NORTH BEND — One of the state’s premier annual wrestling tournaments has a new twist this week.
The Coast Classic in North Bend is Friday and Saturday, with another big field of many of the top wrestling programs in the state. This year’s event includes a full girls competition for the first time.
The Oregon School Activities Association is sanctioning girls wrestling this year and the Coast Classic is following suit, with the girls wrestling in the same 14 weight brackets — ranging from 100 to 235 pounds — that will be used for the state tournament in February.
Officials are not sure how many girls will be competing this week, but a number of the teams that are coming to the tournament have girls in their programs.
The tournament starts Friday, with varsity action beginning at 2 p.m. The girls portion of the event will be entirely contested Saturday.
Wrestling starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, with the finals for both the boys and girls slated to begin at 5 p.m.
Admission each day is $10 for adults and $6 for students. A two-day pass is $15 for adults and $10 for students.
Concessions will be available throughout the tournament.
The competition will include 36 schools, with South Coast squads including Marshfield, Coquille, Myrtle Point, Siuslaw, Brookings-Harbor and the host Bulldogs.
Traditional state powerhouses Roseburg and Crook County will be in attendance, as well as Crater from Central Point (second in Class 5A last year) and Henley from Klamath Falls. The Hornets will wrestle Marshfield, last year’s Class 4A runners-up to Crook County, in a dual on Thursday night at Pirate Palace on the eve of the tournament.