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MIAA WRESTLING COMMITTEE

MIAA pins down one site for divisional and all-state wrestling: Game On Fitchburg

St. John's Prep hosted the MIAA All-State wrestling championships in 2019.Mark Lorenz

All three high school wrestling divisions will hold their state championships together under one roof in 2022.

In a virtual meeting Friday morning, the MIAA’s Wrestling Committee announced that Game On, a recently-opened indoor/outdoor sports and performance center in Fitchburg, will host the individual state tournaments, All-State Tournament and Girls’ State Tournament next month.

“I think it’s a tremendous opportunity,” said MIAA assistant executive director Phil Napolitano. “There’s some logistical stuff to work out — schools will bring mats — but it’s a massive facility (45,000-square feet in total). We can fit way more mats than we need and it will be nice and spaced out.”

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While Wakefield was set to host the Division 3 state tournament, there were no homes for the Division 1 or 2 tournaments, which led to Game On entering the discussion.

“It’s a great opportunity to put it all in one place and see what we can do with it to make it something special for the kids,” said Desi Kaplan of Kapwrestling.

The divisional state championships will be held Feb. 19-20. All-State and Girls’ State tournaments will be Feb. 25.

Moving the divisional tournaments out of schools will also allow it to start earlier, with committee members noting that in years’ past the first Friday night could go past 11 p.m. Start times of 10 a.m. to noon were discussed, with committee members noting sports such as track, cross-country and golf already dismiss student-athletes early for the postseason.

Locations for most sectionals were also announced:

Division 3

North (at Tewksbury); South (at Duxbury); Central (at Ashland); West (at Wahconah).

Division 2

North (at Dracut); South (at TBD); Central (at Bellingham); West (at Hopkinton).

Division 1

North (at Methuen); South (at Xaverian); Central/Metro (at TBD); West/Central (at TBD).