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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/21/2019 in Posts

  1. 43 points

    The Littlest Hawkeye

    Personal announcement, a future world champion for the USA and Hawkeye Wrestling Club was born yesterday. My daughter is going to end Japanese stranglehold on women's wrestling. Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
  2. 21 points

    Dream On

    The smell of the wrestling mat, you all know it. That familiar combination of Polyethylene foam, disinfectant, human sweat. Laced with the smell of athletic tape and the aroma of popcorn. I'm about to step onto the mat against a salty opponent, but I'm not nervous at all, I'm calm/at peace...he's really good, but I'm better. I feel loose, bouncing lightly on the balls of my feet, doing the wrestler's version of the Twist dance. The crowd is making noise and birds are chirping, but then, that doesn't make sense, birds in the gymnasium? I hear a dog bark once, and the gym scene narrows and fades into a fog. I am slowly waking from a dream, still feeling good, ready to wrestle...my brain is rebooting from dream to reality with the speed of a Commodore 64...first I realize I'm not in the gym, but laying in bed, but that's ok because I can still get up and wrestle. But then my mind tells me it's not 1983, not even '93 when I was 36 and could still roll around... years click forward, through the 90's, 2000's, 2010's, like frames of film, until I reach the humble realization that it is 2020 and I'm 62 years old, not bouncing on deck at a wrestling meet. A notion sparks, that I could get back in shape! I've still got eligibility! Until my Commodore pulls up inventory: a knee that hurts every day, a busted shoulder, a wrist that hardly bends and broken, arthritic fingers, AND 25 pounds of emergency rations in a roll of fat around my belly. The spark is snuffed out. The sad fact settles in, that I'll never, ever, compete again. I've had vivid wrestling dreams where a guy shoots in and I'm countering so fast that my reaction beats the thought to my brain. I can do moves I've never done, like Vincenzo or Chandler, stuff I was never any good at. But then I wake up, spend a full minute working the pins and needles out of my left arm and limp to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. I rub my eyes, but can't clear the glaucoma. Sometimes they are anxiety dreams, where they call my name to the mat and I can't find my head gear, or my shoes anywhere. In those dreams I never get to step onto the mat. But after all my wrestling dreams I am left with one comforting thought; because of wrestling, I'm tough and resilient....and pretty sure I could still pin WillieBoy.
  3. 20 points

    The all about me thread

    Last night my girl, who I’ve lived with for about two years, threw a party for my 45th bday. When it game time to open presents....boy did I put a good one on everyone there. Opening what was supposed to be a gift from my oldest daughter, I instead pulled out the diamond, shocked the hell out of everybody, and got down on my knee. I called this the all about my post, but it’s really all about her. I am super excited that she will soon be my wife. Merry Christmas to everyone! We have some squabbles around here but that’s what family does. Wish you all the happiest of holidays. Mine has already been beyond blessed.
  4. 19 points

    Willie at Flo

    thanks for the mostly kind words guys. (also thanks for following some of my work over the years). i'll give an explanation sometime in the next couple days. still love the guys at flo and appreciate all the invaluable opportunities they've given me over the years. but also looking forward to doing my own thing and the excitement and challenges that come with it.
  5. 17 points
    Iowa turned a guy, who was only a state runner up his senior year, into a 2 time ncaa champion, with 2 more years to go. How can you even compare the two.
  6. 16 points
    When Echemendia was 15, he allegedly defeated Thomas Gilman. By my calculation, Gilman was 12 at the time.
  7. 16 points

    No fans at NCAAs

    Every one is going to be mad about this after the fallout of coronavirus isn't too horrible, yet it will be likely that its not horrible because the country did things like this.
  8. 15 points

    Lee Kemp

    I just finished watching "Wrestled Away, the Lee Kemp Story" on Amazon Prime. If you grew up during that time, I think you will enjoy it. I know I did. I've met Mr Kemp once shortly after he came from behind at the buzzer to defeat my team mate Paul Martin in Stillwater. It was the disco era so a few guys from the team took a couple of the badgers down to the local place to dance, after the dual. I'm sure he wouldn't remember me, but I was one of the guys that pointed him toward the dance floor. I finished the video believing what I had thought since my first time I saw him live and shook his hand and met him. He is truly the kind of man that I believe we should all aspire to be. The class and dignity he exhibits in this movie is subtle, but it sure didn't go past me. I wrestled in his bracket at the 76 Olympic Trials in Cleveland. I was not even close to a factor, but a guy named Joe Wells pummeled me to within an inch of my life and Joe was 4th at the weight, behind Dziedzic, Schalles and Kemp. Lee and Jimmy Jackson were the two college champs from that year who finished in the top 4. Kudos to you Mr Lee Kemp. I've been around a lot of great wrestlers, and they are often, but not always great men too. You sir are the Gold Standard as far as I'm concerned. Lee if you read this I was the guy in Cleveland yelling "don't grab Schalles leg!" If you were there, you would understand. :--)
  9. 15 points

    No fans at NCAAs

    How will the refs know when to call stalling on Iowa’s opponents?
  10. 14 points

    Really bad press for NCWA

    And this is the problem we have right now in America, a bunch of bozos think they know better than scientists and epidemiologists that have spent their entire life studying viruses.
  11. 14 points

    My wish for each wrestling country

    I know none of these will happen in the near future, but here is one thing I wish each wrestling country would do differently. Russia - Get hard vigilant against juicing, and get rid of it once and for all. Russian wrestlers are already very good, no need for juicing USA - Get rid of folkstyle wrestling at the college and high school levels (at least college levels) , and replace it with Freestyle wrestling. I guarantee US would do much better in world championships and olympics Iran - Stop the stupid policy of avoiding athletes from Israel. Go back to the days before the revolution where Iranian wrestlers pinned Israeli wrestlers left and and right Countries that suck in wrestling (e.g. Bahrain) . Instead of paying good wrestlers from other countries to change their citizenship to yours and wrestler for you, do what India did, invest in some good foreign coaches, and turn your program around.
  12. 13 points

    My Son

    So I know this isn’t wresting related but, hopefully, my boys will want to at least try out wrestling in a few years. My oldest, just turned 3 two weeks ago and My wife and I would never force them into anything, so I guess we will see. Today, at daycare, they started “fitness time”. I was sent this pic shortly after, and thought I’d share as I almost pissed myself seeing it. When I picked him up, as usual, he told me about his day... Him: “I cried today Daddy” Me: “why’s that bub?” Him: “Daddy...jumping jacks make me sad....” Me: “same buddy, same....”
  13. 13 points
    ******Breaking News******* New variation of gut wrench discovered off of the coast of Italy!
  14. 13 points
    steamboat_charlie v2

    No fans at NCAAs

    Largest NCAA tournament venue ever... lowest attendance ever. Can't wait to hear Terry berating officials, echoing across a silent, empty football stadium.
  15. 13 points
    Ed Ruth pouring one out
  16. 13 points
  17. 13 points
    Choosing to post this year, due to venue, and the impact of said venue. This past weekend, I was able to experience (for me), what I would call an "experience of a lifetime". Let me qualify and explain: I wrestled folk, free, and a tiny bit of greco in "my day" I was self-admittedly, a mediocre wrestler at best. Although I had utmost aspirations, they were met with adversity after adversity, challenge after challenge. At no time did my love the sport wane, but, my ability to compete did. Given the above, my 8 year-old son has decided, on his own, to give wrestling a try. We live in CO, and had the opportunity over the weekend to receive a tour of the Olympic Training Center. Now, most tours, you get a chance to walk into buildings/areas, snap some pics (with no flash of course), and create some memories. However, my son's coach was cleared to take us ALL on the mats at the OTC. While there, he provided about 20-25 minutes of instruction to the kiddos that were there, and also involved the parents. So... what was my experience of a lifetime? My son and I were able to receive instruction from a VERY highly regarded coach, while ON the mats where our Olympic Stars train, while "drilling" and bonding with my son. As a mediocre wrestler, the notion of ever stepping into the room, let alone on the mat, and with my son, will be an experience that I will NEVER forget.
  18. 13 points

    Cox in 86 Kg?

    جی دن کاکس، حریف آمریکایی علیرضا کریمی اخیرا گفته برای حضور در المپیک تصمیم به تغییر وزن دارد و می‌خواهد از ۹۲ به ۸۶ کیلوگرم وزن شما بیاید و در این صروت قطعا رقابت سنگینتر خواهد شد؟ یزدانی: بله، من هم شنیده‌ام؛ کاکس شخصیت بسیار خوبی دارد و با یکدیگر دوست هستیم و هر وقت در مسابقات یکدیگر را می‌بینیم احترام زیادی می‌گذاریم. جند بار هم به من گفته که می‌خواهد برای المپیک تغییر وزن دهد که من با خنده پاسخش را داده‌ام. برای من فرقی نمی‌کند با چه حریفی کشتی بگیرم، اگر نماینده ایران در المپیک باشم تمام تلاشم را برای موفقیت و اهتزاز پرچم کشورم و شادی دل مردم ایران انجام می‌دهم. به عنوان یک سرباز وظیفه من جنگیدن در میدان مبارزه است. Transtaion Yazdani: Yes, I have heard that too. Cox has very good character and we are friends. We show respect to each other every time that we see each other in tournaments. He has told me a few times that he wants to change weight for the Olympics, and I respond with a laugh. For me it does not matter who my opponent is. If I am Iran's representative in the Olympics, I will do my best for success and raising the flag of my country, and to bring joy to people of Iran. As a competitor, it is my duty t fight in the field
  19. 12 points
    Downtown Brown

    Whatever happened to Jim Gibbons

    I do not know what he does full time, but I’m told on weekends he tends to bring his hips to the party.
  20. 12 points

    2020 D1 All-Americans.

    It's not great, but its not nothing either. We got lemons and somebody made some lemonade.
  21. 12 points
    drag it


    Wanted to give some separate-thread props to these two guys. That was fabulous. The first half of the dual had a close score but no competitive matches and with the injury at 133 everything seemed a little off (watching by TV anyway). Then the top marquee match of the top dual of the year if not years leads off the second half and the 2x nat'l champ and the guy who was undefeated against him put on a show. Great ties all match, particularly multiple extended stretches with the best double unders guy and the best double overs guy getting their holds in and ending up in a titanic throw that went the other way from prior matches. Marinelli battling back and hitting his own throw which with more time in the period might have made it a nail biter to the end. Blood all over both wrestlers faces for half the match. Boom! Great stuff.
  22. 12 points

    Cassar injured

    Ah so no NJCCA experience. Maybe leave this one to the experts BUDDY
  23. 12 points

    Iowa Fashion

    It’s just an extension of the underwear rotation, i.e. front day 1, back day 2, inside out front day 3, inside out back day 4, then hamper thing.
  24. 12 points
    There was always a pretty solid chance of this happening considering his triple re-commit de-commit. Clearly Snyder was a big factor in him choosing Ohio State to begin with. Chase Singletary walking to class this afternoon:
  25. 12 points

    Fighting Illini 2020 Preview

    125- Travis Piotrowski- Sr. Breakdown: Three-time NCAA qualifier Travis Piotrowski returns for his final run. Piotrowski is seasoned veteran performer. He boasts an impressive 60-win career with 5 career NCAA wins and enough quality wins to climb as high as the mid-teens in the rankings. Despite all of this success, however, Piotrowski has up to now come up just a little short against the nation’s elite. He appears to be one of those higher-floor but somewhat lower-ceiling guys who make the really nice building blocks of a program, but who seldom end up with much individual glory. Piotrowski is exciting to watch. He gets to legs often and will go for broke when opponents hang around upstairs. He uses his length well and can scramble well making attacks difficult to finish. He is plenty proficient on the floor and is a game competitor who wrestles hard bell-to-bell. The only thing Piotrowski really lacks appears to be the elite athleticism to go with the very best of the best. I would love to see Piotrowski make a late-career jump and get on the podium, but another solid season, a 4th trip to NCAAs, and a round of 16 finish appears to be a more likely landing spot for this solid veteran warrior. Best Wins: Sean Fausz, Drew Mattin, Conor Youtsey, Zeke Moisey, Jay Schwarm, Brandon Paetzell Worst Losses: Almost all of Piotrowski’s losses have been to highly ranked opponents. Worst loss of last year was probably losing at NCAAs to Jay Schwarm after beating him 5-1 during the regular season. Most Anticipated Match-Ups: It feels like after 3 season, we know where Piotrowski falls. He will likely lose to Lee, Rivera, and Foley. He will likely beat Cray, Mattin, Schroder, and Teske. Leaving the match-ups with the blue-chip newcomers like Eric Barnett, Pat McKee, and Alex Thomsen as the potentially most intriguing. Waiting in the Wings for Illinois: Top ranked prep 120 pounder Lucas Byrd chose Champaign after decommitting to Maryland. Byrd will redshirt. The Illini also have a good one in Justin Cardani. Cardani had an excellent redshirt and flashed real starter potential by beating guys like Colin Valdiviez, Brandon Cray, Cevion Severado, Elijah Oliver, and Brandon Courtney, just to name a few. 133- ?? Breakdown: I feel like this shouldn’t happen at a major program in a power wrestling conference, especially in a state with premier prep talent, but this will likely be the fifth straight season in which the Illini will need to patch a hole in their lineup with a try hard guy who was never really intended to be an everyday starter. They do have a few 133 options in the building. As discussed above, they have three quality 125ers in Piotrowski, Justin Cardani, and Lucas Byrd. Any one of these three could bump up to 133 and be respectable, but Piotrowski is a senior who has competed his entire career at 125, Cardani is small enough that he competed at 113 pounds as a HS Senior, and Lucas Byrd is projected to redshirt. That leaves true freshman and Fargo AA Domenic Zaccone, but he is also likely to redshirt. In the absence of any of these four guys, the Illini are likely to turn to a walk-on type like Josh Contreras. Contreras stepped in for a few duals last season and took one for the team. This type of tough duty is difficult enough to watch in small doses. Watching it for an entire Big 10 season is downright painful. At least DeSanto and Gross aren’t on the dual meet schedule. Waiting in the Wings for Illinois: Previously mentioned Lucas Byrd and Justin Cardani will likely spread out and nicely solidify 125-133 for Illinois in the coming years. Domenic Zaccone and Fargo champ commit Fabian Lopez should project to be nice 133 assets as well. 141- Dylan Duncan- Jr Breakdown: Dylan Duncan’s second varsity season started with understandably high expectations. He came to college with rare prep pedigree, once winning a Fargo bracket ahead of both Yianni D. and Vito Arujau. Duncan followed up his stellar prep career with a truly impressive rookie season which culminated in a third-place finish at Big 10s and a strong NCAA performance. Heading into his Sophomore season, all things appeared on-track for greatness. And then Duncan’s Sophomore season happened. Duncan simply wasn’t particularly good last year. He failed to notch a true quality win the entire season and hit a career low when he was DQ’d on stall calls against DeSanto at Midlands. Duncan faded even further by the end of the season. He was clearly running on fumes when he just squeaked into the NCAA field and turned in an 0-2 result, losing badly to Devin Turner to mercifully put the season to bed. It was a remarkably disappointing season for a guy who had done nothing but impress to this point. So, what happened? A precipitous drop in performance AND a very noticeable late season fade is usually evidence of an overzealous weight-cut. With the 2020 Illinois roster now listing Duncan as a 141 pounder, it appears that Duncan and the Illini brass have arrived at the same conclusion. A season now spent training and improving instead of weight cutting will almost assuredly revitalize the now veteran junior. Still the likes of Nick Lee, Chad Red, Max Murin, Tristan Moran, Joey Silva, and Mitch McKee will present plenty of landmines in what appears to be one of the deepest weight classes in the Big 10. I, for one, expect an optimized Duncan to acclimate himself quite well to these new surroundings. If he can pull-off a few wins against this aforementioned group, a career back on track and an NCAA seed isn’t out of the question. Best Wins: Mitch McKee, Jason Renteria, John Erneste, Corey Keener Worst Losses: Jens Lantz, Devan Turner Most Anticipated Match-Up: If they go 141, possible match-ups with Wolverine star freshman Joey Silva or IHSA star Yahya Thomas would be fun. I would also love to see a DeSanto rematch up at 141 with Duncan’s gas tank full. Waiting in the Wings for Illinois: The Illini have a verbal commit from prep stars Danny Pucino and Luke Odom. They also have talented youngster and Fargo Greco finalist We Rachal in the room. 149- Mikey Carr- Jr. Breakdown: Mikey Carr is currently my favorite Illini wrestler. He has many of wrestling’s greatest ingredients; high character, toughness, and tremendous will. Carr has racked up an impressive hit list including the likes of Nick Lee, Chad Red, Tommy Thorn, Kanen Storr, Max Murin, Tristan Moran, and Mitch McKee all in what amounts to a about a season and a half on the mats. Carr inflicts the bulk of his damage in neutral with volume leg attacks and relentless pace, essentially wearing opponents down until they can simply no longer hold off the assault. It’s really a very Hawkeye-like approach. This high-effort style makes Carr an Illini favorite, but it also comes at a cost. It demands a tremendous workload and it tends to take a physical toll over the course of a long grueling season. Furthermore, executing a game plan predicated on pace and pressure generally requires that all cylinders are firing to be effective. Even a 10% drop in volume and pace can significantly impact results. Unfortunately for Carr, a plague of injuries and missed time has really made it difficult for him to be firing on all cylinders at crunch time. As a result, too few of Carr’s signature wins have come in March. This has left some to question just how high Carr’s true ceiling may be. This is fair at first glance, but with a little closer inspection, it’s not hard to see that Carr has the ability, character, and will to beat the nation’s best on any given day despite two disappointing NCAA tournaments. My hope is that a bigger stronger body and ample nutrition might be a reasonable remedy to Carr’s March struggles. I like how he projects at 149 and expect to see a stronger version of Carr left standing at the finish line this time around. Here’s hoping the questions end this coming March when Mikey Carr hits the 149 podium. Best Wins: Nick Lee, Tommy Thorn, Chad Red, Max Murin, Kanen Storr, Mitch McKee, Tristan Moran Worst Losses: No “bad” losses. Career NCAA losses to Max Murin, Matt Findlay, and Sa’Derian Perry are all matches that I thought Carr would win. Most Anticipated Match-Ups: A glut of talented youngsters awaits at 149. Matches with Jared Verkleeren, Sammy Sasso, Brayton Lee, and Yahya Thomas will certainly be among the most anticipated. Waiting in the Wings for Illinois: Either of Danny Pucino or Luke Odom could grow into this weight. Illinois also has Demarius Smith in the room. He could develop into a legit contributor. 157 Eric Barone- Sr. Breakdown: Barone had a really, really nice bounce back Junior season. Few outside of Champaign may have noticed, but Barone quietly knocked off heavy hitters Mike D’Angelo, Griffin Parriott, Jarrett Jacques, Ke-Shawn Hayes, and Kaleb Young last season. He went on to win 2 matches at NCAA before ultimately bowing out in double overtime to Minnesota’s Steve Bleise. This was a pretty impressive turn-around season from a guy who had flashed, but never finished with a winning record in his first two varsity seasons. Barone has a unique style and it seems to give even some of the toughest opponents absolute fits. Barone has a somewhat limited arsenal of traditional leg attacks, but he is remarkably stingy on defense. He is a physical hand fighter who slows down opponents with control ties, he’s hippy when guys get past the hands, and then he frustrates opponents with rare flexibility when guys get to his knees and ankles. Picture Nico Megaludis with an opponent in on his leg but in the full splits keeping the other leg away to fend off the score. Barone is also difficult to ride, allowing him to get his escape and to generally avoid riding time. This combination keeps him in a lot of matches. Now as a seasoned and confident veteran, Barone’s got the metal to secure the late takedown or to win the key scramble to pull out the victory. I’m not sure, given his offensive limitations, that Barone can string enough tight wins together to make his way to the NCAA podium, but I am certain that Barone will be one of those dangerous NCAA draws that no one will be too happy to see in their path come March. Best Wins: Kaleb Young, Ke-Shawn Hayes, Jarrett Jacques, Mike D’Angelo, Griffin Parriott, Josh Maruca, Logan Parks, BC LaPrade Worst Losses: Ten of Barone’s losses were to guys named Nolf, Berger, Deakin, Panteleo, and Ke-Shawn Hayes. Barone really had no bad losses. Most Anticipated Match-Ups: IHSA match-ups with Jacob Tucker, Shayne Oster, Will Lewan, and Kendall Coleman would be entertaining. Match-ups with Young, Hayes, Berge, and Deakin will likely define his ceiling. Waiting in the Wings at Illinois: Johnny Mologousis is a capable back-up with early career wins over Missouri and OKSt starters Jarrett Jacques and Wyatt Sheets. The Illini also have a verbal from exciting LaSalle HS star E’lan Heard. Joey Gunther’s little brother Michael will also join the Illini next year. 165- Danny Braunagel- Fr. Breakdown: I’m making the assumption that senior Joey Gunther will be returning to 174 to allow hard-nosed freshman Danny Braunagel to break into the Illini line-up. Braunagel is a good one. He arrived in Champaign with 2 state titles and a Fargo stop sign. He’s done nothing but impress since his arrival, most recently shining at the US Open by knocking off Peyton Mocco, Julian Ramirez, and Travis Wittlake on his way to the junior division finals. Braunagel’s approach and style remind me of a larger version of former Illini star Zane Richards. Braunagel is bulldog tough bringing high intensity, pace, and frequent attacks to every fight. Like Richards before him, he’s also a seasoned freestyle and Greco practitioner making him comfortable in ties, accomplished in the hand-fight, and good at taking territory. Finally, and perhaps most reminiscent of Richards, Braunagel has a championship mindset, which is to say, he’s singularly focused on becoming a champion and willing to commit to the requisite lifestyle to get that done. Braunagel may have some ground to cover with regards to folkstyle top wrestling, but he has all the ingredients to find a reasonable level of immediate success. More importantly, he seems to have the drive to ultimately contend for Big 10 titles and national medals. Best Wins: Braunagel had limited exposure to top line opponents as a redshirt. Probably Nate Higgins and Brady Jennings. Worst Losses: Jake Allar Most Anticipated Match-Ups: I can’t wait to see Braunagel scrap with the 165 pound titans in the conference like Vincenzo, Marinelli, Wick, and Isaiah White. He will have a difficult time breaking into that group, but the next tier down appears to be very much in reach making matchups with guys like Drew Hughes, Jake Allar, Kaleb Romero, and Tyler Morland pretty important. Waiting in the Wings: Super exciting missouri prep star DJ Shannon is enrolled at Illinois. He will likely shirt this season while Gunther finishes up. Then either he or Braunagel will bulk their way up to 174. 174- Joey Gunther- Sr. Breakdown: Joey Gunther returns for a final run and as previously mentioned I suspect it will be at 174. Gunther has already logged 113 collegiate matches, winning 74. He has qualified for the big dance three times and has four NCAA tournament victories to his credit. He is the definition of a grizzled veteran. Gunther is savvy and tough. He hand-fights really well and is difficult to get out of position, allowing him to hang around with just about anybody. Gunther does lack some of the elite athleticism and explosiveness of his Big 10 rivals. Every single point Gunther scores requires a lot of hard work and that gets to be a tough way to make a living come March. Regardless of the effort required, Gunther is almost sure to grind through another 18-20 win season of hard work and want-to and qualify for his fourth NCAAs. He may even approach 100 career wins before all is said and done. Given some of his offensive limitations, making a deep run in March may indeed be difficult to forecast. Despite this, and despite some recent Kyle Bratke shade, tons of respect for a guy who has battled every inch of the way and done a lot of winning. Best Wins: Branson Ashworth, Devin Skatzka, Dylan Lydy, Connor Flynn, Nick Wanzek, Drew Hughes, Luke Zilverberg Worst Losses: Gunther seemed to fade a little bit late last year and took a few upset losses. Losses to Carson Brolsma and Tyler Morland come to mind. Most Anticipated Match-Ups: The Big 10 tier just below Mark Hall and Michael Kemerer boasts names like Devin Skatzka, Mikey Labriola, Dylan Lydy, and Joe Grello. These will be huge bouts for Gunther if he is to set up himself up for a final March run. Waiting in the Wings for Illinois: DJ Shannon or Danny Braunagel will likely bulk their way up to 174 for next season. Illinois also has a third Lasalle HS star in Trey Sizemore in the room. 184- Zach Braunagel- Fr. Breakdown: Much like his brother, Zach Braunagel arrived in Champaign with impressive credentials. He also brought two state titles and a Fargo stop sign with him to Champaign. Much like his brother, Zach also got on campus and immediately went to work with single-minded focus and rare intensity. The work appears to be paying dividends. Braunagel had a very impressive summer making the finals of the US Open in junior freestyle, winning the US Open in junior Greco, winning the Pan-Am Championships in junior freestyle, and competing at the World Championships in junior Greco. Zach Braunagel hand fights hard, as one might expect from a Greco world team member, but he also pops off his share of folk/free leg attacks. His intensity and pace are problematic for opponents and again his approach and will-to-win are exemplary. Braunagel’s Greco and freestyle are likely currently a bit ahead of his folkstyle. Some time to transition to division-one folkstyle wrestling is to be expected, but this transition tends to be less pronounced at these upper weights where guys hand fight in neutral and are rarely dynamic on the floor. Expect Braunagel to compete well right out of the gate. He may take a few early losses, but he will be a very tough out by March. Exciting things are ahead for this kid. Best Wins: Braunagel had limited exposure to top line opponents as a redshirt. Probably division II runner-up Nick Foster. Worst Losses: Jacob Covaciu, Danny Bush Most Anticipated Match-Ups: 184 will once again be loaded in the Big 10. Shakur Rasheed, Taylor Venz, and Cash Wilke are the headliners, but the second tier is deep and talented with Cameron Caffrey, Jelani Embree, Max Lyon, Johnny Sebastian, Jack Jessen, Owen Webster, and Gavin Hoffman all capable of being top 20 guys. The Illini have Caffrey, Embree, Jessen, Hoffman, and Lyon on the dual schedule. These will be critical bouts for Braunagel. Waiting in the Wings for Illinois: 184 is pretty thin behind Braunagel. This will be a recruiting focus for Illinois is the coming years. Trey Sizemore could ultimately grow into this weight and be a more than capable option here. 197- Matt Wroblewski- So. Breakdown: The Illini will have a new face at 197 as Matt Wroblewski steps into the fray following four consecutive seasons of Andre Lee. Wroblewski brings a completely different look to the weight for the Illini. He’s a bit unconventional and a little funky, which is fun at a weight that tends to feature a lot of head snaps and blast double legs. Wroblewski’s done a fair amount of training and wrestling in Poland and brings something of a European style to the mat. That is to say, he’s a little more Yianni than Zain. He’s not going to bludgeon opponents with super-physical hand fighting and push people around the mat, but he will wrestle intelligently and creatively to generate angles and offense. He won’t stuff shots and look to go-behind, but he will slip the corner and look to lock through the crotch or hook the near leg. He’s dangerous in scrambles, equally dangerous on top, and can score in a variety of different ways. All that being said, the Big 10 talent at this weight is pretty ridiculous with Kollin Moore, Kyle Conel, Jacob Warner, Lucas Davison, Eric Schultz, Christian Brunner, Hunter Ritter, Jackson Striggow, and Mason Reinhardt. Expect a fun ride with Wroblewski creating some surprisingly competitive matches against some of the nation’s elite. In the end, navigating this super talented field may be a bit much to ask, but the future certainly looks bright for this youngster. Here’s hoping there’s enough wins on the schedule to sneak into the NCAA field and gain some valuable big-dance experience. Best Wins: Marty Mueller, Kevin Snyder, and Brad Wilton Worst Losses: No bad ones. DII All-American Ryan Vasbinder and probably teammate Andre Lee were his worst. Most Anticipated Match-Ups: The IHSA match-ups in the conference will be fun as Christian Brunner, Jacob Warner, Eric Schultz, and Wroblewski are all former IHSA champions. Waiting in the Wings for Illinois: IHSA State Champion Ramin Abraham is an interesting long-term prospect coming off the soccer field to win state at 197 pounds. He’s got athletic upside and is just scratching the surface of his wrestling potential. Heavyweight- Brian Burns- Jr. Breakdown: Heavyweight in the Big 10 is pretty ridiculous. With names like Cassar, Steveson, Cassioppi, Hillger, Parris, and Kerkvliet, you’ve got to be a pretty serious talent just to remain among the living. Fortunately, the Illini appear to have just such a talent in Luke Luffman. Luffman doubled at Fargo last year and ended his prep career as a 6-time Fargo finalist and a 3-time champ. He has excellent hands and feet for a heavyweight and uses both really well to create great angles and crisp attacks. Luffman should solidify heavyweight in Champaign for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately for Illini fans, that foreseable future will probably start after a redshirt season. If Luffman does indeed redshirt, it would leave Brian Burns as the guy most likely to get that call at 285 for the 2020 Illini season. Burns is a bulked up 197 pounder who bumped up to heavy late last year and represented himself reasonably well. He’s a tough kid who will go hard. He’s got good mobility and leg attacks for a heavy. With an entire off-season to get bigger and adapt to heavyweight, Burns could be surprisingly game and hang around with most run-of-the-mill heavies. Unfortunately, very few of these run-of-the-mill heavies reside in the Big 10. Best Wins: Blake Wolters, Jack Heyob Worst Losses: His worst heavyweight loss was probably ASU’s Brady Gilliland-Daniel Most Anticipated Match-Ups: Purdue, Indiana, Maryland, and Northwestern may represent the only opportunities to pull out a conference win. Fortunately for Burns, all four are on the schedule. Waiting in the Wings: 3-time Fargo Champ Luke Luffman Team Breakdown: Despite the optics of a down performance on the mats in 2019, I would argue that the Illini brass have managed to improve the overall health and outlook of the program substantially by making strides in three critical areas. First, the Orange and Blue clearly made in-state recruiting a priority and it seems to be paying off. They replaced Mark Perry with Mike Poeta, an IHSA and Illini legend with strong ties to the Illinois club and HS scene, and the in-state recruiting has improved significantly with Cardani, Zaccone, Lopez, Pucino, Odom, Rachal, Braunagel, Braunagel, and Luffman each being national level kids who chose to stay home and wrestle for the Illini. Second, the Illini have managed to maintain a modest national reach and when they’ve reached out of state it’s been for elite talent like Mikey Carr, Lucas Byrd, DJ Shannon, Trey Sizemore, and E’lan Heard. #1 ranked Lucas Byrd choosing Champaign over Happy Valley is notable. Third, the Illini have made a deeper commitment to developing the Illinois Regional Training Center by bringing in Bryan Medlin. Bryan Medlin was the driving force behind Illinois’s unparalleled junior-level greco dynasty. He’s passionate, knowledgeable, and very well respected. The impact of Medlin’s arrival has been profound. The IRTC sent Ellis Coleman, Max Nowry, and Zach Braunagel to the World Championships this year alone. The IRTC saw I-Mar reach Final-X and both Zane Richards and Travis Rice finish 3rd at the US Open. Danny and Zach Brunagel both reached the US Open Junior finals and both won gold at the Pan-Am Championships. Nick Dardanes moved from Iowa City to Champaign to train at the IRTC. Between the influx of homegrown talent, elite out of state talent, and senior level Olympic hopefuls, there are suddenly a large volume of really tough guys walking around the streets of Champaign, Illinois. That is great news for the program. Much of the more elite talent is young, so it may take another season or two to completely translate in the standings. This season’s lineup may still have a few frustrating holes while Illini fans patiently wait for guys like Lucas Byrd and Luke Luffman. Still, the rising tide of talent in the room should elevate all Illini ships, and that includes this season’s squad. The schedule is certainly Big-10 tough, but also considerably more manageable than last season’s meat grinder. Add it all up and the Illini should have a nice bounce back year with plenty of dual success, several individuals with a chance to make some noise at NCAAs, and a nice crop of talent waiting in the wings.
  26. 12 points

    Interview with Hassan Yazdani

    Based on positive feedback on my other post, I decided to post my translation of the more of the interview with Hassan Yazdani . م. Third gold Olympic or world gold medal for you? Hazdani - I thank all the fans who prayed for me and my team mates. I worked very hard for this, and I wanted Gold, and thank god I was able to achieve a good result. I hope this is the trend that continues in the Olympics, and I can achieve a good medal there too, and bring joy to the people of Iran People were upset and heartbroken after your unexpected loss last year, but this year witnessed the same Hassan as always, and you brought joy to the people Yazdani - People have always been kind to me, and all my success it due to their prayers. Last year, I was truly surprised at the world championship, and was very upset myself, but thank god I was able to get a bronze medal, At that time, I promised myself to make up for my loss, and give the best to the people of Iran. Fortunately, I had the best training in this period, and I hope this Gold Medal partially answers people's kindness to me Of course, everyone was impatiently anticipating your rematch with Taylor, the American wrestler The qualify of competition is always higher in the championship before the Olympics, and this year it was so. Unfortunately, my american opponent was injured and unable to compete. Hopefully, we will have our rematch in the Olympics, perhaps in the finals After hearing the news about Taylor's injury, you wished him well. Everyone was anticipating your rematch yes, I was upset and I wished him well. His injury appears to be serious, since he missed the championship. I was hoping for a rematch with him, but I guess it will have to wait for another time, perhaps the Olympic finals. After losing in the last championship, everyone was anticipating your revenge against your opponent It's not about revenge, it's about competing honorably with respect and dignity. I was hoping to compete against him this year, to redeem myself, because I know my fans were upset and I wanted to make them happy again Everyone was anticipating a sweet victory in the final, but apparently, lots of fans, specially Iranians gathered to watch you final, but your Indian opponent did not want to have a bitter defeat go along with his sweet silver medal I do not know if he was really hurt or not, but Hossein Karimi, his Iranian coach of the India team told me that he has an ankle injury. As you say, it's a lot sweeter to win a gold by winning the final, specially when there are so many fans out there J'aiden Cox, Karimi's opponent has said that he wants to move to your 86 KG weight for the Olympics. surely this will make the competition even tougher? Yazdani: Yes, I have heard that too. Cox has very good character and we are friends. We show respect to each other every time that we see each other in tournaments. He has told me a few times and I just respond by laughing. For me it does not matter who my opponent is. If I am Iran's representative in the Olympics, I will do my best for success and raising the flag of my country, and to bring joy to people of Iran. As a competitor, it is my duty t fight in the field Many say that you do not have any real competitors, and they try not to lose to badly to you No, it's not like that. I respect all my opponents, but my style is such that I finish my matches early. It does not mean I don't respect my opponents Apparently you did not even wrestle for 8 minutes in these championships, many call it the 8 minute storm People are kind to me. I do not know the exact stats, but I really do not let my matches reach the second half You were received well by the Kazak fans. It appears that they know you well, and you are popular there. Did you expect that? I knew Kazaks like wrestling and know wrestling well, but I did not expect such a reception. I am honored to represent Iran to them, and hope that I am a good ambassador and show them Iran's culture. Of course, I also need to thank the Iranian fans who came there to support me Russian Wrestling coach DZHAMBULAT TEDEEV put a picture of the two of you on his page, and after you won he sent his congratulations and referred to you as his brother Tedeev is a known and famous coach and does not need me to say positive things about him. I am honored that he feels this way about me, and I have expressed my gratitude to him Arsen Fadzayev, the Freestyle legend congratulated you, and invited you to wrestle in the tournament in Yerevan where other famous champions compete Yes, he is very kind to me. My schedule is determined by the wrestling technical committee, and I will do whatever they decide is best What are your plans between now and the Olympics? I will rest a little bit, then compete in the wrestling league based on my contract, rest some again, and then start training for the Olympics https://www.khabarvarzeshi.com/fa/news/229371/یزدانی-دیدار-با-حریف-آمریکایی-بماند-برای-فینال-المپیک
  27. 11 points
    Hey guys Coach Fiorito here and I'm back at with my latest Wrestling Mastery video. This time having the honor of covering the best double leg takedown of our era. We've all seen it! I took it under the microscope. Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy making these videos.
  28. 11 points

    Dake at it again

    I don’t know about this Dake fellow, but he hasn’t beaten as many people as melanoma.
  29. 11 points

    USA In Trouble

    Own a business, don't post dumb ****. Easy as that.
  30. 11 points

    2021 Olympics

    I’f it gets canceled do they just skip it all together until 2024 or start the next 4 year cycle beginning with 2022. Either way they better hurry up before Dake is too young to compete anymore.
  31. 11 points

    Spencer Lee Wins Hodge Trophy

    Makes me laugh that some still want to point to missing a match the week immediately prior to the US Senior Nationals where he hoped to qualify for the US Olympic Trials and he missed matches the week after he won the US Senior Nationals where he blew through a bracket with 6 former NCAA Champions, a World Jr. Silver medalist and a host of other All-Americans. Also, don't forget that Tom Brands announced that he would miss matches on both weekends prior to the season even starting. I guess those of you that hold that opinion are in the distinct minority, since Intermat stated that his margin of victory in the voting was one of the largest margins ever amongst the voting panel and he also won the popular vote by taking 58% of the total votes among the 8 finalists. His bonus point percentage is only second to Caels 95% and he had a bonus percentage of 94%. Rather than try to tear down a young mans accomplishments, I'll just echo what the obvious vast majority are saying today--well done Spencer Lee.
  32. 11 points

    Just cancelled my wedding

    1st question: why would you get married nationals week? She must be one hell of a woman.
  33. 11 points

    A new era at Iowa?

  34. 11 points
  35. 11 points

    What single match

    This may be a hot take, but I’m going to go out on a limb and predict Jack Mueller doesn’t even qualify for Big Tens.
  36. 11 points

    Reactions vs Posts ratio

    Although my point total is far below many others, I still have a community reputation rating of "excellent." That's one thing I like about this forum, the low standards.
  37. 11 points

    DeSanto - Love/Hate/Love

    This kid is giving me whiplash with the love/hate/love sentiment he's triggered in me the past few years. In high school, I LOVED that he refused to go to a different weight as a senior, seeking out a rematch with Lee after getting teched the year before. I LOVED that he won that match, refusing to let up in the third period. I LOVED that after that match, even when Lee gave him credit and wouldn't use his injury as an excuse, DeSanto made a point of volunteering that Lee clearly was favoring his leg and wasn't at 100%. And I LOVED that he stuck with his commitment to Drexel -- and that he continued to make noise there as a freshman with his relentless style. But I HATED that another side started to show at Drexel -- seemingly trying to injury his opponents. The match with Charles Tucker was an eye-opener, and the NCAA match against Micic was horrifying. I HATED that he transferred to Iowa -- not just because I'm no fan of them, but also because his bad tendencies were apt to get worse there, not reined in. And once at Iowa, as expected, I HATED that not only did he continue with physical unsportsmanlike conduct, he added a verbal component to it too, jawing repeatedly at opponents and generally making an ass of himself. Yet now the pendulum is swinging back again. He's openly admitted his past conduct has been out of bounds and needs to change, and so far this year, he's been pretty well disciplined. He's continued to be relentless and has upped his technique too, and for the most part he hasn't acted like a douche when, for example, losing to Gross. All good. And I loved his last match against OSU, where he destroyed the kid the "right way" -- breaking the kid, but more to get the tech than to be an ass, and then getting the hell off the mat without adding any BS shoves/jawing. Hope DeSanto stays this way as I want to root for him.
  38. 11 points
    Amazingly, I emailed Tony Ersland about it and he replied right away, he said he was clarifying if it was hands to the face, and had other things to discuss with the ref not related to the 285 match. It was a very nice reply and he wished Trent Hillger well. Nice guy.
  39. 11 points

    Is this Brands Do or Die year?

    Let me guess....you had a cinnamon roll for breakfast this morning?
  40. 11 points

    Snyder to Iowa

    Kyle Snyder, an Olympic and world champion and one of the world’s best wrestlers, spent the past few hours living in a basement. Not just any basement. Wrestling legend Tom Brands‘s basement. Snyder announced Jan. 17th that he was moving from Penn State, his home since fall 2019, to live and train at the University of Iowa, another NCAA and post-grad wrestling power. “The simple truth is I need to get better,” was posted on Snyder’s social media, three seconds after he was pinned at the 2020 Matteo Pellincone. “This decision isn’t to suggest that one program is better than the next, but this is taking advantage of additional thinking and incorporating that into my wrestling.” Brands was a 1996 Olympic champion who before that was a three time NCAA Champion for the University of Iowa. “Once I said I was going to move there, [Brands] was like, you can just live in my basement [at first],” the 24-year-old Snyder said. “If you would have told me when I was like 16, 15, years old, I would go spend a night in Tom’s basement, I would have been like, wow, it’s the greatest gift I’ve ever received.” Snyder can afford his own place, but at the time his wife was on an internship in Philadelphia that ran to Dec. 15 and was having a hard time finding a flight to Iowa City. “Then when she gets there [to Iowa City], we’re going to move out because I didn’t think we could both live in Tom’s basement,” Snyder said in a January interview (It’s unknown whether the move out has happened yet.). “But it’s been good because I knew Tom well, but I didn’t know him like I was living in his basement.” There’s little in Brands’s house that would tell visitors he is one of the greatest wrestlers in history. There is an ESPY Award in his living room, Snyder said, but no other significant medals or trophies, just a lot of holes punched in the dry wall and "You get what you earn" drawn in blood on the bathroom mirror. Brands and Snyder, two generational U.S. talents, passed the time discussing Brands’s new passion: coaching. He was hired by Iowa in 2006. He led the Hawkeyes to three National Titles before eight straight top ten finishes. “We play a lot of Grand Theft Auto and stuff,” Snyder said of Brands, who is married with two sons. “Maybe that’s not that normal for a dad to do that.” Snyder also reunited with old rival Bobby Telford, an assistant coach at Iowa. “[Telford] kind of stayed his distance from me, and I stayed away from him, and that’s just kind of the way it was for us,” Snyder said. “Now that he’s done competing, I’m just super thankful that he’s there. He’s way different. Our relationship is way different. It’s really easy to talk to him. He’s helped me technically and mentally. He’s always willing to wrestle with me.” Once he dethroned returning Olympic Champion Jake Varner, Snyder felt like he could beat anybody. And he did, becoming the youngest U.S. Olympic wrestling champion at age 20 and then defeating the Russian Tank, Abdulrashid Sadulayev, in a 2017 World Championships epic. Sadulayev had not previously lost in four years on the senior international level (and competed in a different weight class than Snyder in Rio). But Sadulayev pinned Snyder in 68 seconds at 2018 Worlds. This past September, Snyder was upset before getting the chance to face Sadulayev in another final. Earlier today Snyder was pinned by an Iranian opponent. It is the first time he has been pinned since the 2018 worlds. “The reason why I went to Iowa is because I believe God wanted me to go there,” said Snyder, who prays for 30 minutes to start the day and says he draws all of his value from faith. “To say that losing in ‘18 and ‘19 didn’t have anything to do with [moving to Iowa], I would say that’s not true. When I lose, I’m like, well let’s turn it up. I don’t want to lose again. I want more detailed coaching. I want my training partners to come in and be even more ready. It’s not that they weren’t helping me a lot, but I guess I was looking for change and thought that would help me.” Snyder’s coach at Ohio State, Tervel Dlagnev, and Iowa coaches declined to comment for this story. Snyder will continue to train ahead of the Olympic trials the first weekend of April, when he will have a bye into the final. “I just thought that the change would bring about a new perspective,” Snyder said, “and some small adjustments in my wrestling that will ultimately make big changes.” In unrelated news, incoming freshman Daniel Kerkvliet has announced he intends to transfer to the University of Iowa.
  41. 11 points

    Snyder is living in Cael's basement

    If he gets throttled by Saduleav again, will he convert to Islam? Sent from my moto z3 using Tapatalk
  42. 11 points

    Too many teams/wrestlers ranked

    If it's a problem for you then stop reading after 12 and don't watch Session 5 at NCAAs.
  43. 11 points

    1972 NCAA Champions

    Likewise, I enjoy these jerseywrestling posts and this one in particular. I qualified and competed in this tournament. Like Gary Barton I was unseeded but unlike him I wrestled to my seed.
  44. 10 points

    Kemerer gets 6th year

    I've had a Twitter for over 10 years, personally. NBD.
  45. 10 points

    Thread Deletions, etc.

    The threads regarding COVID-19 are extremely relevant to the sport, and all sports, however, each and every time threads like this surface, several users cannot resist the urge to throw in comments about politics and political figures. Several users then cannot resist the urge to make attacks on those comments, sending those relevant threads to the garbage bin. If you don't want threads removed, don't send them spiraling down the political gutter.
  46. 10 points
    I’m a nurse. So continuing to work as usual.
  47. 10 points
    Yup, and so should sealing off on the bottom so as not to give up a wrist or block a leg coming in. Staggered stances are also stalling: you should have to present both legs for attack. Further, blocking leg attacks with either your head, hands, or hips is stalling.
  48. 10 points
  49. 10 points

    DeSanto is in trouble!

    He does need to improve on bottom, but I wouldn't say it is a glaring weakness. DeSanto's path to victory in most matches is on the feet and he is a guy that is likely to score multiple takedowns in a match. Getting ridden I don't know if anyone who has a shot of beating gross has a strategy that requires them to escape on bottom. He did a pretty good job weathering the storm against Gross in the first match. In order to beat Gross, he needs to win on the feet. Gross came out aggressive on the feet in both matches. The difference being, in their first match, DeSanto got a stalemate after the first attempt and then dictated the pace on the feet thereafter. In the second match, Gross converted a quick takedown to backpoints and it was very difficult for DeSanto to come back after that (he still almost did). The path to victory against Gross is not giving up any takedowns and, of course, scoring his own. I am impressed by Lovett and think he has a good chance to AA this year. Top is clearly his better position and the only shot he had to stay in the match with DeSanto, which is why he committed hard to working for a turn in the 3rd period. If Lovett is going to beat DeSanto, he is going to have to slow him down on the feet, because despite the solid ride, he wasn't really close to turning him and he didn't come off the hips until the very end of the period. I also believe that DeSanto felt Lovett's ability early in the 3rd period and realized it was risky to try to do too much on bottom. If he needed an escape in order to win the match, I suspect we would have seen him wrestle differently (not saying he would have definitely gotten out, but he would have taken more risks). Bottom line, guys can try to shorten the match by 2 minutes by riding DeSanto out, but they still need to stop him from scoring multiple takedowns in the other 5 minutes, or figure out how to score a takedown of their own.
  50. 10 points
    Some legit. legal analysis in this thread - I work with noncompetes regularly and the factors flagged by BAC, etc. are spot on. Will have to reevaluate my thinking that everyone on this board is an idiot.
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