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dclark145

Walking on in Division 1

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Not exactly sure what APR is, besides with car payments.. but I would rather the thread stay on course instead of turning into a flame war; the posts are really insightful, and I dont think anyone wants that to be derailed to dispute a minor focal point. Im sure if someone is walking on, theyre concerned with more wrestling than roster spots. You dont need any more than a cauliflower ear to prove yourself.

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People can laugh all they want to. I personally find it more humorous that guys who didn't have the courage or guts to do such a thing would laugh at someone who did.

 

I find it remarkable that various people's standards for who belongs in a DI room are much higher than Gable's.

 

These two posts are the best of the thread.

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Back in the mid-80s, a guy named Bill Levy, with zero high school wrestling experience, happened to live with several of the Iowa wrestlers. They would come home just beat from workouts, and Levy would want to wrestle them in the living room. Finally they got sick of it and talked him into walking on.

 

I do believe that Levy ended up winning a few collegiate matches ( not varsity). Goes to show what some good encouragement and coaching can do.

 

 

People can laugh all they want to. I personally find it more humorous that guys who didn't have the courage or guts to do such a thing would laugh at someone who did.

 

I find it remarkable that various people's standards for who belongs in a DI room are much higher than Gable's.

 

 

What was Gable's standard on the issue of walkons?

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For encouragement, here are some successful walk on Athletes that I am aware of that went to Penn State.

 

Chris "Doc" Vecchio of Penn State. The best Vecchio ever did in high school was 5th place in the state his senior year. He walked onto the Nittany Lion program, where he had a lot of quality wins, took third in the BIG 10 conference meet, and finished 8th in the nation his junior year. As a senior, he finished in the Round of 12.

 

Pat Cummins of Penn State. Cummins qualified but never placed at the Pennsylvania State tournament. In college he finished 4th and 2nd in the nation his last two seasons. Cummins brother Ryan, who finished 2nd in the State tournament, and did receive a scholarship to PSU never placed at nationals.

 

 

Per the prerequisites of some of the posters on this messageboard neither Vecchio or Cummins belong in Division I wrestling.

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People can laugh all they want to. I personally find it more humorous that guys who didn't have the courage or guts to do such a thing would laugh at someone who did.

 

I find it remarkable that various people's standards for who belongs in a DI room are much higher than Gable's.

 

I agree 100% Ray.

 

 

"You Only deserve what you earn" = http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/iow ... inners.pdf

 

In the link you will find the name of who I am speaking of. He earned a letter wrestling for the University of Iowa. Not an NCAA championship by any means, but still something to be very proud of and something for others to highly admire.

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Nice post, but Ryan did not take second in the state. He is however, the most handsome Cummins brother.

 

Is this information in the article wrong?

 

"Pat credited his work ethic to his older brother Ryan, a PA state 2nd and PSU 197 pound"

 

 

http://lvacwrestling.com/Docs/Bios/html ... nsBio.html

 

Sorry if it is wrong, I was just going by this source.

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As someone who walked on and wrestled for four years under Cael (and the other legend Bobby Douglas before that), I can echo some of the comments made by other posters.

 

I was only 2x IA state qualifier, (senior year I was ranked highly, should have placed, blah blah blah generic sob story), but I had the good fortune of Coach Bono giving me passing interest in setting up a recruitment visit for an afternoon. This "in" certainly made it easier to walk on, as I didn't have to pound the pavement to set up a connection; that is obviously something you will have to overcome. After that point, however, it was all grit and hard work that kept me on the team the next four years, (that and a very good GPA). Keep in mind at this time ISU was ranked #1 at one point in 3 of the 4 years I was on the team.

 

Personally, I limited my own success by having a mindset early on that I was fooling somebody by being there, giving the "names" too much credit before we'd even wrestled. If you have the mindset that you love the sport, can be a national champ, keep hounding for time with the toughest partners you can find, and don't give anyone too much respect, you will learn a lot about yourself and make many great memories... regardless of if you become a Tom Ryan or a solid backup. Myself, I had some minor successes out on the competition mat over the years, but I also made many great memories of the "this one time I scored on that national champ as a freshman" or "I pinned this guy in the room before he ever became an AA" kind of variety. (Of course conveniently forgetting over the years I took 4x worse than what I gave, on average).

 

If you are doing it for the right reasons, are willing to make the sacrifice, and are motivated to stick with it, I say go for it. I can attest that my heavy, heavy work ethic and grades kept me in the room once I had my foot in the door.

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By the way, Ray and Johnny: those were two very poignant responses to all the negativity that sometimes gets thrown around in our sport. If someone knows the risks, high likelihood of lack of glory, and is willing to invest in the sacrifice and the commitment it would take, then why would someone want to disparage them for that? People should let the coaches make the decision if his presence is a value add for their squad.

 

I was laughed out of my 7th grade wrestling pre-season info meeting because I raised my hand at the end and asked if I could try the sport and try mock trial. Funny how I was the only guy in the room who made it to high school varsity and ended up competing with multiple world team members and national and olympic champions at ISU.

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Sorry guys, this isn't a Lifetime movie. The reality of the situation here is that a kid who has failed to win a district title wants to compete for the number one collegiate program in the country. He's going to walk in that room and get thrown around like a rag doll. Anyone that has a remote shot at ever seeing the starting lineup will avoid practicing with him at all costs. In fact, Cael will be wise to ensure of it because you don't get better by wrestling much less skilled opponents. Unless he agrees to do the teams homework, they will all reject him because his presence will diminish the "prestige" of the room.

 

Sure, he can certainly work his ass off and possibly earn a spot on the roster, but for what? So he can tell people he wrestled for Penn State? ... so those people can think he was better than he actually was? ... when in reality, he spent 4 years trying to learn algebra while Cael was teaching physics.

 

A full academic scholarship is much more impressive than a full athletic scholarship. Is it possible that you make the roster if you work harder than you've ever worked in your life? Yes, possible .. but my advice to you is to use that academic scholarship wisely and spend all your energy in the classroom. Become the best at whatever it is you want to be. If you have the itch to wrestle, find a local club and enter some open tournaments.

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People can laugh all they want to. I personally find it more humorous that guys who didn't have the courage or guts to do such a thing would laugh at someone who did.

 

I find it remarkable that various people's standards for who belongs in a DI room are much higher than Gable's.

 

What was Gable's standard on the issue of walkons?

 

As best I could tell, it was that you had to want to be there. That may sound too simple to be true, but I think it was. If there was some minimum skill level, it's hard to imagine what it might have been; some of our guys didn't do much more than grab things and thrash violently. But I can only recall a few people who were unhappy being there, and they didn't last long.

 

Now, the standard for getting anyone to pay attention to you is another matter. With limited coaching resources, I believe that amounted to being graded on a curve: you had to be more worth working with than a bunch of the other people who happened to be there. But one of our walk-ons could probably give a better perspective on that than I could. (Technically, I walked on my sophomore year, but that doesn't matter for the present purpose.)

 

Some walk-ons wound up wrestling varsity (Whitmer being a famous example, but there were others). Even those that didn't were useful, though. Getting towards nationals, we had a peaking exercise. The starter would face off with a backup. The situation was: 20 seconds to go, the backup is up by 1 and has been warned for stalling. After you took him down, you'd have 12 seconds rest, then start again with 20 seconds to take him down. You might do this 30 times or so, and you were expected not to miss a takedown in that time. This exercise would have been basically impossible in a room loaded entirely with studs.

 

So, if the walk-ons who never made our team feel some pride in having wrestled for Iowa, and having helped the guys you've all heard of win their national titles, I'd say they're well-justified. I certainly respect a bunch of them.

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Google-Andrew Church-PSU. He is a current walk on that is getting a great education, who now has at least 2 national championship rings and has probably only started 2 matches in his career but has wrestled over 30 matches at open tournaments. If you have goals and dreams dont let anyone hold you back!!

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One of PSU's "better/best" wrestlers met dclark last night. They seemed to get along well. Wrestling is more than just winning matches. Hopefully, the PSU wrestler will make dclarks entry into PSU wrestling a little easier because it certainly won't be easy.

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I'll save everyone the trouble of googling Church. Here are his PSU profile and his HS record:

http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-wre ... 83684.html

http://www.flbwrestling.com/best%20of%2 ... 281%29.pdf

 

Church was a 1x sectional champ, never won districts, never won regionals, never qualified for states.

 

As a RS FR, he got to start for PSU at the VA Duals and at the Scuffle when Quentin Wright was injured. He won 20+ matches as a RS SO in 2012, primarily in opens. And he's an academic all-conference Engineering major. Plus the rings ...

 

But, yeah, no reason for him to bother wrestling. Should've known his place and stuck to the classroom.

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I'll save everyone the trouble of googling Church. Here are his PSU profile and his HS record:

http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-wre ... 83684.html

http://www.flbwrestling.com/best%20of%2 ... 281%29.pdf

 

Church was a 1x sectional champ, never won districts, never won regionals, never qualified for states.

 

As a RS FR, he got to start for PSU at the VA Duals and at the Scuffle when Quentin Wright was injured. He won 20+ matches as a RS SO in 2012, primarily in opens. And he's an academic all-conference Engineering major. Plus the rings ...

 

But, yeah, no reason for him to bother wrestling. Should've known his place and stuck to the classroom.

 

awesome- he'll get plenty more wins and probably 50 job offers. good man. guys like this are the heart of the USA

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Sorry guys, this isn't a Lifetime movie. The reality of the situation here is that a kid who has failed to win a district title wants to compete for the number one collegiate program in the country. He's going to walk in that room and get thrown around like a rag doll. Anyone that has a remote shot at ever seeing the starting lineup will avoid practicing with him at all costs. In fact, Cael will be wise to ensure of it because you don't get better by wrestling much less skilled opponents. Unless he agrees to do the teams homework, they will all reject him because his presence will diminish the "prestige" of the room.

 

Sure, he can certainly work his ass off and possibly earn a spot on the roster, but for what? So he can tell people he wrestled for Penn State? ... so those people can think he was better than he actually was? ... when in reality, he spent 4 years trying to learn algebra while Cael was teaching physics.

 

A full academic scholarship is much more impressive than a full athletic scholarship. Is it possible that you make the roster if you work harder than you've ever worked in your life? Yes, possible .. but my advice to you is to use that academic scholarship wisely and spend all your energy in the classroom. Become the best at whatever it is you want to be. If you have the itch to wrestle, find a local club and enter some open tournaments.

 

 

This is asinine. There was a kid on our team who was not very talented. As a matter of fact, the only reason he was there was because we had a roster spot and he carried a 4.0. Great guy, great friend, terrible wrestler. But he got to spend four years on our team and get three conference title rings in the process. He never started a match, and only one a single match in open tournaments. But he has stated several times that he wouldnt trade the experience of wrestling in college for the world. He said it changed his life and got him through some tough times. And guess what? Nobody rejected him bc he wasnt any good. And if you think ppl will either you are extremely shallow or ridiculously cynical about human nature.

 

Maybe our friend here gets a chance and makes the team. Even if he never starts (and he probably wont) to just be a part of that team and room is a great accomplishment and something to be proud of (and I detest PSU). If he gets cut, he still has his scholarship. Everybody gets their a$$ kicked the first time they step into a college room. He will have way more opportunities to get better at PSU than he did in hs and there is absolutely nothing wrong with never starting.

 

To compare this situation to a Lifetime movie and allege that "its not worth it" is stupid. Especially when a Disney movie reference would be a more apt reference.

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I walked on in college and from my experience, any coach will take a wrestler that is willing to work hard, stay out of trouble and get good grades. A coach will put up with some off the mat shenanigans for his stars, but quickly cut loose a borderline athlete. You will improve so much in your first month, especially if you never had good coaching or workout partners. If you get good enough, you will be given the opportunity to start. Politics are thrown out completely if you are the best option to start for the team. I would say give it a shot to any athlete wanting to give the next level a try. You will learn a lot about wrestling and about yourself

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This is not a zero-sum game. Just working out with a less skilled opponent does not make you worse! That's crazy. If you ONLY workout with less skilled guys then obviously you will start to lose a step here and there but not when the rest of your time is spent fighting tooth and nail against people on your level or above (like Cael Sanderson!). The best guys in the room need to be able to try out new moves, scrambles, get confident scoring lots of points, etc and will only be able to do it on those supposedly "unworthy" less skilled guys. If Penn State wins 4 NCAA titles in a row I don't think they are concerned about how prestigious they look irregardless of the # of walkons.

 

I hate the attitude that if your not the best of the best in the room you should just quit and go do your homework. What is the point of life if not to do what you love?

 

I'm with Johnny on this... this is what is keeping wrestling headed to the gutter... not our rules or singlets or whatever else.

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APR also does not take GPA into account. It tracks staying on school and staying eligible. A 2.0 GPA is as good as a 4.0. How the APR is counted is not hard info to find. Go read about it before you post again.

 

I think someone with a higher GPA is more likely to be on track and graduate.

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One of PSU's "better/best" wrestlers met dclark last night. They seemed to get along well. Wrestling is more than just winning matches. Hopefully, the PSU wrestler will make dclarks entry into PSU wrestling a little easier because it certainly won't be easy.

 

This solidified my choice. It was an amazing opportunity, especially given how unlikely it was for it to happen. Thank you very much to the both of you along with the others involved in making that possible! I will save names to protect the privacy of any involved.

 

Andrew Church's bio really speaks volumes to me. It is good to know that it has been done before. All the stories, anecdotes and testimonials on this thread are great reads!

 

Also, unfortunately, i am going to be a Secondary Education major and not a Visual Arts major, so i will not be involved in any Lifetime movies, nor do i plan to write one. I plan to wrestle.

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Aaron Simpson wasn't a walkon at ASU, as the one person who figuratively beat Lee Roy Smith Jr. over the head daily to recruit him. Aaron qualified for a 3/4 academic scholarship, Lee Roy finally saw that I was right after his brother Mark beat Aaron 11-10 at the Western Junior Regionals freestyle finals. Lee Roy was willing to give him a 1/4 athletic scholarship so he'd have a full ride. Unfortunately, the rules at that time would have made the 3/4 academic money count towards the 9.9 athletic scholarships for wrestling if Aaron was given $1 of athletic aide.

 

You can be a walkon and make it a long way. Stan Abel didn't start wrestling until his sophomore year of high school. There wasn't a JV team so he didn't wrestle outside the room until his junior year. As a junior he said he won about 50% of his varsity matches. As a senior he took 3rd in state when Oklahoma was still one class for wrestling. Port Robertson would visit John Devine the Perry Oklahoma coach each year to recruit whoever he had that he thought he was good. Port asked John if he had overlooked anyone. Devine said the Abel kid at Putnam City improved more than anyone in one year that he'd seen. So Port called Putnam City treated Stan to lunch at a local cafeteria that cost maybe $1.50 in 1954. Port offered him books, which the OU athletic department owned. So getting Stan Abel didn't cost him much. Stan said he was 5th at 130 on the depth chart at the start of the season. He said by the end of the 1st semester he was tied for 2nd place. By the end of the 1st season he was even with the starter Bobby Lyons who was 2nd at the NCAA. Stan said I made sure I was eligible went to all my classes and did my homework, but I majored in wrestling. Every day he said he looked at film of different wrestlers. The film of Bob Hoke from Michigan State really helped him with his single leg. After redshirting behind Bobby Lyons who was a senior the next year, Stan took 3rrd as a redshirt sophomore and won it the next two years.

 

My experience is many 3-time state champs who are nationally ranked don't know how to handle adversity. All they've done their entire careers is win. Face facts the first month of the season you may not score a point in the wrestling room. Because that room is filled with nationally ranked wrestlers with 1 or more years experience on you. Set your priorities.

 

When I taught academics at the Army Helicopter Flight school, it was in the 1-month preflight portion. The first day was orientation and a couple of other classes. I wouldn't let the Tac Officers and Sergeants stay in the classroom. I could see these kids had gotten about 3-4 hours sleep the night before trying to get their rooms and uniforms spotless. I explained to them that no matter how hard they worked they weren't getting a pass for about 2 months. I said your priorities are No.1 to pass the tests we give you, because if you fail them you won't have a room, you'll be washed out for academics. Just keep it clean enough they don't make you do a bunch of extra work as punishment.

 

You have an academic scholarship, the number one priority is make sure you get the grades to keep it.

Number two is devote yourself to wrestling, spend time looking at film, getting extra technical instruction.

This will require time management skills. I can tell you that is a major reason that many businesses like to hire wrestlers. They have a strong work ethic, they have excellent time management skills, they can handle adversity, they are self starters, and they aren't prima donnas as some of your major sports athletes are known to be. You may not have much of a social life.

 

I wasn't a great student in high school. After flying in the Army, I went back to college, I carried 17-19 hours each semester majoring in finance, ran an athletic dorm, was an assistant wrestling coach, and flew helicopters in the national guard. I didn't procrastinate much when it came to academics, because I had a limited amount of time to get it done. I was usually one of the top students in my classes. Had I worked that hard when I was younger I might have been where you are now.

 

Good luck.

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This thread has made its way to some of the Penn State wrestling message boards. On BWI's Penn State wrestling board, a former PSU walk-on made a post, and asked if somebody could post it on this forum. dclark145, this is a message to you from a former PSU walk-on.

 

"If someone who has access to that site can post this for me that would be great. Don't feel like signing up for another site. I rarely ever post anything to any site, but this one hit home for me. Hope you all enjoy reading this story and get a little feel as to what it is like walking on to PSU's wrestling team.

 

I hope the kid goes to PSU for the educational experience alone. If he never wrestles again, he will come away with a great education and set himself up for a good job opportunity. Unless he's planning on going to the Olympics, he should look at the education and take the full academic scholarship. I think everyone who is a PSU grad on this board can agree with that.

 

As far as walking on, I think I can probably give the best advice of anyone, especially at PSU. Granted back in the early 2000's, when I walked-on, it was a different time as opposed to the dominance that PSU has shown lately. However I think my story will resonate with the kid.

 

I am a former walk-on at PSU, who was told by Coach Sunderland as a freshman that I would not make the team, despite being a 2x Prep All American and ranked the #1 Prep wrestler in the country my senior year before being upset at Prep Nationals. I never won Prep states (3x runner-up). Never won Prep Nationals. I am also from Southeastern PA, and now give back to the sport as one of the two coaches of an extremeley successful youth club and high school. I had 1 scholarship offer as a senior and that was to SUNY Binghamton, which I turned down for the education of PSU. Here's my story...

 

I decided to walk-on at PSU and was more than holding my own. As a walk-on, you start much later than the regular team, so the odds are even more stacked against you. You have to train on your own, while the kids on scholarship are going thru the designated team runs and practices. A week before wrestle-offs (already practicing for a month) the remaining 4 walk-ons, myself included, were finally given PSU wrestling gear (t-shirts and shorts) so that we felt part of the team. On the way up to get the gear, Coach Sunderland told us that we wouldn't make the team because he had a 40 roster limit. I was crushed because I knew I belonged and had proven myself in the practice room. I believed him like a fool, and another walk-on and I quit two days later. The other two walk-ons ignored Coach Sunderland's comment, stuck with it, and made the team. I was shocked and angry. I was lied to and deceived and there was nothing that I could do about it. Or so I thought...

 

Two months later when I got back from Christmas break to my freshman dorm in East Halls, I had an email from Coach Sunderland telling me that I had an open offer to come back and try out if I wanted to. I was shocked, especially since it was sent in the middle of the season. After thinking about it for a month, I decided I had to take the opportunity to prove that I belonged no matter what a coach or others thought. I got myself back into shape, since I had been "fratastic" for a couple months after I quit, and was back on campus in late August running with the team. A few weeks later, I am in a meeting with all new athletes from every sport, being told that I couldn't take steroids or hire an agent. I remember leaving that meeting and calling my dad saying, "I think I made the team?". A few months later, I won wrestle-offs and was the starting 174lber for the entire season. Although I never placed 1st at a collegiate tournament or even won a Big Ten Tournament match for that fact (Drawing UFC fighter Rashad Evans from Mich St. first round and then the #3 seed from Minn being upset didn't help.). I did what people told me wasn't possible.

 

I saw posters on that board saying that they weren't trying to be mean but that he shouldn't even try. If I were him, I would use that as fuel to the fire. If this kid wants to walk-on and wrestle for PSU, then he should go get his dream. It will not be easy. You will have to work your tail off, but it can be done. I am one of only a handful of people ever at PSU to walk-on and start their first year making the team. I am proof it can be done. WE ARE...PENN STATE!!! "

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This thread is a testiment to the fact that you can think of just about anything that is impossible, do a little research, start asking some questions and find out someone has done it :) The last post was what hard work and dedication are all about.

 

Will Dclark145 ever win an NCAA title, good question. Will he ever win a college tournament, or even make the starting spot at his weight, or even make the team? All good questions, that have yet to be answered. However if he doesn't even attempt it, the answers are vividly clear.

 

"Whether you think you can, or can't......you're probably right" :)

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