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Everything posted by oldcougar

  1. the pennlive website, which covers PA District 3 has the following story: http://www.pennlive.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/11/wrestling_phenom_chance_marste.html
  2. someone mentioned that Cael has the advantage of being in PA, which has this great wealth of talent. Part of this is true, but he still has to get them to PSU. How many great PA wrestlers have been going out of state all of these years - kids like Jordan Oliver, Coleman Scott, Jake Herbert. Today, those guys would be wrestling for PSU. I figure Cael must have something to do with the accumulation of this embarrassment of riches at Happy Valley.
  3. While I have no problem with Snyder being ranked number 1 (and by the way WHO CARES! - it'll all come out in the wash), what I don't respect is the weight class. 220/285 are populated by football players looking for something to do or being dragged on to the mat by a desperate wrestling coach. There are far fewer quality wrestlers at those upper weights than there are at any of the lower weights. Snyder dominates up there and he's absolutely great. But Pico and Marsteller face consistently better competition week to week. I'm sure the worlds provided plenty of great wrestlers in those stratospheric weight classes, but... my position remains unchanged. It's hard for me to equate what happens wrestling-wise at 285 with what happens at 126 or 170. It's almost not even the same sport. Just my humble opion.
  4. I knew a guy who was a coach and ref for many, many years - he was very good at both jobs. But he got older and more rotund and lost more than a step or two along the way. When a kid got put on his back, it was hard for him to get down with the wrestlers, so he started to count back points with his feet while he was standing. Can't remember how he decided there was a pin.
  5. Villanova was not dropped by the administration. It was dropped by duPont because, in my opinion, he didn't realize how much administration was involved in a college program, and he didn't like having to learn and abide by all the NCAA rules. John tried to make me feel responsible for his decision by asking me what I'd do if I was him. At that point I was being paid as a team foxcatcher coach and no longer part of Villanova. I said "Well John, there's no NCAA rules in freestyle and it seems Villanova will never give the team a wrestling room". The announcement it would be dropped came the next day. What you are saying is probably true, since I was at a one-step remove from the situation. However, my understanding was that duPont had pledged a great deal of money for the building of a new field house to be named the "duPont Pavilion". In return Villanova gave him a wrestling program. However the story goes that DuPont didn't come through with the majority of the money and the venue was renamed. Also, there were allegedly less than savory things going on with the team that if they were revealed would make the University look really bad. Perhaps duPont failed to produce the promised money because he didn't get his wrestling room, or because he was simply going nuts. I didn't get any info from DuPont, merely from people who were around the team itself.
  6. I think that Retherford is a bit small to wrestle 141. Fine wrestler, but he could use a RS year for seasoning and growing.
  7. I think that Retherford is a bit small to wrestle 141. Fine wrestler, but he could use a RS year for seasoning and growing.
  8. I had a six year old who was pinning everyone with a headlock. When he came off the mat after yet another first period pin, I took him aside and told him: 'you aren't going to be able to throw that on the really good kids. Stop relying on the headlock.' --- or words to that effect. I didn't say never do it again, I just told him to lay off for awhile. Swear to god, I coached him for 10 more years and I never saw him throw another headlock. The following year when he was 7, he was Eastern National Champ. Go figure.
  9. Hey, my brother was Mike Caruso's backup! Cool, huh? But, no. He wouldn't have qualified for this thread.
  10. I remember reading a newspaper article before PA states in the late 80's sometime. This was during North Allegheny's run as maybe the best team in PA history. The article stated that Ty Moore (Teague's brother) was favored to win 103, unless he drops to 95, in which case NA's JV kid (Norton?) was favored to win 103. The article was wrong. The kid only took 2nd. The dates and the weights are a bit vague in my memory, but I found the article amusing in advance and prescient in retrospect.
  11. If we are talking tradition, you've got to set a demarcation line or two in various places in wrestling history. Certainly for the first 40 years or so, Oklahoma was the center of the wrestling universe in America. But as I stated earlier, the center has shifted away from OK to Iowa and then to PA. If you split that list of state All Americans before and after 1970, OK dominates the past with PA trailing badly. PA dominates the present with Okie trailing Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, etc. It probably has a lot to do with below college-level coaching. Since the advent of youth wrestling many states have improved dramatically, especially in the larger population states. Whenever one talks about the large number of AA's that come out of PA high schools, posters from other states invariably point to the number of D1 colleges in PA, ignoring the fact that usually 50% or more of PA AA's attend schools out of state. But what the PA colleges with wrestling do is provide a large number of coaches. Many youth programs have top-notch coaching. These are feeder programs to high schools with top-notch coaching. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Since major youth programs in PA have stated in the 1970's, PA wrestling over-all has improved and then improved again. I think that's the advantage that PA has developed in the last few decades.
  12. A worthy topic. Since this is a college site, I'll talk about NCAA's. When I was a kid in the 60's, Oklahoma was the center of wrestling tradition. Okie State and Oklahoma were always the top dog, with Iowa State a bit behind them. As I figure it, from '55 thru '69. Okie State won 9 titles and placed 2nd once. Oklahoma won 2 titles and placed 2nd 5 times. That's dominance. That's tradition. But in the next 16 years or so, the tide had turned to Iowa. Iowa won 10 titles. Iowa State won 4 titles with 5 2nds. Oklahoma won 1 title with 4 2nds, Okie State won 1 with 3 2nds. Wonder if Dan Gable had anything to do with that? For the last 20 years or so, PA has been #1 in terms of AA's. No single PA team did much until PSU came to the fore recently.
  13. Matt wrestled for me when he was a 6 year old. He was only the 2nd wrestler in the history of our area that was a National Prep champ and a PA State champ. Of course, he moved out of the Philly area to wrestle for State College his senior year.
  14. A little over 20 years ago there was a state semi-final bout between two absolute studs, one from Erie, one from the Philly area. It was a tremendous barn-burner that the Erie kid won in OT, something like 10-9. Fast forward one year. Both are again in the same weight class, both are undefeated. But this time they meet in the state finals. The match started and almost immediately (within 20-30 seconds) the Erie kid is hurt - maybe a dislocated shoulder, something like that - and has to forfeit. I happened to be sitting up in the nose-bleed seats one row in front of the Philly-area kid's parents. A few minutes later both wrestlers appeared behind me to sit with the parents. Both were hugging each other and crying. They had a great rivalry but were obviously very close friends. Both were disappointed that they couldn't finish it on the mat. The winner was as upset as the loser. But it didn't affect their friendship. Here's an odd addendum -- the two met in wrestle-backs in the NCAA championships a few years later. The Philly kid won 7-6. The weight class had at least 4 PA state champs and was won by Cary Kolat.
  15. in the spirit of DF, I'll ignore the attempt at poignancy that started this thread. My all-time favorite reaction to losing went like this: I had a kid who was a great wrestler - but he was a 14 year old wrestling a high school middle weight - something like 138. He had an injured knee and he hadn't yet entered puberty. Reaching the sectional finals, he was faced with wrestling a 19 year old senior who had been 3rd in the state the previous year. He went to a school for troubled youth that was the perennial state weight lifting champs. The kid was built like a god and I have no idea how these two could have been the same weight class. To top it off, the kid had pinned every opponent through the year and into the finals of sectionals. It was a David vs. Goliath scenario and when they shook hands I wanted to throw in the towel before it started. I thought my kid was going to be physically hurt. The match didn't go as most people anticipated. Our kid calmly took the monster down and threw in the boots. The next 6 minutes that kid got a wrestling lesson he'll never forget - nor will anyone who saw the bout. The clock ran down to end the third, with my kid having ridden this behemoth for about 5 1/2 minutes. The final score was, I think, 7-0. Here's the good part. The buzzer sounded, our kid calmly stood up - not even breathing heavily. The monster laid on the mat and started beating the mat with his fists and kicking. He looked like a giant sized two year old who had his lollipop taken away from him. Great moments in wrestling.
  16. I'm not sure that this will be the best way of promoting wrestling. Not exactly Vision Quest. I only met du Pont once, when he was recruiting one of my wrestlers for Villanova. My kid got a full scholarship and wrestled his freshman year, but then du Pont's weirdness and drug use caused the program to be cancelled. That was just the beginning, as the movie will plainly reveal. I talked with Dave Schultz on the phone quite often as he was trying to get my program to sell some kind of local monopoly game he was pushing. It is a sad story all around.
  17. moves and techniques evolve. Speed, power, and strength remain relatively constant. At a Christmas tournament in 1958 as a 9th grader my brother decked a PA state finalist with a move that no one had seen before. 3 Months later when they wrestled again, the kid tore my brother's arm off and beat him over the head with it. What I'm saying is, you drop a great wrestler from a prior era into today's environment and he would endure a learning curve to some degree because of moves and techniques. Once the learning curve was addressed, then the super-star of the past would do quite well today. Throw in a Mike Caruso or Yojiro Uetake or Jim Nance, Wade Shalles, Mark Shultz, Nate Carr--- the list goes on and on. Great wrestlers all. Give them a month or two of training in current era techniques and set 'em loose. That's the big difference. Conditioning isn't a major factor -- hey I knew a guy who wrestled in the '50s who was running 5 miles a day before practice. And I wonder if some of the moves of those 60's/70's/80's guys wouldn't translate well today. Someone mentioned that NCAA final video from 1964. Watch the match between Kirk Pendelton of Lehigh and Mike Natvig of Army. If I recall that match, Natvig was clinking to Pendelton with a crab ride that just wouldn't quit. That's an 'any era' kind of ride, I'd guess.
  18. Angle, Lesnar? Jim Nance was the fastest heavyweight I ever saw. He had a heck of a duck under as I recall. He was PA's first HWT champ (2x - they didn't have a HWT when he was a Sophomore). He was also a 2x NCAA champ. He was that rare heavyweight who moved like a lightweight. He was also MVP in the AFL, is in the NE Patriot's Hall of Fame, and holds the Patriot's career record for touchdowns.
  19. Back in my youth coaching days there were plenty of tournaments that seeded kids by their claimed record. Kids came from all over in these tourneys and there was no centralized record keeping. So some weak kids claimed tremendous records in order to get good seeding. But many of the hammers sent in a record of 0-0. They wanted to be seeded last in order to get the most matches. I had a seven year old stud who was entered into a tournament where the seeding was done as much by politics as by facts. When the charts came out, I noticed he was seeded last. I couldn't help myself, I had to rag him about it. He just smiled. He couldn't have cared less where he was seeded. He pinned the #1, #4 and #2 seeds in the first period anyway.
  20. wow, you're a tough audience. I was just speaking philosophically, not making a statement of irreversible fact. ease off.
  21. I remember first seeing Ruth at PIAA states when he was this untamed, undisciplined, extremely talented 10th grader. He upset Frick of Nazareth in the quarters and had a wild match against Q Wright in the semi's that Quentin won. It was obvious that Ruth was oozing with untapped potential. Seeing where Ed Ruth ended up is very satisfying, having seen the potential develop into reality. It often doesn't work out that way. The Ruth we see today must be the result of great coaching applied to unbelievable talent coupled with just a ridiculous body. He's the complete package. When I first saw David Taylor he was a fully developed superstar. He remains a fully developed superstar. Any comparison between the two is going to be flawed. We've had the great fun of watching them on the big stage for 3 years now. I'm going to savor the coming year. We may not see their like again.
  22. You make a great point, OD. I remember going to a meet back in 67 to scout Temple and West Chester, now both without varsity wrestling but then both with their share of talent. The kid I was scouting ended up as NCAA champ in '69. They were two tough teams. The atmosphere at the meet was electric. When meet time came, the field house went totally dark, then spotlights and exciting music welcomed the teams onto the mat for warm ups. The lights never came back up until the end of the dual. The only thing one saw was the mat in high relief. Two great teams put on a show before a packed field house. That's showmanship. If we did more things like that for duals or tournaments, we would inject some real excitement into our sport. Instead we are going the other way. The PIAA finals used to have that kind of excitement --- blackened stadium, spotlights, electricity. Now they have finals on one mat with 3rd-4th, 5th-6th, 7th-8th wrestling on 3 other mats at the same time. What a bummer!
  23. very poetic. You may be right! naaaah. It's a good theory, and perhaps it applies to a small percentage of ex-wrestlers. I think it's far more likely that ex-wrestlers who aren't fans only looked upon wrestling as their backup sport, something to do in the off-season after (football/soccer/baseball) --- name one or fill in your own. I know it is anecdotal, but I often run into many of the kids I coached 20-30 years ago at wrestling meets all over the state. All of them lost their last match, unfortunately. I once traveled 80-100 miles to attend a meet between Easton, PA and Northampton, PA that had been sold out for months, back when both teams were filled with super stars. And we didn't even have tickets. My buddy walked right up to Northampton's coach (an hour before show time) and begged for tickets. And he got 'em. We found seats. When the match started I looked around and two of my ex-wrestlers were sitting directly behind me - far from home on a very cold Wednesday night. I have another theory: ex-wrestlers are a major component of wrestling's fan base.
  24. oldcougar

    Calm down

    Yes, I figured it was something like that.
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