I actually wouldn't mind to see what Metcalf could do after having spent time with Dresser. My gut tells me his coaching approach now would be different than his personal wrestling style. I have felt for a long time if he had changed his training site after his first couple years internationally it may have made a difference. Not that Iowa isn't good, but I think a fresh perspective could have added to and benefited him.
We complain often when coaches hold their cards close to their vest, but when they are open and honest about how they have scouted a kid, he gets called bush league? He gave an honest answer (and should not have been interviewed while his kid was wrestling). The false outrage here is a little extreme, everyone take a breath.
I wish I had a definitive answer to that but I do not. I can try, but this is pure speculation
I think that youth participation up to 7th and 8th grade is good. At that point it turns into the haves and have nots. You have your parents who can afford to send their kids to all the camps, all the best clubs, and all over the country to wrestle completely outside of their school wrestling programs. Those kids stick with it and become pretty good, but what has been completely abandoned in all this is the grassroots effort to build an entire team and not just one kid. Those kids who didn't get that kind of training either quit or take a back seat to the "golden child" who has been wrestling all over the place. There is no effort is put into actually create a great room, therefore a great training environment for everyone. So those talented kids see clubs as their best route for training, and not their school. Anyone that may have been diamonds in the rough never get better and really you just have an environment where no one reaches their potential. I have seen this pattern repeat over and over and over in smaller towns.
Thats if that kid even stays at the school. Most of the time if a kid is good enough they transfer to a regional power or move. The problem here is that there is no competition anymore. One team in one area(especially in the west side of the state where the talent is more thin) will completely annihilate everyone. Well if you don't have any competition during the season, I think you have no reason to get better.
In the mid 2000's there was a team in Northwest Iowa in the town of Emmetsburg. They were tough and deep! Some of those guys wrestled from the cradle but not all of them. You had an entire team of guys who were molded for the system. In that area you had Humboldt, Algona, Spirit Lake, and a bunch of other who were solid top to bottom. Districts were a site to behold. Now you don't have an entire line-up like that. Spirit Lake has returned with a good full team, but for the most part its just a few guys here and a few there.
I think the most important factor is 7-8 grade. There needs to be an emphasis on the entire team and not just one individual. I went to a local Jr. High dual the other day and one of the kids was sitting out because he had lil kids state coming up. That crap needs to end. Stop treating one or two kids like they are outside of everyone else, be good coaches, and develop an entire team not just a few guys.
I think parents and athletes need to view clubs as supplementation to their training and not their training. If you truly want to be good, you need to make sure that the guy across from you in the room is getting better every single day not just you.
Finally, I think more coaches need to have a clearly communicated system for his entire program. Every wrestler is important and no one is special. Just because a kid has 7 AAU titles doesn't mean anything and he needs to be part of the team just like everyone else.
That may be an oversimplification, but I see this as the main problem with the rise of clubs and specialization. It has all become about the success of a select few and not about the achievements of an entire team, which in return isn't good for anyone. This is what is really hurts the small classes.
As far as some of the other things. I think Iowa does well with Freestyle and Greco. Iowa gets pretty good numbers. I think if there were changes in the areas I was talking about there would be even more. I think a high school coach should be a part of his kids doing these things.
I like the 3 classes for Iowa. It works for this state. I think it would hurt participation if less medals were given out. Plenty of 1A schools wrestle 3A and 2A schools throughout the year so its not like they never meet. I am of the opinion that more medals is a good thing, and right now with all the transferring, going to one class would really hurt a lot of programs.
Dresser is a dynamic wrestling program builder. He left power house Grundy high school in far southwestern VA and turned a bottom tier high school program, christiansburg into a national power. Then, he took over VT which had finished near dead last for many years at the NCAAs and made them a consistent top 10 team and snagged a team trophy too.
Seeing his rapid success at Iowa state isn’t a surprise at all. They are located in a wrestling hotbed and have the resources at his disposal.
As a VT fan, I hated to see him go. But if you look at his career, you could almost see it coming. He liked new challenges and seems to have a 10 year itch and makes a job change.
I’ll enjoy watching him push the Hawkeyes for state bragging rights. Don’t be surprised if he gets that honor next year.