Pennsylvania held its first official state wrestling tournament in 1988. However, the roots of the state event reach back over 50 years to the inception of the Episcopal Wrestling Tournament (EWT) and the vision of Episcopal Coach John Brennan and Mr. Fitz Dixon. The EWT served as the premier tourney for Philadelphia area private schools for 25 years, beginning in 1946.
A coalition of private schools eventually hosted the event, and the name transformed into the Philadelphia Area Private School Invitational Wrestling Tournament (PAPSWIT). Growth and fluctuation followed, with a period when schools from outside Pennsylvania were invited to the tournament as well.
Eventually, Pennsylvania coaches, fans, and schools felt that the tourney had lost its original focus and needed a change. The increased level of competition of teams within the state was recognized, and a new concentration brought needed definition to the PAPSWIT. Recognizing that over 30 private school wrestling teams existed in Pennsylvania at that time, an official state tournament for private schools was proposed by the PAPSWIT committee.
The first Pennsylvania Independent School Wrestling Tournament was held in 1988 and the PAISWT has flourished and grown since that time. Almost 40 private schools from across the state are invited to attend each year. From a Philadelphia area tradition to a state-wide competition, the Pennsylvania Independent School State Wrestling Tournament showcases the private schools’ best.
Pennsylvania Independent Schools Wrestling Tournament (PAISWT)