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Oily Bohunk

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  1. I heard he felt it was time. Some might say better late than never. Bad jokes aside, this is going to be a good thing for Michigan, long term. KJ is a great coach who is linked to some heavy success.
  2. This isn't necessarily a disagreement, but the University of Minnesota has turned out some senior level competition, through their ties to the Minnesota Storm club. Pat Smith is the most recent example of a Gopher athlete who has represented the US internationally.
  3. Bumping this one with hopes that we can avoid getting it locked up. I think the idea of encouraging NCAA All Americans to wrestle Greco is a great idea, but this is just one lever that should be pulled. Expanding and encouraging earlier development is another major contributor, but neither is going to get us there by itself. A larger talent pool will not only be helpful for increasing the competition in trials but also gives more domestic training partners. Getting them to the trials is just the first step, though, and honestly won't matter if they don't continue training and competing after that. Winning world medals isn't going to happen for someone who tries Greco and manages to to qualify by beating several US wrestlers with a short period of training. Without finding a way to increase funding for Greco wrestlers, very few are going to stick with it.
  4. Ah yes, the new American Way. We struggle at it and the path to being successful is difficult, so we should just walk away rather than taking on a challenge. It's a good thing you weren't in charge of the women's program 20 years ago.
  5. Interesting question. I think rather than hoping for one wrestler to win a medal, though, that the theoretical money would be better spent funding multiple wrestlers to focus on training without having to concerned about working to support their passion. To build the program we need more quality talent. Right now, some of that talent turns to freestyle as there are more funding opportunities down that road. This means that the wrestlers pursuing a Greco career have to search internationally for the competition that will really help them grow than they might if we had better numbers domestically. This is more challenging when you've got limited funding. In reality, it might be difficult to rationalize someone sponsoring American Greco with our current level of international success, but that's what I believe it will take to get things on track. I think that USA Wrestling misses opportunities to help the Greco athletes market themselves. Many are relatively unknown since they typically didn't go the NCAA path, but there have been individuals along the way who have personalities or calling cards that people would recognize. Assisting the individuals with this ultimately could draw interest in and benefit the program.
  6. I'll chime in with my fifty cents, for those who are commenting or questioning the US Greco program, versus looking to egg on LJB or put Greco enthusiasts in a box. Admittedly, I've never wrestled on the Senior level, but I've gotten to share in the trials and tribulations of wrestlers who've achieved varying success on that level. 1. GRECO VERSUS FREESTYLE-Rather than comparing Greco & Freestyle to Soccer & Football, I think a more appropriate comparison is Boxing & MMA. They are similar sports, but there are significant enough differences that don't necessarily mean that success in one automatically translates to the other. Along with that, I see similarities in how MMA fans talk about boxing being boring, as it's more about jabs and setting up the knockouts versus takedowns and submissions. This is where it truly is critical for someone to focus on Greco at an early age, if you want to have a shot at international (not just domestic) success. 2. SUCCESS IN THE COLLEGE RANKS--There's no doubt that the majority of our successful high school wrestlers aspire to wrestle folkstyle at an NCAA program. I'd bet that several who've posted on this thread are unaware of the Greco program at NMU, much less the wrestlers who are up there training. Every year, there are a few wrestlers who could have been listed as a strong Folkstyle recruit, but in general, the wrestlers that are recruited for NMU are either Greco nuts (yes, they do exist) or diamonds in the rough. Historically, the program has had success with some of each, but rarely is there a name up there that registers with the folkstyle crowd. 3. FUNDING FOR LIFE ON THE SENIOR CIRCUIT: IMHO, this is the biggest challenge to growing the senior level program. Outside of wrestlers who are either committed to being broke and single or those with well off families to support them, the senior Greco wrestlers are typically left with a choice of either joining the Army WCAP or working while training, if they have a family to support. It's a chicken/egg situation, as sponsors are going to be reluctant to sponsor anyone who is wrestling in a less popular sport that hasn't had much success, which in turn steers the popular wrestlers to Freestyle. This is an area where I think USA wrestling could help the Greco program by providing athletes with some type of agent support to find sponsorships and other funding to allow them to focus on training. 4. SUCCESS OF FREESTYLE WRESTLERS IN GRECO- Just as the crossover between boxing and MMA, there are athletes who can compete in both successfully, but people who think the number 2 freestylers could walk through a Greco tournament don't have an understanding or respect for the differences. There was a reason that Kyle Dake wrestled an exhibition against a world champ, rather than the top US wrestlers at that time. He got a nice paycheck with nothing to lose. It was the world champ and nobody expected him to win. The match was close because it was intended to be exciting. Word out of his camp was that his training partners held back, and they weren't necessarily the top guy at the weight. Could Kyle Dake have trained and reached a potential to win a spot on the world team? I would have loved to see the battles between Dake and Bisek if he'd have gone that route, but I don't think he was willing to take that risk for the peanuts that you get as a Greco wrestler. 5. AVAILABILITY OF TRAINING PARTNERS-- With all of the previously stated shortcomings around US Greco, finding training partners to stimulate growth and development is tough in the US. With freestyle's connection to folkstyle, you can find training partners who will challenge a wrestler in nearly every state. With the limited number of senior Greco programs, the options are limited. This makes foreign training partners essential to those who want to be successful. When you add the costs of these arrangements, though, it just adds to the financial challenges that the athletes face. As a fan of the program, I've come to expect mediocrity, at best. Without funding to draw stronger talent consistently and support athletes as they train, I think it's unreasonable to expect different results. We will continue to have some breakthroughs, but they will be the exception. Understand, this isn't a dig on the wrestlers or even the coaches. Some wrestlers turned to Greco because they couldn't run with the big dogs in freestyle, but there are many who flat out love the sport and the competition. You might not enjoy Greco, but at least give them respect for continuing to grind and chase their dreams.
  7. Sorry to steer away from the recent posts, but I thought this gives a little more perspective on the initial discussion.
  8. I'll take my lumps on this one for being too much of a homer.
  9. It kills me to feel a vibe on here that JO owes US wrestling fans something for this result. Having been a part of someone else's journey to an Olympic spot, previously, I have always felt that there could be room for criticism for athletes who show a lack of dedication around preparation for an event like this (I don't think that's the case here with JO) but any disappointment in their actual performance is FOR them and not WITH them. From my spot on the couch, JO doesn't owe anyone of us anything regarding his performance. He went on the mat looking to do the best he could to achieve his dream to wrestle in the Olympics and came up short. No doubt he has disappointment, and will second guess what he did, but he doesn't owe me anything. I feel terrible for him.
  10. I 'd say that both Porter and Coon have realistic shots. As the article says, Porter has some hammers on his side, but he dodged the guys that I'd see as being the closest to unbeatable, especially if he wrestles with the confidence he showed at the Olympic Trials. As HawkY noted Coon has about as good of a situation as he could hope.
  11. Nice article. I have a lot of respect for those people who balance a family, service to our country, and a wrestling career on the senior level.
  12. I recognize that you said a lot versus all and think that's likely the case. That being said, there are wrestlers in all styles who show that this doesn't have to be the case. I'd say that in general you see more high level athletes showing genuine humility and respect when they haven't had the early success or attention. Wrestlers like JB and Cox are some notable exceptions, but in my experiences there is a higher percentage of women's Freestyle and men's Greco wrestlers who are more approachable and down to earth than you'd find with men's freestyle wrestlers. My unscientific OPINION is that they haven't spent their lives having people frequently telling them how great they are and have had to work harder to gain respect.
  13. My level of respect for J'Den continues to grow. I was a fan before trials and felt bad for him for what happened (while I also agree with sticking to the rules), but seeing him looking ahead to the future, rather than continuously making excuses, jumps him even further up the list of my favorite wrestlers.
  14. I'd agree that much of what he's written, in general, is creative and more concise. In this instance, it seemed that he felt he needed to share all of the details to show his respect for both wrestlers while trying to get to the point.
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