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  1. He's another famous guy who I've never heard of before. Then again, I'm an old guy who can make up my own mind about what I want without the aid of an "influencer".
  2. Franklin Gomez being the exception. He has had a very strong career after high school.
  3. What do you consider to be "real wrestlers"? From your comments, it appears that nationally ranked, state champion and undefeated high school wrestlers don't meet your stringent criteria, so what does? Someone on the Olympic ladder? If so, that runs counter to the topic of collegiate/scholastic styles.
  4. Considering that the lighter weight guy in my example was nationally ranked and the heavier guy was undefeated, I'd say your assessment of wrestling ability is a tad off. It's not difficult to drive someone out of bounds once you push hard enough to force the first step back, especially if you have a 50 pound weight advantage. While it is most common with the heavies, I've also seen it with lighter wrestlers. There was a three time state champion about 30 years ago at 160 pounds who was so jacked his senior year that he just forced double underhooks and drove his opponents backwards. He would either drive them out of bounds or push so hard and fast that tripped and got stuck. The funny thing is that he knew a lot of technique (he won his first title as a sophomore using a spladle to pin his opponents), but was so damn strong as a senior that he didn't bother to use it. Hell, I even did it once myself. I friend had talked me into going to a local open tournament as my last hurrah before entering the working world the next week. I was out of shape, but figured there wouldn't be much competition. That was true until the final, where my opponent was a two-time state finalist who had a year of college wrestling under his belt. I was up 1-0 late in the third when he stood up, turned and faced me. I had him in a bearhug and figured I would drive him to his back, but my arms were like wet noodles and I had nothing left, so I drove him out of bounds. I should have received a stalling warning, but in this small tournament they just started us over and I rode him out for the win.
  5. It's pretty common for heavyweights at the high school level. How many times have you seen a 285 pound heavy lock up and drive a 230 pound heavy out of pounds, and then the ref hits the smaller guy for stalling? The worst example I ever saw was in the state finals five or ten years ago. One kid was a returning (two time?) state champion at 220 pounds, who couldn't quite make weight anymore. His opponent barely made the 285 limit. The lighter wrestler kept shooting and scored takedowns about half the time (and got pancaked once). The bigger guy did nothing but lock up and drive the lighter guy out of bounds, but was awarded with multiple stall points. The big guy won after a takedown at the buzzer was waved off.
  6. My high school coach never wrestled. He was told that the team needed a coach and he was it. That first year was terrible (he literally pulled film strips from the library to demonstrate moves), but he learned quickly. We won the conference and district the next year and finished third at state the following year (we might have won it if the majority of the team didn't have the flu). He did get a title three years later. I'm sure he could have been a good referee if he chose to, but he probably burned a few too many bridges to want to do that.
  7. I think it comes down to personal preference. I agree with T-Rex in that I think folkstyle is more entertaining than freestyle (although I think freestyle in the 70's and 80's was more interesting than it is today). Part of the problem is that FILA was constantly fiddling with the rules (and generally making them worse). Now that they are UWW, they have at least made changes for the better. IMO, freestyle scoring is much more subjective than folkstyle, which can lead to national politics affecting the outcome. For example, Franklin Gomez was leading the wrestler from Ukraine and initiated a leg attack that went out of bounds. The Ukraine guy did what I call (in folkstyle) the JV heavyweight roll, where he rolled backwards (exposing his back) and then exposed Gomez's back, before he finished on top. In folkstyle, it would have been a clear takedown for Franklin. In the Olympics, there were heated arguments between the ref and mat judges about who initiated the move, with one side arguing for a takedown to the back for Franklin and the other side (who won the debate) saying it was 2 for the Ukraine wrestler, who ended up winning the match because of that call. Then he ended up beating a Mongolian wrestler in the bronze medal match. The Mongolian coaches were so incensed that their guy got ripped off that they stripped down to their underwear on the mat. While it was an entertaining spectacle, it didn't reflect well on the sport. Every argument made in favor of freestyle (other than it is an Olympic style) can also be made for folkstyle. If you note the decline in the number of college teams (due in large part to the big money sports escalation in spending and how the AD's respond to Title IX), then you also have to acknowledge the cuts in Olympic weights from 10 to 6 to make room for women's freestyle, in large part due to NBC's Olympic philosophy that they need to cater to the female viewer because they think the guys will watch no matter what they broadcast. That's why they have two zillion talking head segments and concentrate on the "pretty sports", as my wife calls them. The "testosterone sports", such as wrestling, boxing, weightlifting, karate, etc. are relegated to the wee hours of the morning (with the possible exception of female competitors), while synchronized swimming, rhythmic gymnastics, equestrian events, etc. get primetime coverage. For that matter, there was talk of cutting wrestling from the Games altogether. Regarding pro opportunities, mat wrestling is very important in MMA, so folkstyle is better in that regard. Even with the cuts, colleges still have ten weight classes. Of course, so does freestyle 3/4ths of the time, but every fourth year wrestlers have to decide whether to go up or down in weight if their weight class isn't an Olympic weight. How many freestyle matches were decide by who was put on the shot clock? You may complain about folkstyle stalling calls being inconsistent, but they have nothing on shot clock calls. Even if the ref splits two calls, with one to each wrestler, the guy who doesn't score during the second shot clock loses, since ties are decided by who scores last. Of course, this is still an improvement over the ball grab, but that's not saying much. The bottom line is that the whole argument is like a vegetarian and carnivore arguing about diet. Each is convinced that their preference is better.
  8. My least favorite fans are the ones who sit behind me, then emit an ear-piercing whistle while rooting for their kid. The next worst is the teenie bop girl with a high-pitched voice who screams at the top of her lungs for her boyfriend or brother. I've taken to wearing ear plugs to the meets.
  9. Josh Lambrecht deserves some consideration at 184. With a little luck, he could have been a 2X NC. He was 6th as a sophomore, had a heartbreaking loss in the final as a junior, when he was pinned after being up big, and finished third as a senior after being out with a serious rib injury (and not fully healed in time for the NCAA's).
  10. “I don’t care what the rulebook says." Apparently, or he would have been more knowledgeable of the rules and his kids would have known not to do it.
  11. Blair is becoming Florida North. They have five wrestlers from Florida, with four of them in the quarterfinals.
  12. I doubt if the number of matches during the season caused burnout with David Craig. Other than the Ironman and the Beast of the East tournaments, he pretty much walked through his opposition. If anything, I thought he looked bored during the regular season. Maybe the year-round tournaments, like Fargo and others contributed, but I didn't notice anything during the regular season. My understanding is that he really preferred soccer to wrestling, but his dad wanted him to wrestle. I'd say he did phenomenally well for someone whose first love was another sport.
  13. I think last season was the first with no home duals. They usually had a couple so they could have "Alumni Night" near the end of the season and give a little recognition to the seniors on the team and the old-timers who came before them (I resemble that remark). Russ's primary concern is building the best team he can and getting the kids ready for the state series (15 straight titles at this point). Putting butts in the stands is a secondary concern, at best, especially as long as he gets good support from the administration and booster club.
  14. Even though I'm not a coach, I'll reply to the topic. When I wrestled for Brandon in the early 70's, Hillsborough County allowed either 13 duals and two tournaments or 12 duals and three tournaments. The state of Florida allowed two more duals than the county, which was in a (perpetual) budget crunch. For duals, the JV wrestled first (around 6:30), followed by the varsity (around 8:00). It was later changed to having the varsity and JV wrestle at the same time, side by side on two mats. Florida rules today allow 18 weigh-ins, with an individual dual counting for one weigh-in and anything else (tri-meet, quad meet, IBT's, dual tournaments, etc.) counting as two weigh-ins. There is also a limit of five matches per day for a tournament (dual or IBT). Brandon's schedule now consists entirely of tournaments (IBT and dual), including two mandated by the county - the division duals and the county championships. The wrestlers often have 50 - 60 matches prior to the start of the state series, as opposed to something in the high teens or low twenties when I wrestled. The JV now has its own schedule, separate from the varsity. When I wrestled, Brandon went from awful (3-10) to county champion to one of the best teams in the state. We were lucky to draw 50 fans to a dual meet my first year. We started marketing the team the next year, posting flyers all over the school. We had a good product and the word spread. Since there were other good teams at or near our level at the time, many of the dual meets were good, close and exciting, especially against the big rivals. We drew a rocking crowd of 1,500 to a dual with an undefeated East Bay team my senior year. A decade later, Brandon at Bloomingdale drew a standing room only crowd of 2,000. Brandon has now become a victim of its own success. The team is much better than it was in my day, but there are very few teams in the state who could provide a competitive dual. Some of its better, nationally ranked teams were so dominant that the IBT tournament finals of a tough regional tournament looked more like a dual meet, at least on one side. Attendance has dwindled, but I think it is at least as much due to the lack of good, local competition as to the schedule.
  15. Rhino: You may be right. Based on the rankings on the Florida board, South Dade may be as good or better than Brandon this year, although Brandon will still be tough (you forgot to list Norstrem with the other two returning champs). Six months ago, I thought that this season could be Brandon's best team ever, if the kids were spread out and they didn't have several great kids all at the same weight. In addition to the kids you mentioned, I thought that Telfer (3rd in 1A) and Artalona (1A SC and nephew (I think) of a former Brandon wrestler) would be joining the team as incoming freshmen. In that scenario, Brandon would have returned 13 state placers (six champs, three runners-up, two thirds, a fourth and a fifth) and a state qualifier. That didn't happen. Oh, well. Brandon has been the beneficiary of move-ins in the past, so we can't complain if some families choose to move out.
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