Semis at THS: Post-season atmospheres are always elevated to another level. Round by round, the intensity increases.
The Tallassee wrestling program will host its first-ever state semifinal on Tuesday.
There would have been several had the AHSAA adopted this team duals format before last season.
Wrestling has long used a system that is more individually based with qualifiers coming from sectional tournaments off campus.
Think about it. No matter the sport, state championships are played at neutral sites in almost all cases now. That won't change if Tallassee can win Tuesday. They would go to Birmingham.
Still, vying for a bid to reach the state finals in front of the home folks is something special.
In basketball, there are two playoff rounds played on school campuses. Then teams advance to regionals at remote sites before the state tournament at another set location.
Baseball and football used to be played at representing schools all the way to the championship round. That ends now in the semis with state finals being at one host city.
Nothing can replicate the environment when the blue trophy is on the line. Tallassee has hosted state baseball championships. The last semi played in Tallassee in any sport came in 2006. It was baseball, when the Tigers hosted St. James.
Tallassee has reached the state semifinals in football twice. The 1984 team lost at TR Miller. A win would have brought a title tilt to J. E. "Hot" O'Brien Stadium.
The 1999 team did play its semifinal under the lights at O'Brien Stadium to one of the biggest crowds ever.
Appreciate the opportunity to get an event of this magnitude in your own setting. Better yet, come out and see it for yourself. There is such a thing as the home advantage.