The 138-pound semifinal bouts of the District 6 Class AA Tournament were filled with so much talent they should have had spotlights shining on them.
On one mat, in front of a vocal Bellwood-Antis section, B-A's Trevor Helsley was knocking off Claysburg-Kimmel's Ty Dively, 6-2, and on the other, Penn Cambria's Nick Szala was beating Blairsville's Noah Tarr, 7-3.
That's four returning Southwest Regional qualifiers on two mats. The fifth regional qualifier at the weight, Juniata's Brandon Rowles, who was also a state qualifier last season, was the odd man out.
Helsley beat Rowles, 6-1, in the quarterfinals, and Tarr stopped his run to the regionals with an 8-2 victory in the consolation semifinals. Rowles went on to finish fifth - one place shy of qualifying for regionals.
Dively, the three-time district runner-up who placed fourth at the PIAA Championships last season, finished fourth, losing to Tarr, 6-3, in the third-place finals. The fourth-place finish was arguably the most surprising news at the weight and possibly in the tournament.
Szala captured his first district title with a 4-2 win over Helsley in an intense finals bout. Whether a reversal should have given to Szala at the end of the second, and it was after the referee and mat judge conferred, will be debated for awhile. The back points that PC wanted while Szala was riding in the second period weren't counted, so that could be debated.
What can't be debated is Szala was at his best over the weekend. He met the challenges head-on and won a much-needed district title for a good program that struggled to a 2-16 record battling a small roster and lack of experience.
In a little less than two weeks, at the Southwest Regional Tournament, Szala, Helsley, Dively and Tarr will begin striving again to be the best. They could be in the top four at the weight again, and the order of finish could change they're so close in talent.
"I know all those guys will be gunning for Nick," PC coach Todd Niebauer said. "He's one of the smartest wrestlers I've ever had come through. Trevor Helsley had a great, great tournament. I love the kid's work ethic. He's strong, fast and flexible, and you don't get that often in a wrestler. We were just a little bit better than him.
"There's two other guys at that weight class that could throw it right at [Szala]. We just can't have a down week, and we've got to make sure we're at the top of our game in two weeks. I fully believe those four could be in the semifinals down at regionals."
The most inspirational story of the tournament was Glendale 285-pounder Tucker Weakland's run to the semis and fourth-place finish.
I wrote about Weakland when he was wrestling for the Glendale junior high team. Weakland wasn't letting his blindness stop him from being just one of the guys on the team or keep him from winning. He could have insisted that his opponents stay in contact with him at all times, but he chose not to.
His high school career as a two-year starter had been unremarkable, but that changed when he beat United's second-seeded Ben Mountain, 4-2, in the quarterfinals.
His goal is to place at the Southwest Regional. That would be even more inspirational.
Todd Irwin can be reached at 946-7464 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be followed on Twitter at ToddIrwin1.