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gg121and2

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  1. As small, tuition-driven schools battle for enrollment growth, adding athletic programs can be a valuable tool. This table was recently in WIN and shows "markets" that are prime for adding wrestling. It simply shows the number of high school participants per home state intercollegiate program. Texas has 10,600+ high school wrestlers and 1 college program (that, incidentally, has both men's and women's teams). The weakness in the table is that it does not show the total number of HS participants in states without a college program - Florida being a notable omission. http://www.win-magazine.com/v2/2014/07/ ... wrestlers/
  2. Today is Hawkeye great Randy Lewis' birthday. One of the great wrestlers in American history, my favorite Lewboo memory comes from 5 years ago at the Northern Plains Open. Randy had decided to make a "comeback" and enter. The Junior and Senior fields that day were filled with guys named Carr and Gadsen and Trizzino - all the sons of outstanding wrestlers of the '70s and 80's. When they announced "Lewis", however, it was the real deal. When Randy was called to the mat, all wrestling stopped. Everyone in the arena, including guys like Pete Bush and Lincoln McIlravy (with his whole family), moved to get as close to the action as they could. His first opponent (not yet born when Randy was winning titles at Iowa) had never heard of the "Impossible Leg". Randy let him in on the leg a couple of times and the results were just the same as I had seen so many times - takedown, Lewis. The second opponent was a little cagier and it took a late exposure for Randy to get the win. I don't believe that the man standing next to me had ever seen Lewboo wrestle. He said, "He doesn't shoot much, does he?" My reply - "He never did." That win moved him into the semi-finals against UNI's Moza Fay. Moza got a takedown and a quick succession of leg lace turns and the match was over quickly. The ref raised Moza's hand and as Randy was trying to leave the mat Moza grabbed him by the arm, pulled him to the center of the mat, raised his hand and did the traditional 4-point turn so the crowd could acknowledge and recognize the greatness of the "man in the arena". It was one of the classiest things I've ever seen and the subsequent ovation made me tear up.
  3. 70 years ago today ISTC NCAA Champion and Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Bill Koll, landed at Normandy.
  4. I don't know exactly where those are, but Iowa keeps a section of front row seats open for handicapped seating.
  5. I don't know how you'd rate the fields in today's world, but in 1947 Dick Hauser of Cornell College was the first freshman to win an NCAA title. His team mate, Lowell Lange also won as a freshman and I believe is still the youngest NCAA champion. Iowa State Teacher's College's Bill Nelson also won as a freshman that year. Lange and Nelson were 3x champs, with injuries denying both of them the opportunity to win 4.
  6. Money is a major roadblock, but lack of leadership is another and - NO - I am not talking about the NWCA, the NCAA, USA Wrestling or any other governing body. I'm talking about the paucity of people at the grass roots level willing to take the reins and do the work necessary to convince an institution that wrestling has value. Take heart, Pinnum, Georgia Tech has that guy. Atlanta attorney, Alan Leet, leads a group that worked closely with the NWCA to make the initial proposal at GT. Though the first effort was unsuccessful, I don't believe they have stopped fighting. In the meantime that group was instrumental in adding wrestling at Darton. The state of Arkansas has a similar leader in Greg Hatcher, who has played a role in making wrestling a high school championship sport in Arkansas, in reinstating wrestling at his alma mater, Alma College, and in the addition of the other intercollegiate programs in the state. Texas also has a committed leadership group that helped bring college wrestling to the state with the addition of Wayland Baptist. Texas-Arlington has had a NCWA team for several years and their original intention was to become a varsity sport, but their effort has become stalled. The point is - we need more people on the front lines if we expect "growth". Darned few administrators at primarily tax-funded institutions are actively seeking new ways to spend more money. We need to sell them on the benefits wrestling can bring to their campus and if we can't do that - well - shame on us.
  7. Of the 8 champions in 1950, 4 were 3X champs, 1 was a 4X AA & 2X champ and another was an Olympic Gold medalist and 2X NCAA champ. All 6 of those guys are in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Pretty good year.
  8. You can do more than you imagine and you can be creative about it. I really like the community service effort mentioned above. I am not of your generation (I'm 64) and disagree with the overvaluation and overreliance placed on the internet. Yes, social media is exploding, but still lags behind other forms of communication in total reach and message delivery. Plus - no offense - I think keyboards breed laziness, "I've typed something, so my job is done here." I can offer two opportunities to help wrestling grow. My organization, Wrestling for Life, encourages kids (primarily of middle school age) to become involved with wrestling and then stay on the mat once they've given it a try. We have two basic tactics, the first of which is to raise money and give free tickets to wrestling events to kids wrestling clubs, middle school teams and youth organizations like Boys and Girls Club. During the past season we sent just under 1,300 kids to duals at Iowa, UNI, Minnesota; the Multi-Division National Duals and the NAIA Championships. Most recently we sent 485 kids to the NCAA Division III Championships in Cedar Rapids. During the DIII Championships, I was approached by Elizabethtown coach, Eric Walker, to provide a ticket giveaway program for the 2015 event in Hershey. I can use some help with this and it is never too early to start. First, we'll need help with fundraising. We'll need to raise $6,500 - $7,000 to have the same success we had in Cedar Rapids. Local involvement is key to raising that much money. Then, next February we'll need help with the logistics of buying and distributing the tickets. This is more work than you imagine, so if you want to help, be prepared to commit some time. Getting involved with the National Registry for Wrestling is another way you can help. They are building a database of wrestling fans to aid in the promotion of the sport. If you're not already on the database you can register at http://www.nr4w.com. PLUS - Registry organizers are recruiting volunteers to man booths at events around the country to bring new people into the fold. There were booths at all three NCAA championships and there is one at this weekend's National High School Championships. If you would like to give us a hand with the 2015 Division III Championships ticket effort (or launch one for your own event) or get in touch with the National Registry for Wrestling organizers, email me at dmsolutions4u@live.com. Thanks. Jim Brown Wrestling for Life
  9. You can do more than you imagine and you can be creative about it. I really like the community service effort mentioned above. I am not of your generation (I'm 64) and disagree with the overvaluation and overreliance placed on the internet. Yes, social media is exploding, but still lags behind other forms of communication in total reach and message delivery. Plus - no offense - I think keyboards breed laziness, "I've typed something, so my job is done here." I can offer two opportunities to help wrestling grow. My organization, Wrestling for Life, encourages kids (primarily of middle school age) to become involved with wrestling and then stay on the mat once they've given it a try. We have two basic tactics, the first of which is to raise money and give free tickets to wrestling events to kids wrestling clubs, middle school teams and youth organizations like Boys and Girls Club. During the past season we sent just under 1,300 kids to duals at Iowa, UNI, Minnesota; the Multi-Division National Duals and the NAIA Championships. Most recently we sent 485 kids to the NCAA Division III Championships in Cedar Rapids. During the DIII Championships, I was approached by Elizabethtown coach, Eric Walker, to provide a ticket giveaway program for the 2015 event in Hershey. I can use some help with this and it is never too early to start. First, we'll need help with fundraising. We'll need to raise $6,500 - $7,000 to have the same success we had in Cedar Rapids. Local involvement is key to raising that much money. Then, next February we'll need help with the logistics of buying and distributing the tickets. This is more work than you imagine, so if you want to help, be prepared to commit some time. Getting involved with the National Registry for Wrestling is another way you can help. They are building a database of wrestling fans to aid in the promotion of the sport. If you're not already on the database you can register at www.nr4w.com. PLUS - Registry organizers are recruiting volunteers to man booths at events around the country to bring new people into the fold. There were booths at all three NCAA championships and there is one at this weekend's National High School Championships. If you would like to give us a hand with the 2015 Division III Championships ticket effort (or launch one for your own event) or get in touch with the National Registry for Wrestling organizers, email me at dmsolutions4u@live.com. Thanks. Jim Brown Wrestling for Life
  10. A couple of points. Total attendance was 8,757 - a new record for Division III. A tremendous amount of credit should go to Cornell College Associate AD, Dick Simmons, for another outstanding effort. This is the fifth time he has been the DIII tournament director. The work of the volunteers was also incredible. Next year's championships will be in Hershey, PA, hosted by Elizabethtown College. They are already mounting their effort to put on a great event and they, too, will need a lot of volunteer help. Wartburg does graduate a lot of points and second-place UW-Whitewater does not. Three of third-place Messiah's AA's (including a champ and runner-up) return. It could be interesting. Give the "Division III experience" a try. You'll be very pleasantly surprised. First of all, it is a very fan-friendly culture. Sure, rivalries exist, but the Coe fans cheered almost as loudly for Cornell College national champion, Alex Coolidge, as did the Cornell fans. Second - across the board the wrestling just plain more exciting than it is in Division I. Not as skilled - but more exciting. Finally, the coaches and athletes are in it purely for the love of the sport. The kids are paying to continue wrestling and many of the head coaches have other responsibilities at their schools. For a lot of the assistant coaches it's a part-time gig. Check out a school in your area and go to a meet - not because it's your "duty", but because you might just like it.
  11. I'll be holding a reception for Division III fans tomorrow (3/13) at the Cedar Rapids Marriott from 4:30-6:00. Food and beverage provided. You must bring your own wrestling conversation.
  12. I received a last minute donation that will allow me to buy more tickets for the NCAA Division III Championships this Friday and Saturday in Cedar Rapids. I'll make these available to anyone bringing at least 5 kids who are not yet in high school. I can get tickets for: Friday night (6:00) Saturday morning (10:00) Saturday night (Ceremonies begin at 6:30, with the finals following at 7:00.) Email me at dmsolutions4u@live.com if you are interested. You'll be able to pick them up from me at the event at the National Registry for Wrestling booth.
  13. Sorry folks, but IMHO, the Doug Brown/Chuck Patten team on IPTV may have been the best ever. Many of us can still hear Doug's, "Banach is in trouble!". Every one else should aspire to be that good.
  14. Yeah, this probably ought to be on the High School board, but this one gets the most readers. This was posted on Hawkeye Report today and goes out to everyone whose kid ever wrestled. "My son started wrestling when he was seven years old. This weekend he wrestled his last high school match, and although he had a very nice career he ended-up just short of his goals. He ended with 98 career varsity wins -- two short of what it takes to get his name on the wall in our gym -- and missed qualifying for states thanks to two excruciatingly close matches. It was even more painful because we had four meets that were snowed-out this year, otherwise his 100 wins would have been assured. And his bracket was loaded with returning state qualifiers, so he knew from the start that qualifying at his weight was going to be a big challenge. But nonetheless he came tantalizingly close to beating a couple of extremely high caliber wrestlers, only to see the matches slip away; which really only added to the pain. After his last match he ran outside and cried for about an hour. When he finally came back, and I saw him for the first time, the pain in his face was indescribable, and something I will never be able to erase from my mind. It can be a brutal sport. And I won't lie, for the better part of the weekend I wondered if it might have been a mistake to get him involved in wrestling -- because I suspect this last day of his career will haunt him for the rest of his life. I wondered if anything is worth going through the pain he has gone through. You have to understand that he worked unbelievably hard to try to meet the goals he had set for himself. He wrestled 12 months out of the year, and between lifting, running, and wrestling he did some kind of training 365 days out of the year. I could see in his eyes a sense that life had betrayed him; that if you work that hard towards a goal, you ought to be rewarded. However, I've also watched him gain confidence through the sport that I don't believe he could have ever achieved without wrestling. He carries himself with self-assurance that absolutely came from testing himself repeatedly, and from the many accomplishments that he did achieve. The last couple of years he helped coach the junior program, and by doing so he learned leadership skills and learned how to speak confidently in front of groups. To the young kids he is a rock star! I have truly been amazed at what a fine young man he has become, and I know to a large extent wrestling is responsible. And, yes, even the pain of failure has built his character and made him stronger. I know this has nothing to do with Iowa wresting, but I can't say these words out loud to my wife and friends without breaking into tears. And yet I need to get the words out -- preferably to people who know exactly what I'm talking about -- because there is no pain more exquisite than watching your child hurting. In the end, I take solace that he will heal from the pain more quickly and more completely than I ever will. I'm glad he wrestled. I've never been sadder in my life. But I am glad he wrestled." Have you seen this expressed better many times?
  15. In honor of UNI finishing the season as the only Division I team undefeated in dual meets and Cornell College hosting the NCAA Division III Championships in a little more than two weeks, it might be good to revisit the first great Iowa intercollegiate rivalry - the post WWII teams at Cornell College and Iowa State Teachers College (now UNI). World War II interrupted the lives of every one in America - including those of college wrestlers. ISTC stars Gerry Leeman and Bill Koll went off to war, Leeman as a fighter pilot and Koll as a combat engineer who earned a Bronze Star for his actions on Omaha Beach on D-Day. In 1946 America was returning to normalcy. Dave McCuskey was the ISTC coach and he was anticipating the return of his stars. Seventy miles away in Mount Vernon, coach Paul Scott was looking to improve his Cornell team. His first step was to recruit three highly touted seniors at Waterloo West: Dick Hauser, Leo Thomsen and Lowell Lange. His sales pitch was built around the fact that McCuskey had a lot of guys coming back. The NCAA had decided to allow freshmen to compete in varsity competition and in Cedar Falls they might have to wait to crack the lineup, but he, Scott, could get them on the mat right away. Hauser and Thomsen were sold, but Lange was undecided - McCuskey was also recruiting him. Scott's next step was to organize an AAU team and take them all to New York for the AAU championships. The story of the trip is pretty fun, but the most important result was that Lange committed to Cornell. Both schools had a long wrestling history and each has two Distinguished Members in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Finn Eriksen and Leroy Alitz from ISTC and Dick Barker and Lloyd Appleton from Cornell. For the six years from 1947 to 1952 (with the exception of 1948 when Scott withheld his team from the NCAA Championships), these schools were among the most powerful in the country. They are the only two teams to ever win the NCAA and AAU team championships in the same year - Cornell in 1947 and ISTC in 1950. ISTC has 7 Distinguished Members of the NWHOF from that era and Cornell has 3. Combined they have four 3X NCAA champions. ISTC has produced an Olympic Champion (Bill Smith) and Silver Medalist (Gerry Leeman) and Cornell an Olympic Silver Medalist (Lloyd Appleton). Cornell grad (and member of the 1947 "Dream Team"), Dale Thomas, coached at Oregon State and won more dual meets than any NCAA coach in history. Bob Siddens, Bill Koll, Keith Young, Gerry Leeman and Lowell Lange all went on to successful coaching careers - including coaching a guy named Gable. As a side fact - Lloyd Appleton (Cornell) and Leroy Alitz (ISTC) had combined tenures of 42 years as the head coach at the US Military Academy. Alitz coached Stormin' Norman Schwartzkopf. If you find this stuff interesting at all, I highly recommend Arno Niemand's book, The Dream Team of 1947.
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