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JohnnyThompsonnum1

Why I don't put much stock in high school results

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One thing that has always puzzled me is the infatuation that so many fans have with high school results and how they use them to make year after year after year what they feel are flawless predictions. Someone wins senior nationals and suddenly they're the next Cael Sanderson, unbeatable, no need for a redshirt, because they'll no question go in and win it all the next year.

 

I get it, I really do. Sometimes high school results are very revealing. Many examples over the years of guys who dominated the high school scene and then went on to do the same thing collegiality.

 

Yet, it seems to me that there are just as many examples where that didn't happen. It seems to me that there are many examples, where someone that placed 5th in a bracket, will have a much, much more successful career than does the guy who won the bracket.

 

It just seems to me that some of these results, like the ones I've collaborated below, are overlooked from years past and people keep making the "Because he was so good in high school he will be in college too" and "Because he wasn't all that great in high school, he won't be in college either" predictions.....both of which I add, are often put to rest in a hurry.

 

1997

@145 Griff Powell won, while Eugene Harris took 6th. Both were one time All Americans their senior years, but I'd say over all Harris had the better career.

 

@160 Ty Wilcox was 2nd to Cael Sanderson, while Maurice Worthy ended up in 4th. Wilcox's best performance at the NCAA's I believe was 2-2, while Worthy finished his career as a runner up.

 

@189 Future NCAA finalist, and standout freestyle Daniel Cormier finished in 3rd place behind Tom Grossman, who finished an at best R12 and very good, but not as good as Cormier, Owen Elzen who was a two time All American for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

 

1998

@135 7th place Jerrod Sanders stands out behind 2nd place Keaton Anderson, and ahead of champion Dana Holland as the best collegiate wrestler in this weight class.

 

@145 I don't believe champion Gray Maynard ever beat 3rd place Luke Becker in college and they met a substantial amount of times over their collegiate careers.

 

@152 7th place Noel Thompson had a more successful collegiate career than places 6th through 2nd.

 

@160 tough weight class, with Gerald Harris in 8th place having a solid career at Cleveland State.

 

@189 8th Place Nick Preston and 4th place Andy Hrovat the most accomplished out of this weight class.

 

1999

@119 Joey Malia wins here ahead of Jason Mester (DNP-DNP-5th-4th) and A.J. Grant (DNP-4th-DNP-4th)

 

@130 - Johnny Thompson (2nd-1st-1st-3rd) finishing 3rd behind Foley Dowd (DNP-DNP-DNP-6th...granted a career plagued by injuries) and Joe Clark, who had a mediocre career.

 

@145 The two most successful wrestlers out of this weight class were 7th place Jacob Volkman (4th-DNP-3rd-4th) and 8th place Greg Parker (DNP-DNP-2nd-8th)

 

@152 3rd place Ryan Lewis, who went on to wrestle for Wisconsin, fought on and off for varsity most of his career while those placing below him Nick Frost, Levi Prevost, Nate Wachter and Pat O'Donnell all made multiple trips to the NCAA tournament including R12 finishes for Prevost, Wachter and O'Donnell.

 

@160 3rd place Ryan Lange and 4th place Tyler Nixt both had far more rewarding careers than the finalist here did.

 

2000

 

@112 2nd place Matt Sanchez (?-DNP-8th-5th) had a far more rewarding collegiate career than did champion Mason Lenhard.

 

@119 7th place Efren Ceballos (and this is my opinion) had the best career out of all place winners here. Brandon Lauer was plagued by injuries and Rene Hernandez and Derek Stevens both had disappointing careers.

 

@145 While champion David Bolyard (DNP-DNP-6th-DNP) enjoyed a successful career, it was nowhere near as successful as 4th place Chris Pendelton's (DNQ-3rd-1st-1st)

 

@160 7th Place Tyron Woodley (R12-8th-DNQ-7th) and 5th place Eric Hauan (DNP-DNP-6th-6th) both had far more successful careers than did champion Nick Frost.

 

2001

@119 While we got to see a glimpse at how good Joe Dubuque (DNP-8th-1st-1st) would be, Ricky LaForge finished 2nd here ahead of Nick Simmons (7th-4th-4th-3rd), Nate Gallick (DNQ-5th-2nd-1st), Travis Lee (7th-1st-5th-1st) and Shawn Bunch (R12-DNP-2nd-3rd)

 

@130 3rd place David Hoffman had a better career than both 2nd place Ed Gutnik and champion Tommy Owen

 

@152 3rd place Jacob Klein(DNP-7th-R12-7th) had a better career than did the champion and runner up.

 

@160 4th place Matt Lebe enjoyed the best collegiate career

 

@171 8th place B.J. Padden would enjoy the best career (DNP-R12-5th-3rd)

 

@189 whatever happened to 2nd place Phil Hard who placed ahead of Ryan Bader (DNP-4th-DNP-7th), Rusty Blackmon (multiple time NCAA qualifier) Kyle Cerminara (DNP-DNP-8th-R12) and Chris Skretkowicz (R12-6th-5th-R12) ?

 

2002

@119 Champion Mark Moos had no where near the career that 2nd place Matt Valenti (R12-5th-1st-1st) or 7th place Sam Hazewinkle (3rd-3rd-3rd-2nd) did. Matter of fact, 7th place Sam Hazewinkle had better careers than about everyone excluding Valenti at this weight.

 

@145 this is about a perfect example. Nathan Galloway smoked Trent Paulson here, beat him up bad. Yet Galloway made the R12 one year while Paulson went on to be a three time All American, including a national championship as a senior. Also point out that 6th place Deonte Penn (DNP-DNP-4th-7th) and 4th place Chris Horning (DNP-DNP-8th-?) had much brighter careers than did 3rd place John Cox.

 

@160 Champion Matt Palmer had a solid career at Columbia (DNP-8th-DNP-8th) but not near as much as did the man he beat for the title Ben Askren (2nd-2nd-1st-1st)

 

@189 Hetag Pliev, now there's a name I haven't heard in forever. What ever happened to him? Why didn't his collegiate career pan out? Did he even have one?

 

2003

@152 Champion C.P. Schlatter (DNP-DNP-6th-DNP) had a decent career, but no where near that of runner up Eric Tannenbaum (4th-6th-4th-2nd)

 

@171 I don't remember much about champion Jason Hackett's career at Arizona State, but I do recall very well how runner up Jason Herbert (3rd-2nd-1st-1st) did

 

@189 3rd place Joe Williams never even qualified for the NCAA tournament while Phil Davis (7th-2nd-5th-1st) was a four time All American.

 

@275 I'd say 4th place Bubba Gritter was the best collegiately here, while 6th place Bode Ogunwole was a close second.

 

2004

@ 171 7th place Raymond Jordan (DNP-DNP-5th-3rd) had a better career than places 6th through 2nd.

 

@275 4th place Dustin Fox is your best wrestler here.

 

2005

@130 Unfortunate circumstances and unfair things that were way out of his control kept Adam Frey from having the career he should have and poor choices kept Joey Slaton from the career he could have had. Looking strictly at results, 5th place Dan Dennis (NV-DNP-7th-2nd) had the best career here.

 

@140 3rd place Dan Vallimont (DNP-3rd-DNP-2nd) enjoyed a much more successful career than did champion Cyler Sanderson (R12-7th-R12-6th). Noting here that 6th placer's name was Daniel Ruettiger.

 

@152 Dear lord, talk about a weightclass of heartache and disappointment. Ryan Morningstar (DNP-DNP-3rd-7th) and Chris Brown (DNP-DNP-DNP-8th) are the only ones that came out of this unscathed. Champion Matt Coughlin placed 7th as a true freshman, but then failed to even have a winning record or qualify for nationals as a senior. 3rd place Andrew Flannegan and 4th place Shane Vernon, neither had the careers they were capable of. Matt Dragon, Joey Eckloff and especially Jonny Bonilla Bowman all had very disappointing endings to their careers.

 

@160 7th place Mike Miller (8th-2nd-DNP-DNQ) while having a very disappointing end to his career, still had the best over all career out of all place winners here.

 

@171 4th place Jay Borschel (NV-3rd-R12-1st) had the best career here.

 

2006

@130 7th place Montell Marion (?-2nd-4th-2nd) had the best collegiate career here.

 

2007

@140 2nd place Frank Molinaro (8th-5th-2nd-1st) had a much sweeter career than did champion Jamal Parks (DNP-R12-5th-R12)

 

 

2008

@160 Champion Scott Winston had a rather disappointing career while runner up Steve Bosak (DNP-4th-1st-3rd) had a very rewarding career.

 

2009

@135 3rd place Kendric Maple (DNP-4th-1st-8th) certainly had a better showing collegiality than did runner up Ian Paddock.

 

@160 3rd place Tyler Caldwell (5th-2nd-3rd-2nd) and even 6th place Turtogtokh Luvsandorj had a better career, (or at least a better ending to his career ) than did Champion Dan Yates, runner up John Nicholson (who only qualified for nationals once) and Ryan LeBlanc (who was R12 once).

 

@171 7th place Nick Heflin (DNP-5th-5th-2nd) had a better career than did places 6th through 3rd.

 

and I'll stop there as there are placewinners from 2010 onward that are still active on the college scene today.

 

I'll also note how historical research of results shows how difficult of a road it can be for successful 103 (now 106) pounders to make it in collegiate wrestling.

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This is one of the most profound posts I have ever seen.

 

Great job Johnny!

 

If we give out sarcasm awards, you'll be in the running. If we give out awards for blatantly ignoring facts such as how so many people on the board treat high school results like they're as good as gold, when they're often not, no running, you win.

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im all for discounting unreliable data when making projections but what other information is there to use?

 

i dont follow HS wrestling and im not saying you should put more stock in HS results, or treat them as good as gold, i just dont know what else anyone is supposed to base their opinion off of.

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Yeah, but you better put stock in the guys that are placing at these tournaments and are in the mix.

 

Essentially you are saying that because someone doesn't place as high as someone else in an isolated high school tournament, there is a good chance that the guy that finishes lower on the podium could end up having a better career than the guys that finished higher than them.

 

I'm with Bob Dole on this one. This really is groundbreaking information.

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Yeah, but you better put stock in the guys that are placing at these tournaments and are in the mix.

 

Essentially you are saying that because someone doesn't place as high as someone else in an isolated high school tournament, there is a good chance that the guy that finishes lower on the podium could end up having a better career than the guys that finished higher than them.

 

I'm with Bob Dole on this one. This really is groundbreaking information.

 

Senior national results

1.A

2.B

3.C

4.D

5.E

6.F

7.G

8.H

 

Post following Senior nationals

Poster 1 - "Man did you see how A won senior nationals! A is a freakin beast!! I'm telling you he'll give everyone at 165 next year a run for his money, including (Insert name of last years NCAA champion here). I'm telling you guys, he doesn't even need a redshirt, he's that freakin good!!"

 

Poster 2 - "No doubt, he's on par as being at least as good as Stephen Abas, if he doesn't win four national titles he'll at least win three"

 

Poster 3 - "Look out for D, he finished 4th here, but is still growing and has some muscle to put on. He's improved substantially each year"

 

Poster 1 -"Poster 3, are you CRAZY!!?!?!!??!?!?!?!??!!?!??!?!?!?!??!? A beat him 6-0, he didn't even come close to scoring on A. Did you even watch their semi-final match?"

 

Poster 3 - "I watched it, I'm just saying that D is a very good wrestler, and I think he'll have just as good of a career as A does, if not better"

 

Poster 2 - "Poster 3 is obviously an idiot that pays no attention to wrestling"

 

As A and D are both freshmen in college

Both have solid, but nothing too spectacular freshman campaigns, qualifying for nationals, with similar records and similar caliber wins.

 

A's and D's careers come to an end

A was a solid wrestler, having qualified for the NCAA tournament four times, and having made the round of 12 once. D ended up being a three time All American.

 

 

At best we'll have a handful of guys who slam A with "I remember the "A" era" post and maybe one or two, that will admit that D turned out much better than they thought he would.

 

 

Other than that just throw some new names on the list and the process starts all over again.

 

 

Am I wrong about this, or do I distinctively remember reading someone being ridiculed and chastised for saying that they thought Askren would have a better career than Palmer, Paulson would have a better career than Galloway and Fox would have a better career than Fields?

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of course looking at a single tournament you get discrepancies.

 

you can do the same thing with NCAA's and the World Team Trials.

 

look at the broad resumes. and look at the top HS kids in general. the best hs kids will be a very high percentage of the best college kids. and that percentage will continue to go up.

 

you can pretend that HS results don't matter, but every college coach in America uses them, and for good reason.

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of course looking at a single tournament you get discrepancies.

 

you can do the same thing with NCAA's and the World Team Trials.

 

look at the broad resumes. and look at the top HS kids in general. the best hs kids will be a very high percentage of the best college kids. and that percentage will continue to go up.

 

you can pretend that HS results don't matter, but every college coach in America uses them, and for good reason.

 

Of course high school results matter, and the reason I used senior nationals was to enhance my point, so people wouldn't accuse me of talking out my butt.

 

They do matter, but people act like they're the end all argument, and they're not. I used senior nationals to show a multitude of guys that were phenomenal in high school that didn't pan out in college and a multitude of guys that were thought to be good, but not among the best, that ended up multiple time All Americans and national champions.

 

Why is it year after year after year we'll have a scenario like Nate Galloway beating up on Trent Paulson, then five years later it'll be Paulson with the national championship and Galloway who never did any better than R12.....yet people will STILL think it's impossible for a 5th placer at senior nationals to have a better career than the champ?

 

It happens every year, it always has. Stop acting like it's not possible, it already happens.

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idk man.

 

results just don't stay static. if that was the case, just look at youth results and crown someone NCAA champ.

 

things change. people get better/worse. more/less passionate.

 

who are you listening to, message board posters?

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i would expect that similar data can be gathered from jrs. i think the common factor for the kids who win the national events is maturity more so than skill or technique. specifically, physical and emotional maturity.

 

kids winning in high school because the are stronger and more composed usually get passed by the kids they used to beat when they face each other in college. one kid peaks and the other gets better.

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I'd have to think these examples are the exception, not the rule. There is no better measure for college success than high school success. And no better measure for international success than college.

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JT, you gonna recruit guys to college based on their highschool results, or are you gonna recruit based on their rank in boyscouts?

 

You are probably one of the guys that thinks SAT scores will relate to how good of a wrestler they will be in the face of real wrestling results.

 

Another feel good post about how how underdogs come through.

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Willie, would you say that Fargo trumps the other events? I like it best bc the kids that are prepared for JR Freestyle are clearly getting close to the 11 month commitment that D1 requires today plus its the only true national tournament now that there are so many events around the same times of yr (end of HS season, late spring a la this past weekend and Super 32/ Preseason Nationals in the fall).

 

Rameses

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If I were a betting man I would put money on the top 3 finishers at senior nationals doing better than the rest of the field in college.

 

 

But here's the problem. You would win money some of the time and you would lose money some of the time, historical evidence proves that. It'd in all reality be a crap shoot, yet you have the audacity to act like you'd win money all of the time.

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JT, you gonna recruit guys to college based on their highschool results, or are you gonna recruit based on their rank in boyscouts?

 

You are probably one of the guys that thinks SAT scores will relate to how good of a wrestler they will be in the face of real wrestling results.

 

Another feel good post about how how underdogs come through.

 

No, I know how it works. Galloway won in high school because by George he had the Merican spirit and he wanted it more and he worked harder than Paulson did at that time, and then when they got in college Paulson wanted it more and he worked harder. Gal darnit, Merica!!!!

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I'd win more money than I lost. Kids that have success at the high school level have an exponentially greater chance of having a more successful collegiate career.

 

How about you give me a dollar for every wrestler that becomes an All-American that won a state title and I will give you a dollar for every non-state champion that becomes an All-American. Would you want to take me up on this wager? I will also give you $100 for every wrestler that wins NCAAs without winning a state title.

 

Go ahead and calculate how much you owe me for this year.

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I'd win more money than I lost. Kids that have success at the high school level have an exponentially greater chance of having a more successful collegiate career.

 

How about you give me a dollar for every wrestler that becomes an All-American that won a state title and I will give you a dollar for every non-state champion that becomes an All-American. Would you want to take me up on this wager? I will also give you $100 for every wrestler that wins NCAAs without winning a state title.

 

Go ahead and calculate how much you owe me for this year.

 

Ed Ruth might ruin that bet for you, but I agree with your point. This post has tons of effort but no real merit. We're also taking the crop of HS nationals where these kids may be separated by small margins in HS and switch in college. Which NCAA champ this year wasn't a top recruit coming out of HS? Maybe Delgado but that's a stretch. Gwiz possibly. That's it.

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It's not a theoretical question. The data can be plotted--take the top 100-ranked HS seniors from the past ~10 years and plot vs. total career NCAA points scored. You'd have to exclude the past 5 years, actually, since they haven't yet had full NCAA careers, but you get the idea. You could also plot the NCAA points scored by wrestlers ranked outside of the top 100 to have that additional comparison. My bet is you'd get a wide distribution but a strong positive correlation between HS success and college success.

 

I don't have the time or inclination to do it, you understand. I'm like a McKinsey consultant: I just come up with the idea and collect my check.

 

I do appreciate the interesting work done here by Johnny--it's not statistical, but not entirely anecdotal either. His point seems to be that there is not a perfect correlation between HS success and college success. (Or perhaps he's saying there's no correlation whatsoever, in which case I'd respectfully disagree.)

 

For the record, I wish Iowa had gotten little Tsirtsis instead of Skonieczny and Baldosaro. But I'm not bitter.

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Willie, would you say that Fargo trumps the other events? I like it best bc the kids that are prepared for JR Freestyle are clearly getting close to the 11 month commitment that D1 requires today plus its the only true national tournament now that there are so many events around the same times of yr (end of HS season, late spring a la this past weekend and Super 32/ Preseason Nationals in the fall).

 

Rameses

 

great point. you're hitting on something important here.

 

fargo is a big commitment. a lot of expense, travel, and of course, preparation. it really, beyond just results, shows who's all in, which might be the best indication for college coaches.

 

it's a generalization, of course. but a lot of scholly money is won in Fargo.

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So if I understand the op's point, he understands that highschool success is a predictor to collegiate success but "sometimes" it's not. There are great prep wrestlers who don't pan out and successful colleague wrestlers who weren't prep stars.

 

So at the end of the day what's the real point, OP? Is it you want to point out that you have some enlightened sense to see the bigger picture better than others? It seems to me you've started and continue a thread based on a strawman of this mysterious group of "some people".

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Anyone can look backwards and cherry pick the data. At the end of the day who do you want to wrestle for your school, Bo Jordan, Marstellar, Kyle Snyder, Micic and Nick Nevills OR 5 guys ranked between 75 and 100? The OP would be lying if he claimed he wanted the lower ranked guys from the beginning.

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So if I understand the op's point, he understands that highschool success is a predictor to collegiate success but "sometimes" it's not. There are great prep wrestlers who don't pan out and successful colleague wrestlers who weren't prep stars.

 

So at the end of the day what's the real point, OP? Is it you want to point out that you have some enlightened sense to see the bigger picture better than others? It seems to me you've started and continue a thread based on a strawman of this mysterious group of "some people".

 

It's a continuous series of events that repeat themselves year after year. Someone will have a phenomenal high school career, beating everyone in high school and they'll be panned to be the next big thing. A percentage of post will be regarding how good they're going to be in college. They'll come in with high expectations, and if they don't deliver as freshmen, as they were predicted to do, they become ignored. Even if they rise to the occasion and succeed as juniors and seniors, or even as sophomores, they're already yesterday's news and we've moved on to another high school senior that is going to the "The next big thing". It just seems to me that we put so much time and energy into focusing on incoming freshmen with this unrealistic expectation that they're going to be the next Cael Sanderson, Kyle Dake or Logan Steiber and if they don't deliver, we completely dismiss the fact that they have three more years to accomplish some great things. Then on top of that, we rarely credit the high school wrestlers who were really good, but not "the next Sandersons" by our standards, when they exceed expectations and do really good.

 

You can take tournaments like Fargo, senior nationals, and other major high school tournaments and their have been plenty of 3rd and 4th place finishers who go on to college and have better careers than the champions. It happens year after year. How many future Kyle Dakes are predicted a year? How many future Cael Sanderson's are predicted a year? How many true freshmen and redshirt freshmen champions are predicted a year. These guys don't deliver then, let's right them off, and act like they don't exist for the next three years and find some other high school senior who could be our next Sanderson.

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This is a pretty silly thread. JT is merely stating the obvious. High School success is not a 100% predictor of college success. It is merely suggestive.

 

Having a great high school career may lead to a great college career. But there are so many factors involved that things change. A lessor kid in high school becomes a big time college wrestler. A great kid in high school doesn't pan out. Passions subside. Priorities change. People peak at different times.

 

Big deal.

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