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BIG THINGS HAPPENING OUT WEST- NCWA

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BIG THINGS HAPPENING OUT WEST- NCWA

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By Scott Farrell

 

The stage is set out west for a shootout next season among teams looking to rise and take the lead as the NCWA’s top team along the west coast.

Based on the standings from last month’s NCWA Championships, a handful of new programs are already poised to compete on par with those with more NCWA tenure. Which makes for a wild, wild west in the 2013-14 season if Central Washington, Montana Western, Sacramento State and USC can repeat seasons that saw all four programs finish in the top 17 in the NCWA’s Division II for emerging programs. CWU (fifth) and UWM (tied for sixth) both placed in the top six.

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I stopped reading at NCWA

Sad...

 

Yet, I'm just as guilty of it too. I have a solid, decent amount of information about NCAA DI wrestling, just a trickle of knowledge concerning DIII wrestling. As big of a fan as I am, I can't tell you a thing about DII or NJCAA wrestling. The only reason I even know that the NAIA exist is because there was an NAIA wrestling team 20 miles from where I grew up and I went for my first 2 1/2 years of college to an NAIA school.

 

I sometimes wonder if anyone except for the parents and girlfriends of the smaller divisions follow. I am trying to get more into NAIA wrestling, as there is a rich hidden history of neat facts, that few are aware of.

 

How many of us can name the four time NAIA champs? I know I can't without looking it up.

 

As for the NCWA, other than the national tournament, I find it practically impossible to follow.

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I stopped reading at NCWA

Sad...

 

Yet, I'm just as guilty of it too. I have a solid, decent amount of information about NCAA DI wrestling, just a trickle of knowledge concerning DIII wrestling. As big of a fan as I am, I can't tell you a thing about DII or NJCAA wrestling. The only reason I even know that the NAIA exist is because there was an NAIA wrestling team 20 miles from where I grew up and I went for my first 2 1/2 years of college to an NAIA school.

 

I sometimes wonder if anyone except for the parents and girlfriends of the smaller divisions follow. I am trying to get more into NAIA wrestling, as there is a rich hidden history of neat facts, that few are aware of.

 

How many of us can name the four time NAIA champs? I know I can't without looking it up.

 

As for the NCWA, other than the national tournament, I find it practically impossible to follow.

 

 

The competition in the NCWA is pretty awful. Thats coming from coaches who have been in transition from one division to another (NAIA to NCAA or up a division).

 

There is always an exception, but for the most part, it's pretty ugly.

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CollegeWrestling4444, all I ever see from your list of college programs and what's wrong with sport and what others should be doing. Why do go out of your way to bash 1500 college kids, plus volunteers who make up the NCWA?

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I stopped reading at NCWA

Sad...

 

Yet, I'm just as guilty of it too. I have a solid, decent amount of information about NCAA DI wrestling, just a trickle of knowledge concerning DIII wrestling. As big of a fan as I am, I can't tell you a thing about DII or NJCAA wrestling. The only reason I even know that the NAIA exist is because there was an NAIA wrestling team 20 miles from where I grew up and I went for my first 2 1/2 years of college to an NAIA school.

 

I sometimes wonder if anyone except for the parents and girlfriends of the smaller divisions follow. I am trying to get more into NAIA wrestling, as there is a rich hidden history of neat facts, that few are aware of.

 

How many of us can name the four time NAIA champs? I know I can't without looking it up.

 

As for the NCWA, other than the national tournament, I find it practically impossible to follow.

 

 

The competition in the NCWA is pretty awful. Thats coming from coaches who have been in transition from one division to another (NAIA to NCAA or up a division).

 

There is always an exception, but for the most part, it's pretty ugly.

 

I'd imagine it's most likely that 100% of the wrestlers that make up the NCWA are guys that are there wrestling for no other reason than they love the sport. You ask them why they wrestle, and the clear cut simple answer is, because they want to. Sure, most would probably get tech'd or pinned by "real" college wrestlers, but you can't always define a person's passion and love by the level of talent that they have. I'd imagine that most of these guys were like I was in high school and like I would've been had I chosen to wrestle in college. Got all the heart in the world and not a spec of athletic ability to go along with it. I'm glad the NCWA exist, and I hope to have the opportunity to support it in the future. It gives guys the opportunity that loved wrestling in high school, that weren't good enough to wrestle for a DI, DII, DIII or NAIA school an opportunity to still wrestle. It also gives guys an opportunity to stay involved in the sport, when academically a school may be the best choice for them, that doesn't have a varsity program.

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Keep in mind that someday these wrestlers will have kids who want to participate in the sport. NCWA is good for the long term interest of the sport. These guys will be better youth coaches, parents and fans because of their experience. We need more, not less of this kind of venue .

 

Some years ago while working in South Carolina I started attending wrestling events at the Citidel. I knew some of their recruits who came from NJ & Pa so I was interested in the program. Citidel held an open tournament which several NCWA teams attended - including a large contingent from Auburn. They had at least 20 wrestlers plus what appeared to be an equally large "cheerleading" squad.

 

Does it really matter that none of the Auburn wrestlers was likely to place in a tournament with D1 wrestlers? It takes a lot of heart, guts and love for the sport for a part time athlete to strap on the singlet in a college level event - much less to go against D1 competition.

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I am also one who pays very little to anything but DI but that is a shame. The ones who participate in NWCA just want to continue wrestle. A few years after college I lived in Lawrence, KS and met one the wrestlers at KU. He invited me to work out with them so I did. They only had the room a few nights a week at about 9:00. They received about $100 from the university so raised all of their own money for trips. They had no coach, organized everything. You don't have to pay attention to these posts but you should not bash them. These are the guys who will support the sport for years to come. I tip my hat to them.

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The D1 fan-atics have made a hash of the sport, for the most part. Decimating programs. If there is a future it will most likely come from growing the sport and opening opportunity. Too many fans, especially D1 only, want to lionize the top dog the Dake or Cael or Metcalf or Burroughs du jour at the expense of all the others. One only need read the boards to know that is factual. Try to name all the 2nds and 3rds from last years NCAAs to test yourselves. While I also find myself falling into that pattern, I still enjoy it all from PW to Worlds. There is plenty of life in the other Ds, Naia NJCaa and the scholastics. You just have to wear your less critical eye shades and try to remember that wrestling isn't about the perfect mechanic but two evenly match very tough guys fighting for primacy in a friendly way. There is a lot to be said for the relaxed atmosphere some of the other talent pools enjoy. Reminds me somewhat of the old FS & G circuit of the 80s and 90s. Way more friendly. NCWA has added more to wrestling and its opportunities than NCAA and "you can take that to the bank"

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Wrestling needs the NCWA.

 

Rarely will we see an AD take a non-existant program directly to the DI level. Programs must start somewhere. The NCWA is the perfect environment to introduce wrestling to a college campus.

 

Don't judge these athletes/coaches to DI or DII athletes or programs. They are motivated and driven purely for the love of the sport. Applaud what they are doing. How many of us would have continued wrestling without a scholarship, or the hope of a scholarship?

 

An NCWA program is the introduction on campus wrestling needs, when there is no program. Next, they can be moved into the athletic department and compete on a more regimented and supported system. Maybe through years of dedication and success, they can compete at the higher levels.

 

If we downplay these programs and/or athletes, we have no hope in growing our sport. It's not reality to think that we'll return to the number of DI programs we had 3 or 4 decades ago without this grassroots effort.

 

Give these wrestlers and coaches the respect they deserve.

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CollegeWrestling4444, all I ever see from your list of college programs and what's wrong with sport and what others should be doing. Why do go out of your way to bash 1500 college kids, plus volunteers who make up the NCWA?

 

Did you read what I said?

 

That is not just coming from me, its coming from many coaches I have interacted with.

 

It's nothing more then a rec league. Not necessarily a bad thing.

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This is quickly turning into a garbage thread.

 

"I'm in Region XYZ, or section TSW, or high school ABC, or NCAA Div 1/2/3 , Big 10, 12, 14, skipped collegiate to go to OTC, or whatever... Level A/B/C is beneath me.. " This is flat out BS.

 

There's no room here for disrespecting any specific set of wrestlers. It's unacceptable.

 

We're a wrestling community and we need to focus on supporting each other at EVERY level.

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Wrestling needs the NCWA.

 

Rarely will we see an AD take a non-existant program directly to the DI level. Programs must start somewhere. The NCWA is the perfect environment to introduce wrestling to a college campus.

 

Don't judge these athletes/coaches to DI or DII athletes or programs. They are motivated and driven purely for the love of the sport. Applaud what they are doing. How many of us would have continued wrestling without a scholarship, or the hope of a scholarship?

 

An NCWA program is the introduction on campus wrestling needs, when there is no program. Next, they can be moved into the athletic department and compete on a more regimented and supported system. Maybe through years of dedication and success, they can compete at the higher levels.

 

If we downplay these programs and/or athletes, we have no hope in growing our sport. It's not reality to think that we'll return to the number of DI programs we had 3 or 4 decades ago without this grassroots effort.

 

Give these wrestlers and coaches the respect they deserve.

 

I swear ...... Sometimes we eat our own!! We complain when we can't wrestle, and then complain when we can wrestle ...

 

Give these wrestlers and coaches the respect they deserve

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In 2002 I wrestled in the NCWA at the University of Nevada Reno after finishing up JC wrestling at Sierra College in California. I had absolutely no idea what to expect going in as far as what the competition was like. Our team was much better than what you would expect from a NCWA team. We took it very seriously. We were not in any way "part time athletes". We wrestled in all open tournaments. I think going into the NCWA regional tournament I had only wrestled 1 kid from the NCWA at that point. I was at 125 and had beat several guys along the way that ended up being AAs in other divisions including D1 by the end of their careers along the way. Our 133 pounder (who actually lost in the NCWA finals) was the OW of the sunkist open in greco in 2000 while he was in JC, JC state OW, beat several D1 AA's along the way. Our whole team was full of guys like that who for whatever reason were not wrestling at a higher division. Now at the NCWA tournament I think I teched or pinned everyone through the whole tournament, but the competition we faced throughout the season was no joke. No, it doesn't compare to an Iowa schedule, but we weren't a bunch of chumps either. Point being, there may be few exceptions to the low quality of competition in the NCWA, but it being around for a bunch of misfits like our team was and is a very very good thing. UNR no longer has a team and I dunno if any other teams in that league train or compete like we did, but I hope that teams like that will spring up every once in a while. If we were to follow the league (which I will admit I have not besides reading the occasional story about it) we may realize there are some pretty cool stories coming out of it. I will not argue that the NCWA is good or tough, but I will say that it could have the potential to be and we should like hearing about it and encourage it's existence.

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Even if they aren't great quality, does it really matter? Some people wrestle because they simply enjoy wrestling. Is it a sin to find the sport fun and to want to participate in it simply because of that? I've spoken about this before and I'll speak about it again, our mentality HAS TO CHANGE.

 

Guys who wouldn't even be good enough to hold the football for a place kicker in a DIII game, get together and play intramural football and Nobody has a problem with that.

 

Guys who couldn't score a single basket against varsity level competition, get together 2 or 3 times a week to have a pickup game and Nobody has problem with that.

 

Yet guys who aren't exceptionally great wrestlers in high school want to continue with the sport while in college, and suddenly there is a problem.

 

Why???

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Even if they aren't great quality, does it really matter? Some people wrestle because they simply enjoy wrestling. Is it a sin to find the sport fun and to want to participate in it simply because of that? I've spoken about this before and I'll speak about it again, our mentality HAS TO CHANGE.

 

Guys who wouldn't even be good enough to hold the football for a place kicker in a DIII game, get together and play intramural football and Nobody has a problem with that.

 

Guys who couldn't score a single basket against varsity level competition, get together 2 or 3 times a week to have a pickup game and Nobody has problem with that.

 

Yet guys who aren't exceptionally great wrestlers in high school want to continue with the sport while in college, and suddenly there is a problem.

 

Why???

 

JT: The conflict I think I see is this: The NCWA goes about its wrestling business as if it is on the same level, entity-wise, as Div. I, II, and so on. That is, equally a college varsity sport competing in a bona fide division. Even going so far as to confer “All America” status on its competitors who thus place in the national tournament.

 

Meanwhile, Div. I and so on (already recognized as a sanctioned, varsity team sport at the various schools) does not believe any of NCWA has paid its dues, gone through due process, whatever the “correct” case may be, to be rightfully able to stand alongside it (Div. I and so on). The resentment is over NCWA’s insistence on being looked upon equally.

 

No group playing in these pickup games you mentioned are clamoring to be recognized as college varsity teams. The NCWA is. Some are even dressing themselves up with some scholarship money here and there to try to look more and more like a college varsity team. Therein lies the problem.

 

Well anyway, that is what I think I see.

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jc...the NCWA is a National organization, and are "going about their business" as such. NO ONE thinks they are on a D1 level but it may be important to see the value of the NCWA. They ARE helping wrestling and should be LOUDLY applauded for their efforts. Wrestling NEEDS ALL the help it can get.

We all need to stand behind all efforts to promote and grow our GREAT sport. You can help in many ways.... $$$, time helping youth groups in MANY capacities, simply attending matches, take a youth group to a high school or college meet. I could go on but you get the point.

Lambasting a positive influence to our sport is NOT helping our sport.

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Where do they go about there business as if they are equal to NCAA Division 1? That is ridiculous to say.

 

They go "as far as to confer All-America status", so what?

 

They have the CLUB national tournament to crown CLUB All Americans. I don't see anything in that that says "we are just as good" as varsity NCAA Division 1 or DII athletics. Why wouldn't they want to give scholarship money if they can to help out with a students school bill? Going to college can be extremely expensive and if they can help why not? And as long as they are upfront about not being a varsity program at the institution I see nothing wrong with that.

 

Demeaning these teams does a great disservice to our sport. They are competing for the love of wrestling, ONLY.

 

I agree with AK, all efforts to expand, promote, support, and encourage wrestling at college all the way down to pee wees should be lauded. This sport is fighting for its life on the Division 1 level and we are on the brink of being dropped for good from the Olympics.

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The USCAA (a viable, albeit small college collective) has several varsity wrestling teams within its membership. They haven't reached full membership numbers to officially sanction a "national" tournament. I guarantee few of you have ever heard of these schools, but those programs are legitimate varsity programs, they're just at tiny schools with very little in terms of resources.

 

Here are the schools within the USCAA that field varsity programs -- but they compete within the NCWA for championship purposes because they don't yet have a classification of their own.

 

Apprentice School

Penn College

Penn State-Beaver

Penn State-DuBois

Penn State-Fayette

Penn State-Greater Allegheny

Penn State-Mont Alto

Penn State-New Kensington

 

There are several more of these schools looking at adding the sport to their varsity roster of offerings. None of the schools above are "club" teams.

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To continue JB's point: The NCWA's existence is partially--or perhaps completely--a consequence of the decimation of collegiate wrestling. This adaptation means that if all other college wrestling disappeared, an aparatus would exist for high school wrestlers to continue competing.

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