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UncleCharlie

OSU/Iowa, the Lakers/Celtics of college wrestling....

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Worth the watch.  Exciting dual this afternoon.   Not sure why they missed the first period and a half of the 125 match, but they got the best part.

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Did some growing up in both Iowa and Oklahoma. Wrestlers work hard, very hard. It's a very underappreciated sport. My brother swam at Iowa and has some stories about Dan Gable literally kicking some ass within his team. Didn't the Russkies give him a horsehair coat because they admired hom so?

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2 hours ago, You don't know me said:

NCAA championships this week.  Just wondering if I will be the only person on the board that will be watching it.

I will be watching...from Pittsburg.

 

I was at the OSU/IOWA dual, i was at the big 10's and I'll be at the NCAA's.  I have two teenage boys who wrestle, my oldest just got done with state 2 weeks ago (didnt place) and we drove straight through to stillwater for the dual.  After the dual, i got to take the boys to the Iowa locker room and they met and got pics with the whole team (one of their coaches is a good friend of mine).  Wrestlers are incredible athletes and they are good people, as a whole.  

 

We do march matness and have 300 guys in the tourney.

 

Cant wait.  We have a Texas boy who should/will be going for his 3rd national championship (Bo Nickal 197 pounds, pnst).

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By the way, here is a write up from a football guy who went to the big 10's, his first ever wrestling tourney.  Good read:

 

FloSports content manager Kolby Paxton oversees six verticals, including FloFootball and FloRugby, but the former college football player was a stranger to wrestling—until now.

Paxton joined the FloWrestling team for the 2019 Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis, Minn., and agreed to journal his experience in what serves as an outsider’s perspective on the event and the sport.


My travel bag weighs 51 pounds.

The gentleman behind the Delta Airlines ticket counter is subtle about it, which I appreciate. This is a new personal record that I’m not proud of. He slips the overweight tag of shame around one of the handles and nods, with an amused grin, in the direction of the nearest security line.

I’m headed to Minneapolis, where just under a foot of snow is expected to fall during my stay. I’m loaded down with coats and hoodies and pants and boots. I’m ready to take on the frigidity of winter time in the great white north.

I’m not prepared for the Minnesota wrestling room.

Wrestling With My Own Ignorance

We didn’t have wrestling in Arkansas when I was growing up. If we had, I’m guessing I’d have gotten into it, but it wasn’t a thing.

I became aware of it in college, if only because I attended the University of Oklahoma, whose in-state rival up the road, Oklahoma State, has one of the premier programs in the country. But I never attended a wrestling event. Never really gave it a second thought, to be honest.

It wasn’t until I made my way to FloSports, where FloWrestling is king, that my general exposure to the sport spawned a little genuine curiosity. In November, we began collectively discussing whether my traveling with them to an event would be professionally valuable. 

While I ultimately agreed that it would, if I’m being honest, I never actually expected to enjoy spending an extended weekend at a wrestling tournament.

Days before we left Austin for Minneapolis, a couple of the guys made a suggestion: Provide an outsider’s perspective on the sport.

I liked the idea, but it’s a broad initiative—particularly for someone with a very limited notion as to what, exactly, he’s getting himself into. My strategy, then, was simply to approach the weekend without pretense. Relax and observe. Make note of what feels noteworthy. See what happens.

My first note: I didn’t need 51 pounds of gear.

Sweatin’ To The Oldies

Turns out, wrestling rooms are hot—and maybe that should’ve seemed obvious to me, considering the fact that they’re filled with athletes trying to make weight, but I still find myself taken aback by it initially. The banishment of air-conditioning is far from the only thing to catch me by surprise, though.

For starters, can we just spend a brief moment on the subject of music?

The wrestling room playlist is eclectic to say the least. And that detail cannot be attributed solely to the Gophers. Over the course of two days leading up to the Big Ten Championships, every team in the league took their turn on the mats—each with its own DJs—and we heard virtually every genre imaginable.

The transition from Meek Mill to Jason Aldean? Sure. The transition from Kanye to Britney Spears … to Whitney Houston … to Major Lazer … to Red Jumpsuit Apparatus? Remarkable.

Every time I thought we’d stumbled upon, say, Lady Gaga by accident, I’d look around the room to see guys vibing to it.

Oh, and that’s the other thing. There’s never a hard stop for one team ahead of the next. No one ever arrived to an empty room. Illinois started its workout on top of Michigan, who started on top of Purdue, who started on top of Michigan State.

Not only was diverse musical taste evident for all parties involved, there was no reservation or hesitation in drilling right next to a rival program.

For someone whose background is football—where common offensive philosophies are treated like heavily guarded military secrets—seeing wrestlers from opposing programs share mat space on the eve of their conference tournament was surprising.

If there was bad blood, it was hidden. If there was animosity, it was drowned out by Kendrick Lamar. Just guys being dudes. Logos on their sweats be damned.

Nothing Personal, It's Just Business

Sebastian Rivera is draped all over one of his teammates.

“That’s the No. 1 125-pounder in the country,” I’m told, as Rivera—known within the wrestling community as ‘Sea Bass’—looks every bit the part. He isn’t letting the kid breathe. It feels particularly relentless considering this is practice and his victim, for the time being, is presumably an ally.

At least, he was 10 minutes ago.

The sport of wrestling isn’t just physical, it’s personal. 

 
I’ve often marveled at the willingness with which my co-workers seamlessly transition from a conversation about content strategy to a friendly physical encounter. But, short of their simulated bouts, I’d never legitimately seen wrestling up close.

I played safety in high school, linebacker in college. Generally speaking, contact is not a foreign concept to yours truly, but this is something else. Football is physical, sure, but altogether different. I wanted off of blocks. Collisions, particularly for a linebacker, are frequent, but brief. 

The physicality in wrestling is sustained. It’s seemingly never-ending. In earnest, I struggle to comprehend how two friends go live in practice together and remain congenial on the other side of it. There’s an evident numbness to the constant encroachment.

As practice ends, the same guys who were, for the past half-hour, ripping the concept of personal space to shreds, are now seated next to each other, backs against the wall, discussing spring break plans.

As I observed this over the course of one day and into the next, the bouts that routinely break out in the living rooms of my colleagues started to make more sense.

Tournament Time

Williams Arena was constructed in 1928 and, frankly, being inside this place is the closest I’ve ever come to time travel. It feels like Norman Dale should be making his way from beneath the bleachers at any point.

I’d use a wrestling reference for that imagery if I could, but, as has now been well-established, I cannot. So, ‘Hoosiers’ it is.

It’s a decidedly charming venue, though I suspect the charm resonates a little less with the reluctant occupants of obstructed-view seats behind the row of pillars that line the lower level of both ends of the field house.

 

Those ticket holders may have caught an unlucky break on their seat number, but they’re lucky to be in the building at all. Williams Arena is sold out.

I’ve been amid sellouts before at various sporting events, from the World Series to the Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl. But, when it comes to wrestling, even the crowd feels different.

The loyalty in the bleachers rests, predominantly, with Minnesota and Iowa. When either team is on the mat, the relatively quiet atmosphere begins buzzing. In stark contrast to, say, football, the crowd reaction throughout each bout is measured and intelligent. And, finally, when Gable Steveson delivers a thunderous takedown or Spencer Lee breathes, their respective fan bases explode. 

Wrestling fans probably don’t realize how unique and nuanced their version of a sellout crowd is, but, trust me, it’s something different.

The Sneak Attack

Chad Red is really good at standing on one leg.

I learned this while watching him defy the laws of physics and reasonable expectations for human flexibility as he inexplicably avoided a takedown that would’ve tied things up late in his quarterfinal victory over Illinois’ Mike Carr.

For me, this represented the beginning—not just of Red’s eventual run to the NCAA Championships, but also of something altogether less tangible; something that caught me completely by surprise.

The combination of athleticism, strength, and showmanship that I witnessed in the 141-pounder from Nebraska was world class—and, by complete accident, on the verge of falling off the edge of my seat, I suddenly realized what’d happened: He got me.

I liked watching a wrestling match.

At this point, I saw no cause for alarm. CJ Red is special, I figured; a one-off exception to my undoubtedly well-founded disinterest in the sport. But, while I was right about the former, I was wrong about the latter.

Rivera was universally spectacular. With the home crowd behind him, Minnesota’s Steve Bleise gutted out a victory in the best match of the first session. Myles Martin displayed unparalleled power and control. Nick Suriano and Austin DeSanto provided the fireworks in one of the most anticipated bouts of the tournament. 

Red—who met his match in the form of Ohio State’s Joey McKenna—is special, but he’s not a unicorn. 

The more I watched, the more obvious that became.

The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem. So, here it is: I thought wrestling was a boring sport full of relatively unimpressive athletes.

I was very, very wrong.

Just as the physical makeup of basketball players differ from football players, the physical makeup of a wrestler is, for the most part, altogether unique. No one questions the athleticism of a point guard or a running back, but, if I’m being honest, I was pretty skeptical about the college wrestler.

No longer.

Nick Suriano has no place on a football field—even at Rutgers—but, there’s not an individual on the football team that wants to see Suriano on the mat. They do not want that smoke.

Some of the best athletes I’ve ever seen—Suriano chief among them—were on the floor of Williams Arena this weekend.

The Goods

Ok, so I went to a wrestling tournament. I observed. I was reformed. That’s great. But my key objective, here, was to provide some sort of outsider’s assessment. So, here we go:

1.) Nobody Likes Singlets

Might as well just get this one out of the way. You knew it was coming. But, listen, I’m not coming at this from the angle you might expect. I’m a huge baseball fan—a sport in which guys still wear belts and polyester and managers dress like they’re going to pinch hit in the eighth inning.

No judgment, here. I just don’t get it. 

It’d be one thing if everyone was aligned in support of the singlet, but it sure didn’t feel that way. I observed a reluctant sensitivity amongst fans, a sort of, “We know they look ridiculous … Just don’t mention it.” 

Meanwhile, the athletes repeatedly went to noticeable lengths to rock the suspenders as briefly as possible, pulling the top-half up as they approached the mat, and tossing on a T-shirt immediately afterwards.

What’s more, most wrestlers don’t even practice in a singlet, which was surprising to the new guy, here, who just assumed it was a necessary evil. It’s like forcing basketball players to wear joggers in games despite the fact that everyone is wearing shorts in practice.

Why not put these guys in the same sort of performance gear that their peers are wearing at the NFL Combine? Not only would it update the look of the sport—which is important, by the way—but it would also create an opportunity for jersey sales.

Guessing Dick’s probably isn’t moving too many singlets off the racks.

2.) Grow The Sport

I see this on social media all of the time: “If Flo really wanted to grow the sport …”

I have to be honest, a lot of times, it feels like Flo is the only organization whose primary objective is to ‘grow the sport.’ And that’s not me being a company man, that’s me keeping it as real as humanly possible.

Amongst some fans and coaches, there’s an obvious reluctance to really lean into the star power. And, perhaps, due at least in part to that, there is also a collective indifference for wrestling across the national sports media landscape.

To help solve for the latter, I’d strongly urge some evolution as it pertains to the former.

 

Suriano, Lee, Rivera, Martin, DeSanto, Hall, Steveson—these guys are each phenomenally entertaining for a host of their own reasons. There are heroes and heels. There are talkers and silent assassins. There are renegades and dudes you hope your daughter brings home during fall break.

Do more to make these guys the face of your sport, just as Tua Tagovailoa, Kyler Murray and Zion Williamson became the face of theirs.

3.) Welcome To The Main Event

Lastly, and on a similar note, this whole thing where we wrestle for third place and fifth place right next to the championship bout is mind-numbingly stupid.

I understand that it’s different at NCAAs, and that’s great, but, universally, can we all agree to a ‘main event’ at the tail end of the tournament? Knock out those third, fifth and seventh-place matches however you see fit, but, when two individuals are wrestling for a conference title, they shouldn’t be sharing the stage.

On Sunday, more than once, Minnesota (or Iowa) fans were so locked into watching their guy wrestle for third that the championship bout taking place just feet away was a complete afterthought.

Suriano won his first Big Ten Championship and the crowd roared … for Gopher Ethan Lizak, who’d just beaten Iowa’s DeSanto one mat over.

That’s not how you honor a champion. That is how you end up with a meaningless Iowa-Nebraska basketball game taking precedent over Rivera vs. Lee for the 125-pound crown.

Count Me In

In any case, I now understand my friends’ passion. I share their interest, though obviously to a far less-informed degree. 

Red got my attention. Suriano, Rivera and Martin—among others—kept it. As a result, my first wrestling tournament will not be my last.

I’m in.

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9 minutes ago, chesthair said:

I will be watching...from Pittsburg.

 

I was at the OSU/IOWA dual, i was at the big 10's and I'll be at the NCAA's.  I have two teenage boys who wrestle, my oldest just got done with state 2 weeks ago (didnt place) and we drove straight through to stillwater for the dual.  After the dual, i got to take the boys to the Iowa locker room and they met and got pics with the whole team (one of their coaches is a good friend of mine).  Wrestlers are incredible athletes and they are good people, as a whole.  

 

We do march matness and have 300 guys in the tourney.

 

Cant wait.  We have a Texas boy who should/will be going for his 3rd national championship (Bo Nickal 197 pounds, pnst).

Did he do his high school wrestling in Texas? Texas is so far behind the established states. imho

Before advanced weight lifting , the football players would wrestle. 

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4 minutes ago, Nolacycling said:

Did he do his high school wrestling in Texas? Texas is so far behind the established states. imho

Before advanced weight lifting , the football players would wrestle. 

Yes.  He was a 3x state champ (fucking Allen).  Wrestling is one of the fastest growing sports in Texas and girls wrestling is one of the fastest growing sports in the nation.  The TX state tourney this year had over 10,000 spectators.  We have more D1 wrestlers now than ever.  I believe we had 5-6 kids qualify for the NCAA's (Nickal, Reenan, Mueller, Andrews, Perez, and i may be missing a couple).  Youth wrestling in TX is exploding and there are tons of kids ranked nationally from tots up through high school.  We are still behind the big dogs (Iowa, PA, NJ, Ohio, etc.) but we are solidly a 2nd tier state now.  We have beat some powerhouses at national high school duals that past couple years (MN, NY, etc.).  

Our biggest hurdle is football coaches.  Most of them are so fucking stupid they ban their kids from wrestling in the off season.  

 

 

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If I was a HS football coach I would make all of my linemen wrestle in the off season.  Nothing they could do to improve themselves more in hand fighting and maintaining balance.

Obviously they would all have to wrestle at Heavyweight to not be forced to cut weight, but those two skill sets are more alike than any other.

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We moved from Texas to Missouri around 4 years ago.  I grew up in Missouri, so it wasn't a culture shock at all for me.  My boys, on the other hand, were a bit stunned.  Kids participating in multiple sports throughout the year was a bit foreign to them.  I wrestled in high school and really wanted my boys to give it a try.  The first wrestling season comes around and I talk my oldest, who was in 8th grade, into giving it a go.  I sold him on it because he's a big boy (6'4", 275 or so now in his junior year) and plays OT in football.  Told him that wrestling will help him immensely as an offensive lineman.  He's been hooked since.  He is now a junior and just wrapped up his wrestling season.  He qualified for state at 285, but didn't place.  Looking at the returning heavies throughout the state, he should be ranked in the state to start next season.  I also have a freshman that started in 7th grade.  He had a very good first season in high school.  Took one for the team and wrestled up 2 weight classes for varsity while a kid was losing weight.  After the first half of the season, he finally was able to head back down to JV and wrestle in his own weight class.  Ended up at 19-3 in his own weight class, 21-14 overall (yeah, he got his butt kicked wrestling up and on varsity).  When wrestling was over, I asked the freshman if he was excited about football next year and he said "I'm more excited about wrestling".  He even texted me a little while ago telling me that the wrestling coach was going to have open mats this Thursday after school.  I think he is also hooked.  Kid is harder than woodpecker lips and has a natural ability that has had him surpassing more experienced wrestlers on his team.  Kid is in the gym every morning lifting and wants to attend all the wrestling camps and open mats that he can.  Yeah, I'm kind of proud of those boys.

So, onto the NCAA championships.  I'm looking forward to a rematch of the Big Ten 285 championship bout.  Steveson and Cassar should match back up in the semis in the lower bracket.  I think that Steveson takes him the second time around.

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Posted (edited)

133 is gonna be a complete shit storm.  12 guys in that bracket are talented enough to get to the finals.

I hope Fix can keep from being upset, but that's the most stacked weight class I've ever seen.

Edited by UncleCharlie
idoit

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Charlie, nail on the head!  Our heavy (one of the top guards in the state) wrestled this year...had to cut 30 pounds to make weight.  Made it state but didnt place.  He is on his way to D1 football this fall.

 

YDKM, you can pm me, but what school?  Im a big guy but my kids are tiny.  My soph wrestled 113 this year and my 8th grader is 106.  I always say kids love or hate wrestling...find me a kid who likes it and wants to put in the work, he will be successful.  I think more than any sport, that is true with wrestling.  

 

I took Gable in my bracket, I think he whips Cassar this time. 

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10 minutes ago, UncleCharlie said:

133 is gonna be a complete shit storm.  12 guys in that bracket are talented enough to get to the finals.

I hope Fix can keep from being upset, but that's the most stacked weight class I've ever seen.

I think Suriano wins it....Micic is my favorite but he is hurt.  I do love Daton...been watching him for years.  

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I was too big too fast for wrestling....weighed 76 pounds in 2nd grade and had to wrestle 7th and 8th graders in the open tournaments my YMCA team traveled to.

Won my first match and got my ass handed to me the next 10 times to end my career at the old age of 8.

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I wrestled AAU when I was in 4th grade at 75 pounds. Took 2nd in districts and 5th in divisionals in Montana. Got my ass whipped by a kid from Sidney, MT every time we wrestled. He pinned me in less than 30 seconds one match. That wasn't fun.  

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11 minutes ago, You don't know me said:

Wanted to add that I'm glad this thread is here.  Even up here in Missouri my coworkers get the thousand yard stare when I try to talk wrestling.

I can talk wrestling all day with ya.  If you really want to go down a rabbit hole, get you a subscription for flowrestling.  they have a couple million videos, documentary's, etc....

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I've been subbed to Flo on an off over the last few years.  I love their coverage and passion for the sport, but I will say watch your cornhole.

They advertise $12/mo but if you sign up you have to sub for 12 months to get that rate....I think they charge about $35 if you go month to month.

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Today is the day!  Just for the fuck of it, who ya got?

125-I like Lee and Bresser, give me Lee

133-Suriano

141-YanniD

149-I want to take finesilver but i'll go chalk...give me mobbin-Ashnault

157-Nolf

165-going with the 4 seed...evan wick

174-Zahid

184-Miles

197-Texas boy...Nickal

225-Steveson

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25   Piccininni 

33   Fix

41  Yanni

49  Ashnault

57  Nolf

65  Marinelli

74  Hall

84  Miles

97  Nickal

HV  White

Orange colored glasses obviously...

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My upset special.  If Preston Weigel gets to Nickal in the finals he can beat him.  Only person that can out horse him, he is ridiculously strong.

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Missed the first round, but watched the 2nd.  Nickal is just a bad ass.  For heavy I'm still calling Steveson, but there's something about the way he wrestles that seems odd.  He looks bored.  Maybe it's because he is really that good, I don't know. 

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I would like to see weigel v nickal...bo would still kick his ass but i agree, he might could hang.  2 years ago bo had gabe dean in the finals, gorilla vs a giraffe...bo whipped him.

im in 140th place in my pool.  my team wrestled like shit in the 2nd round. 

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This is a huge deal up here. As much as I hate State Pen and the Nambly Lions they have put together an unreal powerhouse for wrestling. Pitt is getting its house in order so hopefully soon we can start to build towards what they have done.

Ticket prices for this weekend were outrageous. 

My high school is a power at our small-school level, 12 straight Western Pennsylvania championships, so wrestling is a big deal around where I live.

I have a ton of friends at the NCAAs. I'd love to see the Nitters lose, but I doubt it.

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agreed.  N&N are gone after this year.  they will continue to reload but okst, osu, etc are loaded.  my pick for 2020 is okiest.  they just signed a 3 timer from Katy (dan manibog) btw.  

 

the semis tonight are going to be fucking CRAZY!!!!!!!!  beer cooler is loaded and at my feet.  my boys are finishing up wrestling practice and lifting.  pizza is ordered.  my favorite night of the year!

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, UncleCharlie said:

I live in Allen btw...... 😉 

recruit'n, cheat'n sombitches.  their coach got suspended and damn near fired this past year.  he has more dwi's than state titles.

 

36 minutes till semis...so 'cited. 

Edited by chesthair

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2 hours ago, UncleCharlie said:

Yeah...not this year.  PSU already has it locked up, but this is the last year they will be able to lap the field.

They are evil.

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upsets galore going on!!!!!!!!

 

2 TEXAS kids in the finals....Mueller (trinity christian) and Nickal (allen-boooo!)

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If i started a thread, would you guys participate?  Freestyle/greco starting up, boys have their first FS/GR tourney sat.  Olympic redshirts will be coming out soon.  Summer tourneys and Fargo coming up before you know it.  

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I was born in Iowa, lived for several years just across the river in Omaha, had an older brother who wrestled, and had another brother who went to Iowa State.  Back in those days, Iowa and Iowa State were both wrestling powerhouses.  Watched many a match on PBS, which was the only station that would carry anything like that.  Went to a couple Iowa/ISU matches in Hilton Coliseum, and the place was packed both times.  The atmosphere was as good as any other indoor athletic event I've attended.  Gable is a freaking god up there.  

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So...

The US Open is soon.  Looks to be some great matchups.  I am excited about some of these grads going international (nolf, nickal, ashnault, etc.).  

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I'm in. I wrestled back in high school and married into a big wrestling family. The NCAA's were like Christmas at our house. 

Also, Fix got screwed.

 

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On 3/28/2019 at 2:17 PM, chesthair said:

If i started a thread, would you guys participate?  Freestyle/greco starting up, boys have their first FS/GR tourney sat.  Olympic redshirts will be coming out soon.  Summer tourneys and Fargo coming up before you know it.  

I would, for sure. My boys are only going to wrestle in a few tournaments this summer, but do have at least one camp they will be attending. A little harder now with them working. 

 

There is one local tournament next month that at least one of them wants to enter. It is a take down tournament. How exactly does that work?

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It is a take down tournament. How exactly does that work?

 

pretty much normal.  takedown is 2 points and you get back points.  the only real difference is NO PINS.  

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Did anyone watch the US open last week?  Incredible.  3 world team members got beat (gilman, green, zain)

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Bump...

 

All kinds of shit going down.  Dake vs. Ringer are wrestling off for the world team in AUSTIN!  My family is driving down to attend.

The worlds start Sept 14th, this might be the best US team ever.

My boys just got back from 8 days at U of Iowa wrestling camp, what a terrific experience.  They got to wrestle in carver-hawkeye every day.

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Ok, i might just leave this thread alone if no more participation. 

 

We are driving down early tomorrow to Round Rock for Dake v Ringer wrestle off.  Supposedly there are over 700 tickets sold.  I can wait, arguably two of the best wrestlers in the world.  If anyone doesnt have anything to do in the morning, go to round rock high school at 1:00 to watch!

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Posted (edited)

Oops . . . just saw this thread.  I grew up in Missouri and wrestled in HS.  I was merely average, never got close to State or anything like that.  Our wrestling coach was the assistant football coach and didn't know anything about wrestling, so all we did was lift weights and listen to him scream at us about "PRIDE".  We were strong as hell, though.  I still have a neck.

Years later I was shooting the shit at a party with a friend who is an Austin musician of some renown and he mentioned he was state champ of Rhode Island, in a slightly higher weight class than I wrestled.  The beer was flowing so we decided to go a round in the front yard.  I pinned him.  Rhode Island, please.

Edited by jimmyjazz

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Love seeing some activity in this thread.  

The wrestle off in Round Rock was awesome, i think around 1300 folks showed up.  The wrestling community was going crazy saying that Texas outdrew IA, NJ, PA, etc with the final x wrestle offs.  It was good enough that we have the Sr. Nationals in ft worth later this year. 

Season is getting ready to start...my boys go to Iowa next month for pre-season nationals, time to start cutting weight. 

Where did you wrestle in missouri?  One of our coaches wrestled in HS there and at Mizzu, I'll see him tonight at practice.  I think he went to park hill??

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Rolla...  our high school has their first meet every year with Rolla.  It's cool how they do it.  It alternates schools each year and is done during the school day during an assembly.

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Oh, by the way, Rolla is pretty damn good at wrestling.  They are in the same district as my boys' high school.  I worked a table at the the district tournament and had a good seat for several of their matches.  They had several wrestlers qualify for state last year.  One kid was a freshman and won district at 160.  That's a tough weight for a freshman.  I see a state championship for that young man (he may have won last year, but not sure).

If you are interested, you should check out Neosho.  They are in the same district and are a true wrestling program.  They probably had 11+ qualify for state.

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Yeah, we would wrestle as far north as Jeff City (Helias) and then west and south to Camdenton, West Plains, Salem, Waynesville, Neosho, etc.  The "Winter's Bone" circuit of small town rural Missouri.

Rolla has gotten a lot better -- we were not good back then.  I remember being pumped because we took something like 4 of the first 5 matches against Helias and then (as usual) got steamrolled.

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