Beckley, WV will hold the inaugural Coal Power Nationals Nov. 23 at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
The event will be the first of its kind to be held in West Virginia.
“Kevin Farley and I have been to tournaments pretty much all over the East Coast,” NWP chief operating officer Jamison Humphrey said. “We really wanted to give something back to the sport that has been so good to our kids. Although we, National Wrestling Promotions, have done other tournaments, this will be our first tournament in which we have teamed up with the AAU and Friends of Coal.”
The tournament will be a two-day event. Weigh-ins will be Nov. 22 with wrestling beginning at 9 a.m. Nov. 23.
There will be 118 age and weight divisions competing on 10 mats.
“It’s actually for wrestlers from the ages of four all the way through middle school, high school and even an open division,” Humphrey said. “There’s no age limit. We have a senior division for competitors (born between 1979-1989) and a masters division if you were born in 1978 or before.”
Humphrey hopes the event will continue to grow and promote the sport in the state.
“We want to try to better West Virginia wrestling and support the local economy here,” he said. “A tournament of this size can inject several million dollars into the local economy in one weekend.”
Because it is a national qualifier, the event is expected to attract some of the top competitors in the country.
“It’s a participation qualifier for the AAU Grand National Tournament,” Humphrey said. “If you wrestle in this tournament in Beckley, you automatically qualify to go to the AAU Grand Nationals in 2009. It’s also a Tournament of Champions qualifier, which is the largest one-day wrestling event in the country. If you place in the top four, you qualify to go to the Tournament of Champions.”
Other attractions during the event include a Ken Chertow wrestling clinic and the announcement of the next class of inductees to the Raleigh County Wrestling Hall of Fame.
By Randall Jett