Believe it or not, the Portage Trail Conference Tournament is a little more than two weeks away.
This year’s rumble will take place Feb. 1 and 2 at — a week earlier than usual to accommodate the state team championships.
This past week went a long way to setting up the battle lines at the PTC Tournament.
Barring a major upset, a three-team showdown for the Metro Division title appears inevitable.
Ravenna survived its gauntlet week by going 4-0, beating Kent Roosevelt and Springfield Tuesday at Springfield, before downing Field and Norton Thursday at Kent Roosevelt.
The Ravens completed the Metro Division dual meet schedule at 6-1, clinching a first-pace tie.
Crestwood and Coventry each improved to 5-1 on Thursday, with each getting past Streetsboro and Springfield at Streetsboro.
Coventry will wrap up its division schedule Tuesday at home vs. Norton, while Crestwood travels to Field Jan. 24 for its final dual.
Both teams will be favored in those encountered, which would set up a three-way tie to be broken at the tournament.
Meanwhile in the County Division, it’s Rootstown’s title to lose.
The Rovers’ 39-34 win Thursday at Southeast — the first in years, according to coach Craig Wise — has the Rovers at 4-0 in the County Division with only a match with Mogadore between them clinching first place.
Wise noted his team is “a tournament team” this year, so he feels he’s good about his team’s chances come February.
The Pirates, however, finished the dual meet season at 3-2 in the division and now need a huge amount of help repeat as champions.
Southeast likely will finish third in the County Division dual race, as Woodridge sits at 3-1 with only a match against a decimated Garfield squad remaining.
Hard times at Garfield
Speaking of G-Men, perhaps no team in the County has had a rougher go of it this year than Garfield.
Already hit with the loss state qualifiers Kevin Stock and Tanner Bontrager at the outset of the season, the G-Men lost state runner-up Aaron Yonker to a dislocated shoulder at the Brecksville Holiday Invitational Tournament.
Yonker remains upbeat about returning this season, but Alan Harbert and Co. can be forgiven for feeling snakebitten this winter.
Many of the PTC’s squads will have one last chance to sharpen their tournament skills this coming weekend.
The Bill Dies Memorial Tournament returns to Akron Firestone Jan. 18 and 19 and is loaded with PTC talent. Coventry, Garfield, Kent Roosevelt, Norton, Rootstown and Woodridge all will be in attendance.
Wrestling starts Jan. 18 at 3 p.m. and Jan. 19 at 10 a.m. with the finals Jan. 19 at 6 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Top Gun Tournament in Alliance returns Jan 18 and 19. This is same site at the Division II district meet.
Field, Ravenna, Southeast and Streetsboro will tangle at the Top Gun.
Wrestling starts at 10 a.m. Jan. 18 and 19, with finals set for 5 p.m.