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Talk about turning program around

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Dont need get stuck in the weeds here. Results speak. True proof that the program is on the rise. I am expecting more to come.

Props to coaching staff for the turn around!

Frank C 

 

Team Standings
1 Oklahoma State 158
2 Iowa State 114.5
3 Northern Iowa 82
4 Oklahoma 78
5 Fresno State 59.5
6 Utah Valley 59
7 Wyoming 58
8 North Dakota State 53.5
9 West Virginia 46
10 South Dakota State 18.5
11 Air Force 18
12 Northern Colorado 17

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Good luck to them. The program looks to be on the rise. Hope it keeps up and they are going head to head with Iowa within the next three years. ISU being in the hunt with a real chance at a Title will be good for the sport, not just Iowa.

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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. 

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11 minutes ago, Dr. Novak said:

Maybe 20 years ago but certainly not now.

Still a hotbed compared to most other regions in the united states.  Sure they are no Pennsylvania, Ohio, or NJ but I would bet Iowa would still be top 7-8 states to recruit from.  Question though, do you think Verkleeren has regrets decommiting and heading to PSU. One could argue being on a national championship team could be enough, but riding the bench in  college could not be what he was expecting?  Were there any others who decommited when the coaching change happened?  I remember Gomez decommited then recommited.

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2 minutes ago, JBluegill133 said:

Still a hotbed compared to most other regions in the united states.  Sure they are no Pennsylvania, Ohio, or NJ but I would bet Iowa would still be top 7-8 states to recruit from.  Question though, do you think Verkleeren has regrets decommiting and heading to PSU. One could argue being on a national championship team could be enough, but riding the bench in  college could not be what he was expecting?  Were there any others who decommited when the coaching change happened?  I remember Gomez decommited then recommited.

Iowa is not 7-8 in talent at this time imo. It is cyclical though. I see the middle school and younger talent and gotta think things are coming around. Watched a freshman 126 lber from Solon tear through the state tourney with tons of offense. It gives me hope for the future.

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Just now, russelscout said:

Iowa is not 7-8 in talent at this time imo. It is cyclical though. I see the middle school and younger talent and gotta think things are coming around. Watched a freshman 126 lber from Solon tear through the state tourney with tons of offense. It gives me hope for the future.

Really? I didn't know they had dropped so far.  If so, I retract my previous statement.  Although I'd still give a multiple time state champion from iowa more of a look than say someone from a state with less pedigree. 

 

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32 minutes ago, Dr. Novak said:

Maybe 20 years ago but certainly not now.

I don’t follow high school wrestling like I used to and didn’t realize Iowa had dropped off some. A quick glance at intermat had 3 schools in the top 50. Not bad but not what I assumed either 

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43 minutes ago, JBluegill133 said:

Still a hotbed compared to most other regions in the united states.  Sure they are no Pennsylvania, Ohio, or NJ but I would bet Iowa would still be top 7-8 states to recruit from.  Question though, do you think Verkleeren has regrets decommiting and heading to PSU. One could argue being on a national championship team could be enough, but riding the bench in  college could not be what he was expecting?  Were there any others who decommited when the coaching change happened?  I remember Gomez decommited then recommited.

Ethan Smith, now at Ohio State and Jake Allar at Minnesota both decommitted after the coaching change.

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54 minutes ago, JBluegill133 said:

Still a hotbed compared to most other regions in the united states.  Sure they are no Pennsylvania, Ohio, or NJ but I would bet Iowa would still be top 7-8 states to recruit from.  Question though, do you think Verkleeren has regrets decommiting and heading to PSU. One could argue being on a national championship team could be enough, but riding the bench in  college could not be what he was expecting?  Were there any others who decommited when the coaching change happened?  I remember Gomez decommited then recommited.

Isn’t Verk assumed to be a starter next year at PSU? 

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Just now, KTG119 said:

Isn’t Verk assumed to be a starter next year at PSU? 

Berge moving up to fill 157 then verk slides in?  That's what I would expect. Still with such a small window of competition availability. Burning a year of eligibility for a pretty blue chip recruit still stinks.  Now that I've done my research (probably shouldve done that prior to my posts) I see that Verk is only a RS-Fr.  For some reason I thought he was older.  He still has 3 full years of eligibility left so he may not be as concerned as I was about having to sit behind berge this year.

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52 minutes ago, JBluegill133 said:

Really? I didn't know they had dropped so far.  If so, I retract my previous statement.  Although I'd still give a multiple time state champion from iowa more of a look than say someone from a state with less pedigree. 

 

I am not going off stats here. A little while back I posted the state champs in all 3 classes from Iowa in the mid 2000s. A lot of really good talent, future Hawkeyes and Cyclones, and natty champs. I never used to miss the state championships, and during that time we had a state that could compete with the power 4 CA, NJ, PA, OH. Maybe not as much depth, but considering our population it was impressive. After that there was a sharp decline and then an even sharper decline after that. What would have been a 2 time then is a 4 time champ now imo. Just watching it, Im not seeing the same kind of talent in all 3 classes. I believe it is the consolidation of talent at the larger schools and therefore a lack of competition as a whole. That combined with the fact that Iowa schools do very little wrestling out of state has hurt our talent pool.

 

There are some teams and some good individuals that are coming out of high school, but I have yet to see a crop of guys like Slaton, McD, Borschel, M*, St John, etc. 

Like I said, I think there is starting to be a rise again, and if you go on Hawkeye Report I think many believe that also, but it is a long ways to go before we get to where we were.

 

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3 minutes ago, russelscout said:

I am not going off stats here. A little while back I posted the state champs in all 3 classes from Iowa in the mid 2000s. A lot of really good talent, future Hawkeyes and Cyclones, and natty champs. I never used to miss the state championships, and during that time we had a state that could compete with the power 4 CA, NJ, PA, OH. Maybe not as much depth, but considering our population it was impressive. After that there was a sharp decline and then an even sharper decline after that. What would have been a 2 time then is a 4 time champ now imo. Just watching it, Im not seeing the same kind of talent in all 3 classes. I believe it is the consolidation of talent at the larger schools and therefore a lack of competition as a whole. That combined with the fact that Iowa schools do very little wrestling out of state has hurt our talent pool.

 

There are some teams and some good individuals that are coming out of high school, but I have yet to see a crop of guys like Slaton, McD, Borschel, M*, St John, etc. 

Like I said, I think there is starting to be a rise again, and if you go on Hawkeye Report I think many believe that also, but it is a long ways to go before we get to where we were.

 

What do you think a solution would be? (just making conversation)

Increase youth participants? 

Focus more on out of state competition and the international styles...Fargo etc.

Decrease divisions in high schol wrestling to saturate the talent pool?

All of the above?

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3 minutes ago, JBluegill133 said:

What do you think a solution would be? (just making conversation)

Increase youth participants? 

Focus more on out of state competition and the international styles...Fargo etc.

Decrease divisions in high schol wrestling to saturate the talent pool?

All of the above?

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.

Thats just my opinion though.
 

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2 hours ago, Creek chub said:

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. 

"Next Year".....I don't think I'm looking at the same ISU and Iowa rosters you are if you think ISU could take the crown "next year".

If Iowa stays healthy (big if) they SHOULD (another big should) be pushing PSU for a team title. 

125- Lee

133- DeSanto

141- Renteria

149- Lugo

157- Young/Brands

165- Marinelli

174- Kemerer

184- Wilcke

197- Warner

HWT- Cassioppi

Freshman like Assad and Kennedy coming in to maybe push Wilcke. 

 

I agree that Dresser is on a major upward trend and definitely has the ability to contend with Iowa, but I just don't think it's coming next year.  

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2 hours ago, JBluegill133 said:

Still a hotbed compared to most other regions in the united states.  Sure they are no Pennsylvania, Ohio, or NJ but I would bet Iowa would still be top 7-8 states to recruit from.  Question though, do you think Verkleeren has regrets decommiting and heading to PSU. One could argue being on a national championship team could be enough, but riding the bench in  college could not be what he was expecting?  Were there any others who decommited when the coaching change happened?  I remember Gomez decommited then recommited.

Yep 

I think Jake Allar was going to back out of the old staff also.  I think if KJ was still there, Allar was going to end up at Minnesota

Ethan Smith to Ohio State

Jarod Verkleeren to Penn State. 

Ben Kamali to Virginia (Not sure he ever sighed, might of been at junior)

Weston DiBlasi to Missouri (Was a junior in high school)

Guys that were on the team that ended up at other D1 schools

Danny Vega at SDSU

Zemua Baptista at Nebraska

Colston DiBlasi at George Mason

Kanen Storr at Michigan

 

Edited by buf87

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7 minutes ago, buf87 said:

Yep 

I think Jake Allar was going to back out of the old staff also.  I think if KJ was still there, Allar was going to end up at Minnesota

 Ethan Smith to Ohio State

Jarod Verkleeren to Penn State. 

Ben Kamali to Virginia (Not sure he ever sighed, might of been at junior)

Weston DiBlasi to Missouri (Was a junior in high school)

Guys that were on the team that ended up at other D1 schools

Danny Vega at SDSU

Zemua Baptista at Nebraska

Colston DiBlasi at George Mason

Kanen Storr at Michigan

 

FIFY. George Washington does not have a team.

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10 minutes ago, buf87 said:

 

Colston DiBlasi at George Washington

 

 

George Mason, not GW. No longer a program there. 

 

Edit-SHP beat me to the punch

Edited by KTG119

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1 hour ago, JBluegill133 said:

Berge moving up to fill 157 then verk slides in?  That's what I would expect. Still with such a small window of competition availability. Burning a year of eligibility for a pretty blue chip recruit still stinks.  Now that I've done my research (probably shouldve done that prior to my posts) I see that Verk is only a RS-Fr.  For some reason I thought he was older.  He still has 3 full years of eligibility left so he may not be as concerned as I was about having to sit behind berge this year.

Plus remember that if he was at ISU he's probably beaten out by Degan anyway this year.

Dresser has done a great job in only his second season - especially with all the doom and gloom after Zadick/Storr left. 

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Fixed.  Colston is a great guy and from a great family.  I am glad he made it to Nationals with George MASON!  Interesting that he did that at 165, which happens to be the weight we didn't qualify anyone at.  

Edited by buf87

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Dresser is a superb coach, obviously. The results speak for themselves. I expect ISU to have some AAs this year.

OU seems improved in the last month or so. The kids seem to be wrestling better, smarter. Demas has a pretty good shot to AA. I think their other qualifiers may be able to pick up a couple wins at NCAAs. Top 20 isn't out of the question.

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31 minutes ago, russelscout said:

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.

Thats just my opinion though.
 

A well thought out opinion, man! Cheers to you!  Being a coach I think you hit the nail on the head.  The emphasis needs to be on the team and developing a system and culture that all can be a part of.  It is a tough road though. For my team personally, we have one practice for JV/Varsity in our room (numbers issue but we are getting there!) we have guys who are returning state champs and medalists and D1 commits, as well as those who have never put a headgear on before.  Tailoring a practice to make sure it is beneficial for all levels has been challenging to say the least.  I think for the team culture the focus has to be on those things that don't involve specific advanced techniques.  The basics of the wrestling mindset, hard work, sacrifice,  being coachable overcoming adversity or obstacles, and respect.  These are aspects that all young wrestlers can be a part of and understand without the need of specialized trainings or camps.  Ultimately, these skills help in life outside of the wrestling room.  Great post Russell! I truly enjoy your perspective.

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As JBluegill stated Northwest Iowa was great for NCAA wrestlers back in the 70's and 80's

Kerber from Emmetsburg & Brands from Sheldon both went to Iowa

Randy Nielson, John Thorn, Dave Martin of Algona all went to Iowa State

Kirk Meyers from Algona and Mike Van Oosbree from Emmetsburg went to UNI

Paul Martin from Algona went to Oklahoma State

Kevin Dresser from Humboldt went to Iowa.

Emmetsburg is on its way back, Tyler Bjustrom got 1A coach of the year and had an undefeated season this year.

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