This photo from the 2016 CIT Wrestling Tournament shows the size of the crowd at Morro Bay High watching the bouts on multiple mats below. Photo by Neil Farrell
If you are a fan of high school wrestling and want to experi ence a packed gym filled with raucous fans, this weekend is your chance to see some of the best in California.
Friday-Saturday, Jan. 19-20 is the 68th Annual Sam Boyd California Invitational Tournament (CIT for short), hosted by Morro Bay High School. The early-season tournament is larger than the State Finals Tournament in terms of sheer numbers of athletes that enter what is among the most competitive and prestigious wrestling tournaments of the prep sports season.
Dozens of school teams and an estimated 1600 athletes and fans will descend on Morro Bay for the CIT.
The double elimination tournament grapples on 10 Mats in the school’s two gyms with seven mats laid out in the “new” gym and three in the “old” gym. And at the finals Saturday afternoon, a single mat will sit in the middle of the darkened gym, a spotlight on the two combatants, adding much dramatic atmosphere to the championship round.
The tournament will be run on track wrestling and live streamed through K&D Productions on either their own platform or FLO Arena, according to the event flyer distributed by the school.
Wrestlers in 14 weight classes — from 109 pounds to 288 — will compete. Each champion will get a CIT Champion T-shirt and Champion’s Patch with team trophies for first-third plus a Small Schools Championship. There will also be Outstanding Upper and Lower Class Wrestlers, a Fastest Fall Award and the Sam Boyd Champ of Champions Award for the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler.
Sam Boyd, Sr., was a legendary wrestling, football and basketball coach for some 35 years at MBHS who started the CIT back in the 1970s and was the CIT Tournament Director for 20 years before his tragic death in a 2007 abalone diving accident off Ft. Bragg, Calif.
His namesake tournament is a fitting and lasting tribute to Coach Boyd’s passion for the original Olympic sport.