was one of the sports hit hardest by the pandemic; even when local health guidelines permitted the return of high school sports last spring, wrestling was limited to duals. Multi-team meets like the Doc B were not allowed.
“As far as high school wrestling [last year], it was non-existent,” Hardwick said. “It’s great to have it back this year. Regardless of what’s going on right now with the pandemic, it’s good to have some form of normalcy for these kids who work hard just like any other sport out there.
The action begins at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, January 7 with championship pigtails, the play-in matches for the championship bracket. The first round of the championship bracket also gets started Friday morning as well. The second round of the championships begins roughly at 12:30 p.m. Friday and the quarterfinals follow later in the day.
The championship semi-final round gets underway at 10:30 a.m. in the South Gym Saturday, January 8. Following the consolation quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, the championship finals will kick off in the South Gym at 5:15 p.m. with announcements beginning at 5.
The full two days of wrestling at Clovis High will mark a return of the popular sport in its grandest form.
“Just hoping for another good show,” Hardwick said, “not just for Clovis High, but for the Clovis community.”