WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- The pep band playing, cheerleaders hyping the crowd, a packed gymnasium -- this isn't your ordinary school assembly. For the second time in the Magic Dome, wresters from Williamsport Area High School and Altoona Area High School competed during school hours.
"This is a chance to put them up in front of their peers, get some excitement going in the school, and promote the sport of wrestling as a whole," said Williamsport Area athletic director Sean McCann.
"I feel like other schools should definitely do this. It's pretty cool because it brings a lot of different people and it can create interest in wrestling," said senior Jaden Northrup.
That's why the school decided to trade in the traditional holiday break assembly to give the wrestling program a spotlight. The Millionaires are known for their football and basketball programs and this gives another sport some exposure.
"For the kids that don't go to matches throughout the season, this opens them up to see what it's like. A lot of people think wrestling is an easy sport, but when you see it, there's a lot more to it than picking someone up and slamming them," said freshman Zachary Hockman.
A packed gymnasium also helps the wrestlers.
"They get excited about it. They've been talking about it for two or three weeks. They started realizing about it being on the schedule that way again. And Altoona is a great team too, so it's going to be a good, close, hard-fought battle," McCann said.
"I know people that have no idea what wrestling is all about and now they love coming to it because of the pep rally we do," said "Mr. Millionaire" Jake Belford.