OOS Wrestling News Thread

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Re: OOS Wrestling News Thread

Postby Marty » Fri May 01, 2009 7:59 am

Kevin Jackson named new head coach at Iowa State

Iowa State University

Former U.S. National Freestyle Coach Kevin Jackson lifts Henry Cejudo after Cejudo won the 2008 Olympic gold medal in Beijing, China. Former U.S. Assistant National Coach Terry Brands also is pictured at right. Photo by Larry Slater.

AMES, Iowa – Former Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Champion Kevin Jackson has been named Iowa State’s head wrestling coach. Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard will introduce Jackson – often referred to as one of the greatest freestyle wrestlers in United States history – at an 11 a.m. news conference Friday in the Jacobson Athletic Building (Hunziker Auditorium).

Jackson captured gold medals at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain and at the World Championships in both 1991 (Varna, Bulgaria) and 1995 (Atlanta). He is one of just five wrestlers in U.S. history with three career world-level titles. Jackson is a member of the FILA International Wrestling Hall of Fame, the United States National Wrestling Hall of Fame (as a distinguished member) and the Iowa State University Athletics Hall of Fame (2007 inductee).

“We are very excited to welcome Kevin back to the Cyclone family,” Pollard said. “He was captain of the last Cyclone national championship team and is a member of our Athletics Department’s Hall of Fame. His competitive intensity, combined with his technical skills as a coach, will make an immediate impact on our wrestling program. For the last decade, Kevin has coached and trained the best United States wrestlers. He has excelled at the highest levels of international wrestling as both an athlete and coach.”

Jackson’s return to Iowa State brings back fond memories for him.

“Winning a national team championship at ISU remains a career highlight and I’m grateful for the opportunity to come back to Ames and lead such a distinguished program,” Jackson said. “There is no ceiling to what we can accomplish on and off the mat at Iowa State and I couldn’t be more excited to get started. I’m pleased to inherit such an outstanding team and we’ll begin immediately to focus on hard work and technique with the goal of competing for the NCAA title. We’ll build a wrestling environment at Iowa State in which our student-athletes will flourish in and our fans will respond.”

Currently head coach of the Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club, Jackson served eight years (2001-08) as the National Freestyle Coach for USA Wrestling. He was the first full-time freestyle wrestling coach for the organization and took two United States’ teams to the Olympics. Two of his athletes – Cael Sanderson (2004) and Henry Cejudo (2008) – won gold medals. His 2001 freestyle team won the World Cup, the 2003 team placed second and the 2006 squad finished third at that meet.

Prior to his appointment as the nation’s head freestyle coach, Jackson was freestyle resident coach at the Olympic Training Center and head coach for the U.S. Army team at Fort Carson (1998-2001). During that tenure, he personally trained 2000 Olympic champion Brandon Slay.

As a college wrestler, he attended Louisiana State and earned All-America honors three times before the school dropped the sport. He transferred to Iowa State for his senior year and captained the Cyclones’ last NCAA championship team (1987), earning another All-America award with a NCAA runner-up finish and registering a 30-3-1 record.

After college, Jackson won two Pan American Games titles and was a member of World Championship teams for the United States in both 1993 and 1995. He won three U.S. National Titles and placed second five times. Jackson also became the first American to win the prestigious Takhti Cup (1998) in Tehran, Iran.

During his post-collegiate competitive career, Jackson also assisted with the Cyclone Wrestling Club (1989-92) and volunteered with the Arizona State (1997) program.

Jackson’s success earned him a number of major awards, including the 1995 John Smith Award as National Freestyle Wrestler of the Year, 1992 Amateur Wrestling News Man of the Year and 1991 USA Wrestling and USOC Wrestler of the Year.

He earned a bachelor of sports science degree from the U.S. Sports Academy / University of Americas in 2005.

The native of Lansing, Mich., won two state high school championships for Eastern High School before becoming a Junior National Greco-Roman champion.

Jackson and his wife, Robin (a native of Emmetsburg, Iowa), have five children: Cole, Bailee, Trinity, Brynn and Kira.

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Re: OOS Wrestling News Thread

Postby Marty » Tue May 05, 2009 2:15 pm

Busick Will Try Wrestling
Something that has become a staple of Bill Stewart's new regime is his willingness to allow his players to play other sports. He's previously allowed current starting quarterback Jarrett Brown to play basketball, former kicker/punter Pat McAfee to play soccer and was supportive of the idea of Pat White playing baseball.

Now, coach Stewart has given his blessing to linebacker recruit Baranko Busick to be a member of the WVU wrestling team.

Here is the segment from Tuesday's WVU press release on the 2009 wrestling recruiting class:

From Ohio, the Mountaineers will look to get the services of Busick, following WVU’s football season. The Weirton, W.Va., native signed with the Mountaineers to play football, but plans to balance wrestling in as well. A two-time district and sectional champion, Busick wrestled at Steubenville High under Coach Mike Blackburn. Son of former professional wrestler Nick “Big Bully” Busick, he has placed twice at nationals (third and fifth) and earned as high as third at states. In his senior season, he posted a 45-1 mark en route to a sixth-place finish at the state tournament. He finished his career with a 153-21 record. He went 31-8 as a freshman, 37-10 as a sophomore, 40-2 as a junior and 45-1 as a senior.

“Branko Busick is coming in with football, but he has a tremendous love and passion for the sport of wrestling,” wrestling coach Craig Turnbull commented. “He is going to try to blend both sports and he has been given the blessing from Coach (Bill) Stewart, which is much appreciated. When he gets the benefit of coming into our program and working with the athletes in here, we think his ceiling is unlimited as well.”

Busick will obviously join the wrestling team mid-season as WVU begins its wrestling schedule in November, during football season. This past season the Mountaineers wrestled three times in the month of November with the WVU Open, the Navy Classic and WVU had a match with Columbia and North Carolina.

Other members of the WVU Wrestling 2009 recruiting class include Grafton standout Cameron Gallaher, Nathan Pennesi (Latrobe High/Greater Latrobe, Pa.), Brandon Loro (Springfield High/Springfield, Pa.), and Brandon Williamson who won the 2008 junior college heavyweight national champion. Williamson, who wrestled for two years under Coach Paul Schmidt at Nassau Community College, is a two-time junior college All-American.

They join Shane Young, the 2009 Tribune-Review Wrestler of the Year, and Mac Mancuso, who signed last fall.
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Re: OOS Wrestling News Thread

Postby Marty » Fri May 15, 2009 2:46 pm

WIN Magazine announces post-season awards
WIN Magazine

NEWTON, Iowa — Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine (WIN) is announcing the winners of six of the magazine’s major awards for 2009.

The following is a list of the awards and the recipients:

• Mike Chapman Impact Award — Scott Casber, Takedown Radio/TV
and Bob Ferraro, National High School Coaches Association

• Dan Gable Coach of the Year — Mark Manning, University of Nebraska

• Junior Hodge Trophy — Chris Perry, Stillwater (Okla.) High School

• Schalles (Pinning) Award — Josh Patterson, Binghamton University

• Junior Schalles (Pinning) Award — Eloheim Palma, Cary (N.C.) High School

• Journalist of the Year — Tim Johnson, Big Ten Network/ESPN

(Note: WIN had already announced the winner of the Hodge Trophy — for the nation’s best collegiate wrestler — in late March, when Jake Herbert of Northwestern was honored.)

The following are biographical sketches of each of the award winners:

Winners of the Mike Chapman Impact Award — Named after Mike Chapman, the founder of WIN and current director of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Waterloo, Iowa.

• Scott Casber is the founder of Takedown Radio/TV, which is beginning its 13th year of providing wrestling fans an internet site (takedownradio.com) to follow national events on nearly every level of amateur wrestling, including the NCAA championships, NWCA National Duals and World Team Trials.

“I think it is important to give the wrestling public a broad picture of the wrestling culture across the country,” Casber said. “We usually only think about what is in our backyard. Wrestling is so much more to all people. We discover the passion for wrestling is even greater than I thought 13 years ago when we started the program.”

In addition, Scott and his co-host Steve Foster travel all over the country covering in-season college tournaments and dual meets. They will also be introducing a highlight news show format on wrestling this fall on cable and satellite systems.

“The miles that Scott has put on traveling around to broadcast live at wrestling events and practice rooms is staggering,” said WIN publisher Bryan Van Kley. “He deeply loves wrestling and wrestlers and works with every fiber of his being to promote our great sport to the max.”

Scott is a native of Des Moines, Iowa, who fell in love with wrestling when he attended Iowa working on a marketing/promotions degree in the early 1980s and wore the Herky mascot uniform at Hawkeye wrestling matches.

“I could see wrestling up close and personal,” said Casber. “I noticed that these guys were real people, who struggled with real problems, struggled to maintain their identity. They struggled with real issues whether they were self-created or not.”

• Bob Ferraro, a native of Easton, Pa., serves as the CEO/Founder of the National High School Coaches Association, which puts on over 100 state, regional and national events in 20 sports, including the NHSCA Senior Nationals in wrestling, which recently held its 20th anniversary of the event. During the past two decades, the event now offers national competition for all four grades of high school.

“I felt we needed the high visibility sports to get wrestling the attention that it needed,” said Ferraro. “I felt that if we could build an organization with more than one sport, we could make a much bigger impact on the sport.”

“What impresses me so much about Bob is his vision for wrestling,” said Van Kley. “He looks at the bigger picture beyond just an event or particular situation. The High School Nationals has turned into a "can't-miss" event which has been a great tool for prospective college wrestlers and the coaches who are recruiting them. All of this is because of Bob's vision for that event and the NHSCA as an organization.”

Ferraro, who finished second nationally at the 1970 NCAAs at 150 pounds for Indiana State and later served as head coach at Bucknell, said he created the NHSCA when he was looking for national competitions for his son, Bobby, who in turn will take over the NHSCA in June 2010, when Bob retires.

“I feel kind of a relief that my vision will be fulfilled and I’m excited about my son’s vision being implemented,” said Bob. “He is a very creative guy and has been with us for about two years now. He is ready to take off with his own vision.”

Dan Gable Coach of the Year — Named after the legendary University of Iowa coach who won 15 NCAA team championships between 1978 and 1997.

• Mark Manning has been a head coach at the Division I level for 12 years, including the past nine at Nebraska, where his Cornhuskers captured their first Big 12 championship — sharing the honor with Iowa State — and finishing fourth at the NCAAs for a second consecutive year.

Manning also saw Jordan Burroughs become the school’s tenth NCAA champion when the junior captured the 157-pound title, while 197-pound Craig Brester (2nd), 174-pound Brandon Brown (4th) and 184-pound Vince Jones (6th) earned All-American honors.

In addition, Nebraska finished 17-3-1 in dual meet competition and captured the Las Vegas Invitational in December.

All of this happened after Manning was forced to dismiss a pair of returning national qualifiers, including 2007 NCAA champion Paul Donahoe at 125 pounds, because of an off-the-mat incident.

Then a week before the Big 12 tournament, Manning and his team had to deal with the death of Thayes Browne, the 49-year-old mother of a pair of Huskers (Brandon and Cameron, a 197-pound sophomore), who died from a heart attack while watching another son at the Nebraska state high school tournament.

Manning said this year’s events made his realized he chose the right profession.

“That’s why you coach; to make an impact on young men’s lives and obviously we had a lot of teaching moments this year; from not only with our young guys but to our veterans who were tested,” said the 45-year-old Manning. “I believe the faith element of our program was really put to the test and came out with flying colors.”

Junior Dan Hodge Trophy — Named after Dan Hodge, the former three-time University of Oklahoma national champion (1955-57) who never allowed a takedown in his college career. He also pinned 36 of his 46 victims.

• Chris Perry is the top-ranked 189-pounder from Stillwater, Okla., where he won four state of Oklahoma high school championships. He also is the brother of Mark Perry, the 2003 Junior Hodge Trophy winner who later earned two NCAA championships at Iowa (2007-08), and the nephew of Oklahoma State coach John Smith, who will coach the younger Perry next year.

“Growing up, even though John Smith is my uncle and Mark Perry is my brother, it’s always been a goal for me to do what they’ve done,” Chris added. “I never look at it as pressure. I look at it as a possible accomplishment for me.”

Chris Perry also captured the Junior Nationals in freestyle last summer in Fargo, N.D., and recently won the Junior FILAs in Las Vegas in April. For his high school career, Chris Perry was 133-1 with 70 falls.

Schalles Award — Names after Wade Schalles, who set the college pin record at Clarion (Pa.) State where he also won two NCAA championships (1972-73). During his career, Schalles defeated 153 of 159 opponents and pinned 109.

• Josh Patterson of Binghamton racked up 22 falls and finished the season 46-6. His 46 wins were also the most of any Division I wrestler. The junior also became Binghamton’s first Division I All-American, finishing seventh at the NCAA Championships at 184 pounds.

“I realized I was going to be able to accomplish my goals at Binghamton,” said Patterson, who also has had two brothers wrestle for the Bearcats. He felt achieving the program’s first All-American honor and winning an award like the Schalles will help Binghamton get other top-level kids.

“I really think it’s going to put us on the map and show kids they can come to a school like Binghamton and become All-Americans,” he said.

Junior Schalles Award

• Eloheim Palma of Cary (N.C.) only let one of his 62 victims in an undefeated season go the distance when he settled for a 10-4 decision of the state tournament; netting the heavyweight his fourth state championship.

Overall, Palma pinned 50 opponents this year and also earned 10 forfeits and one technical fall. For his career, Palma pinned 159 opponents in compiling a 225-9 mark in four years.

“I don’t feel that I’ve won a match unless I pin someone,” said Palma, who also captured the NHSCA Senior National Championship as the nation’s top-ranked heavyweight and will compete for North Carolina State next fall. “When you pin someone there is no doubt that you beat someone.”

“Everyone will talk about how hard a kid works but this wrestler is special,” said his high school coach Jerry Winterton. “Eloheim outworks everyone in the room. As a heavyweight it is amazing how he'll run sprints, lift weights, do pull-ups and all the extras to better himself.”

Journalist of the Year

• Tim Johnson is a native of Morning Sun, Iowa, and current resident of Champaign, Ill., where he serves as the regional director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Champaign.

The former Coe College wrestler and high school wrestling coach also has spent the past 20 years broadcasting college wrestling matches; most recently the past two years for the Big Ten Network and ESPN.

Among his highlights this year was handling the play-by-play for the Iowa-Iowa State dual meet, Dec. 6, which drew a national-record 15,955 fans to Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“When do I get the most excited about wrestling?” said Johnson. “It’s when the place is up for grabs. The record crowd was exciting. When you’ve got Dan Gable (as a color commentator) going nuts next to you, it’s always exciting to me. My arm gets a little tired trying to keep him in his seat sometimes.”

Johnson also was part of the ESPN’s broadcast team that carried the quarterfinals, semifinals, placement matches and finals live at this year’s NCAA tournament in St. Louis, Mo.

“I do expect ESPN’s coverage to grow because they are very happy with the interest,” Johnson said. “The producer, John Vassallo, is one of the greatest leaders I’ve ever been around. He is for wrestling and the reason and driving force behind 12 hours of live wrestling on ESPN.”
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Re: OOS Wrestling News Thread

Postby Marty » Mon May 18, 2009 8:36 am

Former San Jose State wrestling star Wayne Jones died after a long battle against ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Jones, 48, finished third at 126 pounds at the NCAA tournament in 1982, the best finish in Spartans history.
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Re: OOS Wrestling News Thread

Postby Marty » Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:03 am

Feix, Beard work their way back to the top
ImageBy Barry Byers - bbyers@heraldonline.com Brandon Feix would just as soon forget the years between his freshman and senior seasons wrestling for the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets.

They were, to say the least, two lost years that in no way defined his outstanding career. He won the individual state championship as a freshman at 103 pounds. Feix, The Herald All-Area Wrestler of the Year, finished up in style, going 48-0 on his way the another state title, this time at 125 pounds.

Feix, who has signed to wrestle at Newberry, moved up to 125 as a sophomore and had what he called a less-than-stellar season. He was 5-0 at the same weight as a junior, but re-injured a shoulder he had hurt during the preseason that required surgery. He signed a scholarship to wrestle at Newberry.

�It's crossed my mind why I wrestle, but then I think about how much I love it,� Feix said. �I can't be away from the mat more than a week and not miss it. My junior year, I tried to make it as much as possible. But all I could do was sit around and wait for this year.

�When I got back after shoulder surgery, I was shy about contact at first. But I saw it was healed and became more confident. Even now, every now and then I think about it. That ends when I'm on the mat.�

Rock Hill High's Cain Beard, The Herald's All-Area Wrestling Coach of the Year, has no regrets about his two seasons coaching the Bearcats.

Beard's first team made it to the state duals championship and lost to Summerville. But the Bearcats were 29-3 and one of the state's most successful wrestling programs was back on solid ground.

The Bearcats made it back this year, completing a 26-2 season with a 28-24 win over Fort Dorchester that was won on the final bout of the match. It was like coming full circle for Beard, who came to Rock Hill from Bunker Hill High School in Claremont, N.C.

While in high school, his team wrestled former coach Jim Barnes' Bearcats in a tournament. Beard's team lost, but he won his individual bout.

He saw how organized and what a powerful program Barnes had built. Beard vowed that one day he'd take over as its coach and got the job two years ago when it came open.

�We started talking about state, what we had coming back and where we have some holes as soon as last season ended,� Beard said. �Everything came together at the right moment. When we went down to Irmo for a tournament early this season and wrestled Fort Dorchester for the first time, we realized we could win it.

�We met again in state and it came down to one match. I actually called it that week in practice. Chase (Ballard) had been struggling for several weeks, but the day after we beat Hillcrest for the Upper State championship, I looked at Chase and said, �It's going to come down to you.' � That's what happened.�

With Chad Beck, his twin brothers Weston and Seth, Josh Tuck and Rashard Durham back to build around, Beard knew his team would be strong. Filling the holes, he said, was a bit of luck because Dominque Jenkins moved in from Charlotte's Garinger High School; Allen Hanson moved in from California; Kenny Porter moved back to Rock Hill and filled a much-needed hole at 103; heavyweight Toree Fair moved in and Reuben Velazquez tried wrestling for the first time.

�I was very pleased that Reuben decided to come out,� Beard said. �He's probably the only wrestler I've had to make the state qualifier with an 8-9 record. The Becks, Josh and Rashard did what we expected from them.

�We graduate seven starters and 13 seniors overall, but we had 55 kids on the team. We have some concerns, but hopefully we can have another of those years where a kid pops out of nowhere. If not, we have a lot of talented JVs to choose from.''

While Rock Hill's team championship was one of the best feel-good stories of the wrestling season, what Fort Mill accomplished at the individuals tournament was right there next to it.

Fort Mill coach Chris Brock has molded his team into one of Class AAAA's elite squads. But after two rounds of individual qualifying, only Feix, Thomas Mockridge, Jonathan Miskelly and Max Simons were left standing.
“It was a great day for us,” Feix said. “I like the physicality of wrestling. You get to go out and beat your opponent and walk away knowing you are the better man. The toughest part is cutting weight. I'm at 138 pounds now and Newberry wants me back at 125. I try to watch what I eat, but that junk food is very good.

“I'm going to miss the practices at Fort Mill, especially being there with my teammates and busting our tails to get better.

"Coach Brock was tough on us, likes to beat us up mentally, physically and emotionally to make sure we get it right. But I'm where I am today because of him and the way he coaches.”
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Re: OOS Wrestling News Thread

Postby Marty » Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:56 am

Iowa State wrestling coach Kevin Jackson said all-American Cyler Sanderson has been given a release to wrestle at Penn State, and two-time NCAA qualifier Tyler Clark has also been given a release.

Jackson also said Boaz Beard of Goddard, Kan., and two-time state champion Trent Weatherman of Ballard of Huxley will honor their letters of intent to wrestle for the Cyclones next winter.

Sanderson, the fourth member of his family to wrestle at Iowa State, will join older brothers Cael and Cody at Penn State. Cael Sanderson is Penn State's head coach and Cody will be an assistant. Cyler Sanderson, an all-American in 2008, will be a senior this winter.

"It's unfortunate. He's been on a team with a lot of teammates for the last four years and they're disappointed that he's leaving," Jackson said of Sanderson. "They understand it's his brothers. He's been with his brothers his whole wrestling career, so to think we were going to be able to hold him back from leaving, I was hoping that might happen but obviously blood is thicker than water, as it should be."

Jackson said the loss of Clark, a two-time qualifier at 125 pounds, is disappointing.

"In our initial conversation I had with him, I didn't get a strong feeling that he felt comfortable with the change," Jackson said. "I think he would have had a tough time making our lineup next year with Andrew Long and Anthony Valles. I think (Clark) saw that as well. I hope the best for Tyler."
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Re: OOS Wrestling News Thread

Postby Marty » Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:07 am

By Nathan Warters

Published: June 3, 2009

Nick Taylor’s parents warned him it would be like this. Moving from wrestling-crazed Pennsylvania to Central Virginia, where the sport is often met with indifferent eyes, would be a culture shock for the talented young grappler.

But he had no idea it would be quite this bad.

His high school, Nelson County, has no wrestling team, and the Virginia High School League is unable to help. Talk about torture.

Taylor’s only wrestling outlet is his club team, Quick Pin Wrestling, for which he practices twice a week and participates in the occasional weekend tournament.

It’s not the same, though he’s learned to accept the circumstances.

“At first I think I was real disappointed, and initially I thought there was no wrestling (in the area), but after we found Quick Pin, it wasn’t that bad. I still wish we had it (at Nelson),” said Taylor, who has wrestled since the second grade.

Taylor’s Quick Pin coaches say he has the talent to wrestle in college, but at this point he is unsure if he’ll pursue the sport at the next level.

If Taylor, a junior, is even on a college coach’s radar, he’s a tiny blip. The major high school tournaments are where most wrestlers are discovered. Without that avenue, he has to work that much harder to get noticed.

“His sport is wrestling. It’s no doubt, and there’s no doubt in my mind that he could go to a Division III school somewhere. If he got in at (Virginia Military Institute), he’d probably walk on and wrestle,” said Craig Maddox, one of Taylor’s Quick Pin coaches.

“He’s not going to get those coaches looking at him if he’s not wrestling in the state tournaments and some of these bigger tournaments that go on during the year with the high school kids.”

Taylor, who turns 17 in July, could draw some interest this summer competing at some of the major freestyle tournaments, but freestyle –– as opposed to the high school folkstyle –– is new to him, and with only two nights a week to practice, it’s hard to tell just how impressive he could be.

He competed last month at a junior freestyle state-qualifying meet in Richmond. His evaluation of his performance? Good. Not great.

He’ll keep working at it. His goal is to improve in everything he puts his mind to, particularly wrestling.

“Being able to wrestle is something that gives me a challenge. It’s something I can work toward because a lot of other stuff, I think, comes easy to me, like school and stuff,” Taylor said.

When he first started school at Nelson County –– he and his family moved to the area three years ago –– he was shocked to find out it didn’t have a wrestling team.

It’s not uncommon for a Group A school, especially one the size of Nelson, to not have wrestling. Only two of the Dogwood District’s seven members, Chatham and Appomattox, sponsor wrestling.

With small enrollments –– Nelson County has nearly a third of the students (568) as E.C. Glass (1,559) and Amherst County (1,489) –– smaller budgets and limited gym space, it’s not always feasible for a smaller classification school to have the sport.

And the VHSL won’t allow a student to participate in its sanctioned events if said student does not compete for his or her school.

It’s unlikely the VHSL will change this rule, and it appears just as unlikely, because of the poor economy and lack of gym space, that Nelson County will add wrestling to its list of activities.

For now, Taylor will just have to be happy competing for Quick Pin.

It seems his only other option is to transfer to a private school. A move to another public school would require a move to that school’s district, which is something his parents have offered to do, but he doesn’t want to change schools. He likes Nelson County. He’s comfortable there. His friends are there.

He has a lot of support there, too.

“I feel his pain. I know the struggles that he’s had,” said Roger Collins, the superintendent of Nelson County Public Schools.

Collins has experienced Taylor’s dilemma first-hand. His daughter, Kate, has gone through much the same thing.

The senior track athlete is one of the state’s best pole vaulters, but because the event is not allowed at any Group A meet –– it’s expensive and there are insurance issues –– she has been forced to seek out other ways to compete.

But unlike Taylor, who has no team for which to participate, Collins, who is also an accomplished hurdles runner, is allowed to pole vault while wearing the Governors green and gold in VHSL-sanctioned open meets.

That’s because Nelson County sponsors track and field.

And even though pole vault is not a Group A event, Collins was still earned a full scholarship to compete in the event at VMI.

Taylor would be so lucky to have such an opportunity.

Taylor’s parents have pleaded with the VHSL to allow their son to compete either as a member of another team or as an independent at major meets, but they’ve been denied every time.

The VHSL’s rule is simple. No school affiliation, no participation.

Ted Taylor, Nick’s dad, says that isn’t right.

“Their policy, while it may be for good reasons, is not inclusive. It’s exclusionary, and that’s wrong to tell kids they can’t (compete),” he said. “Wrestling is a Group A sport. I would think they’d want to bend over backward to include anybody who was interested, be it wrestling or anything.”

The VHSL has heard similar complaints, but there is little chance of a rule change.

“It’s the way it is,” said VHSL deputy director Tom Zimorski.

One possible solution, Zimorski said, is for Nelson County to pay the $25 activity fee for Taylor to compete in open meets.

This might work if Taylor were the only student at the school who wanted to wrestle. If that were the case, Maddox said he’d coach Taylor and take him to the major meets.

But, according to a recent survey, there are a number of Nelson County students who want to wrestle. And the school can’t support a full wrestling team, financially or in terms of gym space.

It would have to hire a full-time coach and raise money for equipment and to cover travel costs, among other things.

Moreover, it would have to find a place for the team to practice. And for a school its size –– it has the third-lowest high school enrollment in the Dogwood District –– that wouldn’t be easy.

“You have a state champion basketball team,” Roger Collins said. “Are you going to put them off the floor to practice? You know what I’m saying? There gets to be complications. There are certainly more complications at a small rural school than there are at a Western Albemarle or E.C. Glass.”

According to Maddox, someone in the county was willing to donate a mat, which at around $12,000 is one of the sport’s biggest expenditures, but having only a mat isn’t enough. There’s so much more.

The cost of fielding a team was the main reason the sport didn’t make the cut recently, though the school board considered adding it at the urging of Nelson County High School officials.

“I think wrestling would be a very good carry-over sport from the fall activities to spring time activities for kids to participate in, but we sent in a proposal to get the program going and it was not passed,” said Charles Bennett, Nelson County’s director of athletics.

Taylor, who was born and spent his first 13 years in wrestling-mad Pennsylvania, hasn’t let any of this deter him from wrestling or from representing Nelson County in athletics.

During the winter, when VHSL wrestling is in season, Taylor practices and competes in the 140-pound weight class in invitational meets for Quick Pin, which is based in Amherst County.

He practices with his younger teammates –– most of Quick Pin’s older wrestlers compete and practice with their high school teams during the winter –– and travels to tournaments throughout the state.

Oftentimes, Maddox, who wrestled at Amherst in the early 80s, is the only person with whom Taylor can spar.

“There’s a lot of stalling going on by the coach,” Maddox said with a laugh.

Still, Quick Pin gives Taylor an outlet to compete in the sport he loves. And he’s picked other sports to fill the void at Nelson County.

He ran cross-country for the Governors as a sophomore and even competed in the shot put and discus throw events for the school’s track team this season.

“I think he’s probably one of the smallest shot putters they’ve got,” Ted Taylor said. “But he’s doing it because he wants to participate for Nelson.”

Taylor has accepted that he probably won’t get an opportunity to wrestle at Nelson County. His hope isn’t lost that one day the sport will be added to the school’s budget.

He has two younger brothers, Douglas and Thomas, who also love wrestling, and it would be a shame if they had to experience the same injustice.

“I think it would give other kids the opportunity to come out for high school varsity sports,” Taylor said. “Nelson only offers basketball and indoor track in the winter, and I think it’s a shame because a lot of people who don’t like basketball or aren’t fast for track could have fun in wrestling.”

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Re: OOS Wrestling News Thread

Postby Marty » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:39 pm

Sanderson and Nittany Lions land nation’s top talent
STATE COLLEGE, Pa.; June 9, 2009 – The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling program, under the guidance of head coach Cael Sanderson, received more outstanding news today as high school All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) committed to Penn State. Taylor is considered by many to be the top wrestling recruit in the nation. He signed a financial aid letter today and will join the Nittany Lions this fall for the 2009-10 campaign.

Taylor had signed a national letter of intent to attend Iowa State but was given a release from that NLI earlier this spring when Sanderson made the move to Happy Valley to take over the reins of the Nittany Lion program. Since an athlete may only sign one NLI, Taylor’s acceptance of the financial aid agreement solidifies his status as Penn State’s newest Nittany Lion grappler.

“We’re very pleased to welcome David to Penn State,” Sanderson said. “He is an outstanding young man from an outstanding family and his addition to our program is great news for every Penn State wrestling fan. David is a special talent whose character will allow him to excel at the collegiate level and it is an honor to have him join our program.”

Taylor, the son of David and Kathy Taylor, recently concluded an outstanding high school career at St. Paris Graham High School in St. Paris, Ohio. Under the guidance of head coach Jeff Jordan, the Falcons have reeled off a stunning nine consecutive Ohio State Division II state titles and have claimed the 2008 DII National Championship as well. Taylor has had a major influence on St. Paris-Graham’s fortunes.

This past year, Taylor received the prestigious Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award. The award is given in honor of the former Olympic and World Champion and is given to the nation’s top wrestler, evaluated on excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, character, citizenship and community service.

Taylor posted an amazing 180-2 overall record in four years and won four consecutive Ohio State Championships. As a high school freshman and sophomore, Taylor claimed the 103 pound title and as a junior he won the 112 pound crown. This past year, Taylor moved up to 135 for his senior season and rolled to his fourth straight championship. David was named the 2009 Ohio State Wrestling Tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler and was named the Ohio Wrestler of the Year in each of the past two seasons.

Not just garnering Ohio laurels, Taylor is a two-time Asics First Team All-American and has claimed the Beast of the East crown and won the Ironman title an unprecedented four times. He is the only wrestler in that tournament’s long and storied history to win four titles. He also won three Cadet and two Junior National titles in both freestyle and Greco-Roman competition. Taylor was a member of the 2007 FILA Junior World team as well.

“David Taylor is the kind of athlete any coach would be proud to work with,” Sanderson continued. “We are welcoming an outstanding young man to our program that is as committed to academic excellence and his community as he is to succeeding on the mat. He is an impressive person and I am confident that our fans will enjoy watching David’s career unfold.”

Taylor’s off-the-mat achievements are as impressive as his work for the Falcon wrestlers. He is a member and officer of the 4-H Club and is ranked in the top 10 of his class, carrying a 4.0 GPA into his final days at St. Paris-Graham.

As an Asics All-America first teamer, Taylor joins fellow first teamer and Nittany Lion signee Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), who was also an Asics All-America first team selection after his title-winning run at the Blair Academy this past season, and Luke Macchiaroli (Tempe, Ariz.) in this year’s recruiting class.
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Re: OOS Wrestling News Thread

Postby Marty » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:44 am

A Special Wrestle-off for the spot on the 2009 U.S. FILA Junior World Greco-Roman Team at 60 kg/132 lbs. has been set for Rochester, Minn. on Wednesday, June 17.
A best-of-three series will be held between 2009 FILA Junior Nationals champion Jimmy Chase (Carol Stream, Ill./Pinnacle School of Wrestling) and Justin LaValle (Burnsville, Minn./Minnesota Storm), who won the title at the 2009 FILA Junior World Team Trials.

In the qualification procedures for this year in Greco-Roman, any FILA Junior Nationals champions who also placed in the top seven at the U.S. Senior Nationals had the right to delay the best-of-three series to a later date.

Chase, who won the FILA Junior Nationals in Las Vegas in April, also placed seventh at the U.S. Senior Greco-Roman Nationals at 60 kg/132 lbs. Chase was the only athlete who met this condition and chose to delay his championship series.

Chase skipped the FILA Junior World Team Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo. in May, and attended the U.S. Senior World Team Trials in Council Bluffs, Iowa the next weekend. Chase went 0-2 at the World Team Trials event.

LaValle, who was third at the 2009 FILA Junior Nationals, won the title at the FILA Junior World Team Trials. He defeated Vincente Gallegos (Denver, Colo./Denver All-Stars) in two straight matches to earn the right to challenge Chase.

“LaValle looked very good at the FILA Junior World Team Trials,” said USA Wrestling National Greco-Roman Developmental Coach Ike Anderson. “Both of these guys are high school wrestlers. It should be a very good series. Both have been focusing on their Greco-Roman extensively this spring. LaValle is strong on his feet, and Chase is dangerous in par terre.”

The Special Wrestle-off will be held alongside the USA Wrestling Cadet National Duals, which are being hosted at the University Center Rochester – Sports Center in Rochester, Minn., June 17-21.

The first match of the best-of-three series is set for 3:00 p.m., with the second match to be held 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first match. If a third match is needed, that will be held 30 minutes after the second match concludes.

At Rochester, Minn., June 17

Best of three series in Greco-Roman

60 kg/132 lbs. –Jimmy Chase, Carol Stream, Ill. (Pinnacle School of Wrestling) vs. Justin LaValle (Burnsville, Minn./Minnesota Storm)
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Re: OOS Wrestling News Thread

Postby Marty » Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:07 am

Alex Cate has been named the new wrestling coach for SHS, replacing Aaron Maples who is moving to North Carolina.

Cate joins SHS after spending the ‘09 season as an assistant wrestling coach at Morristown East. Prior to coaching, Cate wrestled for four years at Halls under Chris Vandergriff and four years in college at Carson Newman.

In an interview Tuesday, Cate said that he's excited about the opportunity to coach in a community with a strong wrestling tradition and to have the opportunity to rebuild the middle school and elementary school programs. Last year SMS didn't have a team, but Cate plans to change that.

"I'm really excited. In Morristown, the community and the principals don't really push wrestling, and I can just tell already that the principals here enjoy wrestling, and they want it to be big. It's not just something they hire a random faculty member to do. People enjoy it here, and it's really nice to be in a place that people enjoy it. Plus, we've got a really nice facility - our own wrestling room all to ourselves. A lot of schools don't have that, so it's really nice to be somewhere that you have your own place and you're supported by the administration. I'm really looking forward to it," Cate said.

"I'm really excited about getting the middle school going again too. I want to get Seymour elementary and middle school wrestlers coming up through the system and establish a feeder program for the high school... We're definitely getting both of those running again. I've already got some middle school matches scheduled, so it's definitely going to happen. We'll probably start middle school practice at the end of November, then sometime in January we'll start with the elementary school age," he continued.

While Cate doesn't look to make any drastic changes to the high school program, he does think that his coaching style will differ from that of previous coaches.

"I think my style of wrestling and coaching will probably be a little different from past coaches - from what I've heard. I've talked to Coach Maples who was there for two years, and just from talking to him, the way they ran practice and stuff, my style will be different, but I think it will be good though. I'm just coming fresh from college, and I know what works at the college level right off the bat. It's fresh on my mind, and I know what brings success at that level, so I'll try to implement that as much as I can in the high school level," he said.

Cate also feels that his experience at Morristown East will help him prepare his wrestlers for the transition into a new region next year. While he said it will be difficult, he does think that SHS will continue to see success.

"It's going to be a lot harder... It'll be tough, but I think we can definitely make it to the team state this year. It's a lot tougher competition - you're in there with Chattanooga teams like Bradley and Cleveland and Soddy Daisy, but we'll get there. I came from that region last year in Morristown, so I'm kind of familiar with it. We'll do well individually for sure," he said.

Cate has already started practicing with his high school team and said that it's going well.

"I think they're enjoying it. I'm pretty excited about it. I wasn't sure about what to expect. I'd heard different things about where Seymour was. I know that when I was in high school at Halls they were kind of at the top, and they're still near the top, there's just been a little bit of backsliding in the past year or so, but we'll get them right back up to where they were and higher. We've got four people on the team that have been to the individual state - three went last year, so we've got four wrestlers on the team that were state qualifiers. So, we've got a good base," Cate said.

"Last week we wrestled in the Pigeon Forge Tournament, and we'll be practicing for the next two weeks. We did alright. We had good numbers, but we're not quite where I want them to be yet. My seniors did well though," he continued.

In addition to coaching, Cate will also be teaching Math at SHS.
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Re: OOS Wrestling News Thread

Postby Marty » Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:27 am

U.S. youth defeat club team from Russia in dual meet in Illinois
ELMHURST, ILL. - A team of Illinois age-group athletes won a dual meet against a visiting club team from Dagestan, Russia at Elmhurst College on Wednesday night.

The Project Torch foundation (www.projecttorchusa.org) hosted the dual meet between some of the best wrestlers from the Chicagoland area and the elite Club Olympus from Dagestan Republic of Russia.

The United States won all of the matches held in the dual meet, which featured teenage athletes of high school and middle school age on both teams. Opponents were paired up based upon age and weight. A crowd of 700 spectators attended the competition.

"Our guys all wrestled very well," said Team USA coach and Overtime School of Wrestling owner Sean Bormet. "The matches that went three periods were won because of our conditioning. It was a great experience for the athletes of both teams. We had a social afterwards and it was enjoyable."

The meet was held in conjunction with a 10-day training exchange. Bormet learned more about the development systems for young wrestlers from Dagestan during the dual meet and joint training.

"Our athletes have significantly more match experience than their athletes at these ages," said Bormet. "We have a much higher emphasis on competition at an earlier age than our foreign opponents. That played out in the dual meet."

To see photos of the dual meet, visit:
http://amateurwrestlingphotos.com/menfr ... /index.htm

Project Torch, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, invests in some of the most promising athletes in the sport of wrestling. It provides financial assistance, top-quality facilities, mentorship, and outstanding coaches to current national-caliber and world-class athletes. The same resources are offered to developing athletes and youth with financial need who demonstrate the potential to compete and succeed on the national and world stage.

“We were excited to host an event of this magnitude at our school,” said Elmhurst College head wrestling coach Steve Marianetti. “For young wrestlers to be able to compete with foreign athletes at such a high level at their age, and especially from a cultural exchange standpoint, it is a great experience to be able to do this.”

Bormet explained the reasoning for the international dual meet.

“We wanted to put together an exchange and host a dual meet that would allow some of the best young wrestlers in the Chicagoland area to measure themselves against some of the best young wrestlers from Russia. I have tremendous respect and regard for the Russian wrestling tradition and their history of success. At the senior level, the Russians are one of the greatest powerhouses in international wrestling today. So it will be interesting to see how we match up at an earlier stage of development. This event will be great for all of the athletes, and for all kinds of wrestling enthusiasts.”

The Russian team will now travel to the New York City area for another dual meet. There will be a competition at the New York Athletic Club in New York City on Friday, June 19. Young athletes from New York City, Long Island and New Jersey will participate in match.

USA vs Russia Dual Meet Unofficial Results
at Elmhurst College, June 10

76 kg: Dan Rowlands dec Kurbanov Magomed 5-0, 4-1
76 kg: Joe Keilbasa tech Magomed Abdullaev 7-0, 6-0
85 kg: Nick Proctor dec Dzhamalutdin Gadshiev 5-0, 6-0
96 kg: Ryan Garringer dec Islam Bahmudkadiev 0-4, 4-4, 6-1
105 kg: Ben Brooks dec Ulluby Abdulgafurov 0-1, 6-0, 3-0
42 kg: Jake Field pin Aydemir Hydyrbekov 6-0, pin
46 kg: Bryce Brill tech Arthur Arsanbekov 8-0, 6-0
50 kg: Eddie Greco dec Kamalutdin Karachaev 7-0, 3-4, 4-3
54 kg: Matt Cavallaris dec Salavutdin Karachaev 6-2, 5-0
58 kg: Eddie Klimara tech Eldar Rabadanov 7-0, 6-0

Exhibition Bout: Steve Congenie dec Kurbanov Magomed 5-0, 7-0
Exhibition Bout: Lee Munster tech Islam Bahmudkadiev 6-0, 6-0
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Re: OOS Wrestling News Thread

Postby Marty » Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:40 am

Monday, Jun. 22, 2009
Verdict gives closure to hurt Fort Mill student
By MATT GARFIELD - The (Rock Hill) Herald
A York County jury has awarded $4.7 million to the family of a former Fort Mill High School student left paralyzed in a climbing wall accident.

Larry Keeter suffered a fractured spine when he fell 20 feet to the ground during a Spring Fling field day in May 2006. Doctors have told him he might never walk again.

Keeter’s family filed a lawsuit against the North Carolina-based company that installed the climbing wall. Friday’s verdict delivered long-awaited relief to Keeter and his parents, who voiced hope that it would lead to improved safety conditions at similar climbing walls across the country.

Larry Keeter, a former Fort Mill High School wrestling champ who broke his spine after falling from a school ropes course, won a $4 million award from a York County jury on Friday. Keeter sued the company that makes the ropes course. Larry sits with his parents, Travis and Rebecca Keeter, during an interview in Rock Hill.

- Jim Stratakos /The (Rock Hill) Herald

“Hating somebody is not going to get me up and walking,” Keeter said. “The best thing I can do is help people realize there’s a change that’s needed to prevent this from happening again.”

The tower company, Alpine Towers International of Pineola, N.C., did not return phone calls seeking comment Friday afternoon. Thom Salane, an attorney for the company, also couldn’t be reached.

Now 20, Keeter is confined to a wheelchair. Every day, he says, his mind flashes back to the accident.

Then a senior, Keeter had ascended the 50-foot climbing wall and was rappelling down while strapped inside a harness.

A student on the ground acting as a “belayer” lost her grip on the rope, and Keeter plummeted 20 feet, landing on his feet and then crumpling to the ground, the lawsuit states. He shattered one vertebrae; the impact sent a shock up his back and fractured his spine.

Doctors at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte removed bone fragments from Keeter’s spinal canal and realigned his spine. They put eight bolts and two metal rods in his back.

Keeter’s family brought in Columbia attorney Dick Harpootlian to pursue a lawsuit against Alpine Towers, which had installed the tower after it was donated by Carowinds.

Harpootlian cited faulty design, saying the belay equipment lacked an automatic locking device that could have prevented Keeter’s fall. The suit also said Alpine did not adequately train Fort Mill High School faculty members.

“You don’t put kids in a position where their lives literally hang in the balance based on the attentiveness of other kids,” Harpootlian said Friday. “That is what our experts hammered.”

Harpootlian said he expects Alpine to file an appeal.

Keeter has made progress over the past three years. He lives in a handicapped-accessible apartment near the Rock Hill Galleria and drives himself around in a car equipped with a gas pedal on the steering wheel.

He earned a computer certification from York Technical College but hasn’t found steady work.

Asked what he planned to do next, Keeter said he just wanted to go home and take a nap.

Matt Garfield is a staff writer with The (Rock Hill) Herald, a McClatchy newspaper.
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Re: OOS Wrestling News Thread

Postby Marty » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:34 pm

Wrestling will give Shorter its 21st varsity sport

Rome, Ga. - Shorter College President Dr. Harold E. Newman and Director of Athletics Bill Peterson announced Monday plans to begin an intercollegiate wrestling program. The team will begin competition in the Fall of 2010.

"Since the beginning of my presidency, I have been asked about the possibility of adding wrestling to Shorter's athletic program," Dr. Newman said. "No intercollegiate wrestling programs are available in Georgia; yet, wrestling remains an important sport in the state at the high school level. What we have heard again and again is a real desire on the part of students, parents and coaches involved in the sport to have the opportunity to continue competing in wrestling after high school."

"We are excited to step into the arena and offer that opportunity."

The Shorter athletic department, which is also poised to add men and women's lacrosse for the next academic year, will usher in wrestling as its 21st varsity sport. These sports will be added by Shorter after it transitions to university status on June 1, 2010.

"We are very pleased about adding wrestling as our 21st overall varsity sports program," said Peterson. "It is also a great honor to initiate the only four-year varsity wrestling program in the state of Georgia. We know that there is a great deal of enthusiasm about wrestling in Georgia, and we are very proud to be a part of that excitement."

Shorter's wrestling program is slated to compete in the Mid-South Conference along with current league members Campbellsville University, Cumberland (Tenn.) University, the University of the Cumberlands (Ky.), Lindsey Wilson College and West Virginia Tech.
The wrestling Hawks will practice at an off-campus site, but host matches on campus at the Winthrop-King Centre.

The search for a head coach will begin immediately.

Shorter College becomes the only four-year college in Georgia with varsity wrestling, and the second college varsity team in the state, joining Darton College, a two-year program. It has not been since the early 1990s that the state has had a four-year college program.
Much of the credit for the development of these college programs goes to the Georgia Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (GIWA), a coalition of individuals and organizations that has been seeking to bring back intercollegiate wrestling to the state of Georgia.

"The GIWA has been working since 2004 to encourage our state's educational and political leaders to change that," said Alan Leet of the GIWA. "We are very excited about the announcement from Shorter. We think you and the wrestling community in general likewise will be excited about the announcement that Shorter made today."
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Re: OOS Wrestling News Thread

Postby Marty » Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:56 am

Power Nationals
Wrestling legend comes back home

By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor

Rob Waller steps on the mat and proclaims “OK, front and center!”

Several youth wrestlers converge to listen to what Waller has to say and, in some cases, try it out on the mat.

Waller knows he is fortunate. He travels all across the country, doing what he loves.

“I’m a full-time wrestling coach,” he said.

A Iaeger native, Waller was on hand Saturday for the second annual AAU/Friends of Coal Power Nationals wrestling tournament in Beckley. A veteran high school and college coach, Waller has stepped from that stage and is now taking his knowledge on the road.

Waller’s All-American Wrestling Club out of Latrobe, Pa., conducted 17 camps in seven states last summer. Among them was West Virginia — he was in Oak Hill this year and will return in 2010.

He loves every minute of it.

“I have a passion for the sport of wrestling. It happens to be my job, too,” he said. “We train kids from all over the country. I enjoy it immensely, and I think we give kids the opportunity to learn good techniques.”

Waller’s resume is impressive.

As a competitor, Waller won a National Junior College Athletic Association national championship at 142 pounds in 1970. He won several regional and conference championships and has over 200 career victories.

At the coaching level, Waller has a career record of 310-93-7. He is a member of three halls of fame, including the NJCAA national hall. Thirty-five of his wrestlers have gone on to college.

But he isn’t about to take credit for any of it.

“Anything I teach, I didn’t invent,” he said. “I just learned from the smarter guys.”

Maybe that humility comes from the short time he lived in West Virginia. Waller was born in Iaeger and his parents are both natives of Welch.

The family moved to Virginia when he was very young, but Waller makes sure everyone knows of his roots.

“I was raised on cornbread and beans,” Waller said. “So I’m a hillbilly. I just spent a lot of time in college in New York and Pennsylvania. I was raised in Virginia, but I love West Virginia. I’m fortunate to come back.

“My roots are West Virginia. That’s where I tell everybody I’m from.”

Waller’s teaching concentrates on the fundamentals. He has it broken down to a science.

“The two most important aspects of wrestling are takedowns and escapes,” he said. “Percentages say so. Eighty-three percent of the time, the guy who gets the first takedown wins. Ninety-four percent of the time, the guy who gets the most takedowns wins. And 87 percent of the time, if you get ridden all period, you lose. So we emphasize that.”

A wrestler must have fundamentals down to enjoy high-end success, Waller said.

“In the end, if you’re not fundamentally sound, it will cost you at the highest levels,” he said. “You can win the local things and go pretty far, but that ultimate goal is hard to reach unless your fundamentals are right.

“Champions do the common things uncommonly well.”

Saturday’s tournament attracted hundreds of wrestlers from as nearby as Beckley and Shady Spring to states as far away as New Jersey and Iowa.

Jeff Grevenstuk made the 3 1/2-hour trip from Ramseur, N.C., with his son, Gerrit.

“He’s on the high school wrestling team, and there were no tournaments this weekend,” Jeff said. “We’ve wrestled in AAU since he started (at 6 years old). We saw the flyer and this looked like a good tournament.”

Palmer Begley, a 13-year-old 115-pounder from Kingsport, Tenn., was back in Beckley after competing in the inaugural Power Nationals. He was getting support and knowledgeable advice from his mom, Kim.

“The farthest I’ve been is Pennsylvania and Ohio,” he said. “We travel a lot.”

Begley’s talent is obvious, both in watching and based on his resume. He is a four-time Tennessee AAU champion, and he won his first-round match Saturday despite not being in wrestling shape. He plays on the seventh-grade basketball team at Kingsport’s Robinson Middle School.

“I’ve only had one practice,” he said. “(Friday), then I just came down here.”

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Re: OOS Wrestling News Thread

Postby Marty » Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:24 am

Wrestlers grapple with weight loss
Rules in place to make sure athletes don’t endanger themselves.

By John Cummings, Contributing Writer
11:12 PM Saturday, December 19, 2009
Miamisburg High School senior Shawn Fayette knows a lot about the sport of wrestling.

The defending Division I state champ at 130 pounds, he knows there are two certainties: Wrestlers will cut weight, and it would be great not to.

“You got to cut weight to be successful,” said Fayette, who’ll compete at 135 this season. “I would love nothing more than to wrestle my actual weight, but if I did that I would be at 171.”

After getting up to 167 over the summer, Fayette was within a couple of pounds of the target weight by preseason. The reason for the quick descent?

In 2006, the Ohio High School Athletic Association adopted a weight management program — based on participants being hydrated — to establish an “alpha weight” that marks the lowest weight a wrestler can make by the end of the season without going below 7 percent body fat.

Prior to then, weight certification took place in mid-January and wrestlers had to participate in half of their matches at the weight they were going to compete in during the postseason.

The process involves several factors, beginning with a urine test to determine if a wrestler is properly hydrated. Fail that and wrestlers have to wait 48 hours for another attempt.

“It is something that can stress you out,” said Miamisburg’s Luke Williamson. “You can work to make weight and then not be hydrated. Then, you have to go back and do that work all over again.

“It is nerve wracking.”

Making weight

Once the hydration test is passed, wrestlers are weighed and a certified assessor uses skin calipers to measure body fat. All of those numbers are placed into a computer to determine the alpha weight. Wrestlers cannot be less than 7 percent body fat — 12 percent for girls — and are allowed to lose just 1.5 percent of their weight per week until they reach their alpha weight.

“Wrestling is taking the lead to make it more safe for kids,” Fairmont wrestling coach Frank Baxter said. “We are the only sport taking something from sports science and making it mandatory. We are cutting edge.”

“In wrestling, it is the worst thing we have to deal with,” Centerville coach Alan Bair said. “People think of cutting weight, kids spitting into bottles and working out in plastic bags — it gives the sport a bad reputation.”

National and state associations addressed that in the late 1990s when collegians Billy Saylor (Campbell, N.C.), Joseph LaRosa (Wisconsin-LaCrosse) and Jeff Reese (Michigan) all died while cutting weight.

Further testing revealed they were also using a new supplement for that time, creatine.

“Wrestlers have been losing weight for at least 100 years,” says Miamisburg coach Willie Wineberg. “There were no deaths, that I know of, until the ones in the late 1990s. What was the difference? At that time, creatine became the big supplement. Creatine retains water.

“Guys trying to lose water weight using a supplement that retains water — hmmm.”

Being hydrated

Fayette’s testing ordeal was not unusual. He cut under 135, drank four bottles of water, worked out, drank more water to get back to 135, floated some weight over night and drank more water before the testing.

“I hated it,” Fayette said. “I don’t think I can depend on numbers. I hate to think I could go in at 145 and then hope they pinch me well so I can get to weight in time for when I want to be there.

“If they are trying to eliminate cutting weight, it is not happening. It just makes you cut more weight earlier so you are under weight when you test.”

Fairmont’s returning state placer, Jake Sage, took a more deliberate route. He can wrestle 130 at the end of the season, but is starting at 152 as he works his weight down.

“I got big over the summer, so I am going to drop weight slowly and hope it works out better for me health-wise,” Sage said. “I have cut weight quick and cramped up a lot, so I am hoping this will help me feel better as I drop. I will be at weight when it counts.”

And, Sage admits, he may not cut all the way down to 130.

“I am going to go wherever I feel I can wrestle the best at,” Sage said. “I worked out hard over the summer and I feel a lot better this year.

“I am worried about state. I don’t want to lose before that, but I want to be wrestling — and feeling good — at the end of the season.”

Centerville’s returning state placer, Nick Miller, hasn’t completed hydration yet. After playing football at 240, Miller is working his way down (he wrestled at 189 last season). As long as he hydrates by the end of January, he is fine — however he can’t compete until he tests.

Bair is quick to point out that former Elks stars Angelo Mauro and Vince Datillo did not cut weight in the seasons they placed at state.

“Those guys were both upper-weight kids, but they didn’t cut any weight,” Bair said. “Some are going to cut no matter what.

“I cut weight hard one year in college and it was a long season. I wonder, now, if there is some type of long-term effects for a kid that wrestles in high school and college. It is a long season to cut weight hard year after year.”
Pros and cons

A major plus after early testing is lineups are set. Also, it prohibits someone who might have otherwise lost weight to an unhealthy level.

“I tell our kids we want wrestlers, not weight cutters,” Vandalia Butler coach Mark Peck says. “You test and that’s it. It has probably made things a lot better.

“There are some kids doing things the right way to get to weight and there are going to be some kids who are not going to listen. But I don’t think they are cutting the weight they used to.”

“Guys who want to get to a certain weight class to obtain their goals are going to find a way to get there,” Troy Christian coach Steve Goudy said. “There is nothing wrong with cutting weight if you do it right.

“I learned a lot of life lessons cutting weight. You learn a lot of discipline. You learn about yourself, your intestinal fortitude and training your mind. Life is all about balances.”

Coaches have learned how to help wrestlers figure out this process, now in its fourth year.

At Miamisburg, Wineberg uses nutritional education along with a rule that wrestlers are not allowed to be more than five pounds over with a full week of practice ahead. At Butler, Peck also has the five-pound rule when for wrestle-offs. Goudy requires Eagle wrestlers to be within seven pounds on Monday and five on Tuesday.

“It keeps them within striking distance,” Goudy said. “If we have a kid over weight, the entire team runs a sprint for each tenth of a pound over someone is. It doesn’t take long for them to realize the team is not happy.

“But, once the body levels out, then there are no problems.”

Fayette has found a balance for all that weight training.

“I think if you work hard, you should get the goodies (be able to eat a little more once a week),” Fayette said. “As long as you are working hard and burning off the calories, it’s OK to have one day like that during the season.”

Contact this writer at ksjcummings@sbcglobal.net.
Marty Bartram
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