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hbluejr

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  1. Kelly Ward was certainly the more accomplished NCAA wrestler, but Chiapparelli's freestyle credentials, in my opinion, make this a worthy debate. Ward does seem to be a underappreciated all the same. After losing to Lee Kemp in the NCAA finals in 1977, he began to close the gap his junior year (Kemp's senior year). In the Iowa State-Wisconsin dual, Ward became Kemp's only non-win on his record after his true freshman year as they tied 5-5 in the dual. In a truly great NCAA Final that year, Kemp ran up an 8-0 lead entering the 3rd and Ward stormed back to lose 10-8. Highlights from that match can be viewed below. Ward of course would win next year's title after Kemp graduated. That said, Chiapparelli's overall wrestling career is really incomplete without considering his freestyle accolades. Aside from winning every major high school national tournament and winning an NCAA title, he was also a Junior World Silver Medalist and he earned a number of wins against some of our most elite senior level athletes. He beat Mark Schultz in the 1988 US Open and would lose to him 2 matches to 1 in the Olympic Trials Finals (these matches were partially depicted in Foxcatcher). That same year he would defeat future World gold medalist Lukman Jabrailov in the famed USA vs. USSR Fiesta Bowl Dual (the John Smith-led US team won against a stout Soviet squad). The next year as the US World Cup rep he would earn gold over former World Champ Raul Cascaret (Cuba) and former World Bronze Vorobiev (USSR). Chiapparelli never made a World or Olympic team, but was competing in an extremely competitive era and weight against not only Schultz (3x gold), but also Kevin Jackson (3x gold), Melvin Douglas (4x medalist, 1x gold), and Royce Alger (1x silver). After retiring for four years (which he spent modelling in Paris of all things according to an interview in the Spoken spokesman) he even came back to the sport to place 4th in the 1996 US Open. Perhaps more than anything, though, Chiapparelli's wrestling style was innovative and far ahead of it's time-- pure funk long before it became a mainstream part of the sport-- and this made his every match 'must see' for wrestling fans at the time. And he was deadly too, owning pins over the likes of Kevin Jackson and Melvin Douglas, and I'm sure many other top tier competitors. Finally, one could also consider his contributions to bridging the worlds of wrestling and MMA as he formed the RAW team that helped usher the likes of Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, Frank Trigg, and other World Team-calibre wrestlers into MMA. It all comes to criteria, but while Ward is an underappreciated collegiate great, largely due to his overlap with the near unmatched overall greatness of Lee Kemp (who would be on my USA Rushmore) and his lack of a post-collegiate freestyle career, Chiapparelli's freestyle accomplishments and wins, his innovative and dangerous style, and his pioneering work with wrestlers in MMA make him a worthy potential inclusion on a Maryland Rushmore, in my opinion at least.
  2. Which was the 5-2 match? Assuming the 3-2 match was NCAA semis in 2015?
  3. Megaluis - 400 Imar - 500 Martin - 200 Macchiavello - 100 Gadson - 700 Coon - 600
  4. Flo did rank Uetake #2 on their all time greatest college wrestlers list last year, so, he does get some modern recognition. He was truly great. I personally haven't found a record of a single Uetake loss in any style/competition-- he went 3/3 undefeated at NCAA's and 2/2 Gold in the Olympics- giving up no offensive points in his first Gold run and beating 6 recent or soon-to-be World Gold medalists through the Japan Team Trials and the Olympics. And that was with 2 more years of NCAA competition to go. If you were to knock him as far as some sort of collegiate career rankings go, it would be because he was 21 yrs old in his first NCAA's appearance, so it's tough to know how he would have done as a 18, 19 or 20 yr old (he didn't wrestle any major tournaments if at all his freshman year as far as I can tell). I suppose Stieber (21) is similar, and Dan Hodge was even older at just about age 23 in his first NCAA's due to military service (he did make the Olympics at age 20 and went 1-2). For those reasons, I tend to view Kemp and Snyder's accomplishments from ages 18-22 or so as a bit more impressive as they competed as true freshman and also had international success at very young ages (World Golds at 19 and 21 respectively). (My personal preference is to take freestyle/international success into account when playing these thought experiments as to how these guys stack up against each other as NCAA competition levels can be so variable). If Yianni is able to win out in NCAA competition, make a couple world teams, and perhaps medal, I think it could be very reasonable to argue for his career to be ranked above Cael's. I tend to view the day in and day out competition at 141 and 149 as generally stronger than that at 184 and 197. As a true freshman, in addition to the all too frequently referenced loss, I don't believe Cael wrestled actually wrestled very much high caliber collegiate competition (e.g. didn't compete at Midlands, etc.), and he took 7th in the Jr. World Trials that year (high school junior Damion Hahn took 3rd). Two years later I believe he took 6th at US Open and was knocked out early in the Olympic Trials. That said, it would be extremely difficult for anyone to match Cael's collegiate dominance from ages 21-23 or so, and of course nothing in wrestling is guaranteed as recent NCAA's have shown re: great guys like Imar, Cenzo, and Mymar. With these thought experiments, it's all about the personal criteria, of course.
  5. It's certainly true that anomalies can be found anywhere, but the state of Maryland, while not large (#19 in terms of population), does in fact do an exceptional job of producing highly capitalized and elite talent across many sports.Per NCAA data, Maryland ranks very highly in % of participants/sport recruited at the D1 Level in nearly all sports. For instance: Boys' Basketball (#1), Girls' Basketball (#1), Boys' Soccer (#1), Girl's Track and Field (#1), Boys' Lacrosse (#1), Girls' Lacrosse (#1), Boys' Track and Field (#2), Girls' Soccer (#4), Wrestling (#4), Football (#5), Baseball (#8), etc. In the 2016 Rio Olympics I believe 10 different athletes who played high school athletics in Maryland won Gold Medals across 7 different sports. I believe this ranked 2nd overall behind California and 1st in per capita. In terms of recent wrestling success oddities, as has been noted, in 2017 four former/current Maryland high school wrestlers won age level World Golds (Snyder, Maroulis, Brooks, McHenry). These results across various sports may be due to Maryland being the state with the #1 per capita income in the U.S. (likely due it's privileged greogrphic proximity to the nation's capital), which has resulted in well funded public high schools, many dozens of private schools, many well funded youth sports options, and parents with the means to pay for supplemental athletic training, all located within a very small geographic area that fosters a lot of competitive opportunities and knowledge transfer. Maryland certainly isn't notorious for wrestling and it's not particularly popular in-state (#24 nationally in terms of total high school participation #'s), but like other sports it does punch a bit above it's weight. When elite talent does come around, athletes in Maryland may be more likely to be afforded the resources and opportunities needed to capitalize on their potential across a variety of sports. There certainly are some Phelps and Snyder equivalents out there who just weren't born in to the right situations to succeed athletically.
  6. Here's a Gable guy who was funkier than Nolf: --(Best one, but couldn't find a YouTube link) vs. 6X World Team Member/World Gold Melvin Douglas. Start at 7:15 for highlight real: https://www.flowrestlinGg.org/video/5173020-167lbs-melvin-douglas-vs-rico-chiapparelli-1983-iowa-university-vs-oklahoma-university --These two Youtube vids are teed up for highlights: A.) NCAA Finals B.) Vs. Russian World Champ Jabrailov
  7. " This exact hypothetical could be posed about literally every single recruit...Yet, it's not. So what's different here? The publicly stated/available information relevant to McHenry's education/academic abilities, from what I can tell, is: a.) He attends a very academically competitive prep school (St. Paul's) who's most recent nationally ranked recruits matriculated to Princeton (Tsonga) and UPenn (Planta). b.) He completed this prep school's graduation requirements a semester early. c.) He'll attend one of the nations top academic universities next year (UMich). d.) And, his short list of universities consisted of UMich, Stanford, Cornell, UNC, and Penn State. Literally every piece of education-relevant information publicly stated/available should be considered a very positive indicator of his academic abilities and yet he's the kid that prompts reckless message board postulation about whether "his academics are trouble..."? This board should stick to wrestling-- needlessly broaching questions about a kid's academic capabilities- especially without the slightest reason or impetus to- is irresponsible and potentially damaging.
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