The Washington Times - February 11, 2009, 06:34PM

Planning to be in the neighborhood of the convention center this weekend? Keep an eye out for sweaty kids.

The convention center will be housing two separate tournaments this weekend featuring the best wrestlers and girls’ volleyball players in the area.


The D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission is sponsoring the “Army Strong DC High School Wrestling Classic” featuring 11 private and charter schools from D.C. The commission said it expects at least 85 top wrestlers in 14 weight classes, with winners qualifying for the National Prep Wrestling Championships. Doors open at 9 a.m. and tickets cost $11.

Commission CEO Erik Moses said the event was spearheaded in part by parents and school officials, many of whom were inspired by the D.C. High School Baseball Classic at Nationals Park last May. Moses said the event fits in with the commission’s broad goal of promoting youth sports in the city.

“I don’t view this as a money-making endeavor,” Moses said. “We’re doing this because I think it’s the right thing to do. It gets us more into where I want us to be, which is focusing our name, our expertise and our services to bringing youth sports to the fore and sports to the fore.”

In addition to the wrestling and baseball tournaments, the commission held an all-city football game at Eastern High School last fall and has had early talks about the possibility of a youth lacrosee tournament. Softball and basketball are also possibilities, Moses said.

The wrestlers this weekend will be competing for space with volleyball players at the convention center. The Greater Washington Sports Alliance is sponsoring the 3rd annual “Capitol Hill Volleyball Classic,” which is expected to attract than 3,000 players from 364 local teams to the convention center.

The three-day volleyball tournament is the first leg in the “Dig Pink Tour,” a series of five national volleyball tournaments created by the Side-Out Foundation to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research.

The winning team will get a trophy and awards will be handed out to the best Receiver, Server, Digger, Attacker, Blocker, and Setter. There will also be MVP awards in several age divisions.