Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.
Yesterday is History
For Monday’s press availability, Assistant Head Coach Casey Cunningham took the mic & cam to answer a few questions. The multimedia stream showcased a few of Coach Casey’s glorious attributes: sunlight shone in from a window and glared off his smoothly-shaved balding dome, his salt and pepper beard was immaculately groomed and his otherwise ferocious countenance was softened by his high-pitched and kindly voice.
The Top 15 in the NWCA Coaches Poll Dual Rankings remained unchanged.
That was a pretty thorough beatdown, but nothing you wouldn’t expect from a Top-5 team battling a Top-20 team. In fact, it was not much unlike what the Cowpokes did to Minnesota (a Top-15 team) a few weeks ago; Minny won 3 total bouts and lost 23-10.
But alas, the final score was not the final story.
Whoa! Heindselman shoves Ferrari and a bit of a fight breaks out during the hand shakes.— Seth Duckworth (@Seth_Duckworth) December 13, 2021
The best part in this entire clip is Dom Demas absolutely minding his own business. Hands in the pockets and everything. Perfect mind your own business form. https://t.co/xA8fo7S4Hz— StaleMates (@stalematesshow) December 13, 2021
There were a lot of OSU fans there, but this is a misconception about OU wrestling fans. There is a real and passionate fan/support base with OU wrestling. Unfortunately, they just get drowned out by their football fans who don't care about wrestling and choose to bash the sport. https://t.co/5lOOjSmslx— Seth Duckworth (@Seth_Duckworth) December 13, 2021
“The basic tenet of sportsmanship dictates that competitors compete hard, and following the competition, treat one another with respect. What occurred between student-athletes Ferrari and Heindselman fell well short of that expectation and has no place in sports, at any level.” https://t.co/YB1h2Vwvlr— Seth Duckworth (@Seth_Duckworth) December 15, 2021
Seth reminds us that the Bedlam name actually originated from a wrestling match between the two schools:
And the 1975 Bedlam dual could easily be viewed as the craziest Bedlam event ever.
At the time of the dual, the Cowboys and the Sooners were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the country and the match came down to heavyweight and OSU freshman Jimmy Jackson. This is how Jackson described the scene to the Washington Post in 1978.
This dual was noteworthy for two reasons: Ohio State dominating the bouts they were supposed to win and wrestling tough to win the tossup matches, and the cool undercard dual between two girls wrestling teams from rival states.
Heinselman and Hubbard grinded hard to gut out tough decision wins, and Kharchla further emphasized to Wentzel the difficulty he’s likely to face in trying to make it back to the finals this year. Meanwhile, Sasso, Smith, Romero & Dorff put up bonus to help bury the Panthers.
The undercard dual was between Olentangy Orange High School from Lewis Center, Ohio and Gettysburg High School from Gettysburg, Pa, an event spearheaded by Wrestle Like a Girl to help speed up the sanctioning of girls wrestling in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
For the past five years, girls wrestling has been the fastest growing high school sport in the country. Mirroring the national statistics, Ohio high school wrestling has experienced a 100% growth increase of girls on high school boys teams in the past 5 years. While there are 32 state high school associations sanctioning a girls state championship, Ohio does not yet have an official state tournament and has not sanctioned girls wrestling as a sport.
Data shows that girls would prefer to wrestle and compete against girls. When given the opportunity to do so, participation numbers grow tremendously in a short period of time. States that recently added an official state-association sanctioned girls state championship, such as Missouri , have seen growth as high as 400% following sanctioning, and every sanctioned state saw a marked increase in their female wrestling participation numbers.
Olentangy won the dual 48-30.
For more coverage on the event, we turn to the brand new wrestling media organization, Ohio Mat Media, an awesome collaboration of heretofore independent Ohio wrestling journalists. First, check out OMM Rob Gore’s youtube for video of every bout.
Then, listen to their interviewers get great footage of excellent content from key advocates of girls wrestling: Sally Roberts, Julia Salata and Olentangy’s coach, Vanessa Oswalt:
DO NOT MISS THIS!— OhioMatMedia (@OhioMatMedia) December 14, 2021
Sally Roberts speaks directly to the girl who is thinking about wrestling for the first time & tells her what she will get from the sport @WrstleLikeAGirl @wrestlingsally pic.twitter.com/6iLaSBWJ7r
Julia Salata talks about being “weird” and pioneering the girls wrestling movement by becoming the first girl wrestler on the boys team. She breaks down the barriers & talks inclusion in the sport @JSalata @WrstleLikeAGirl pic.twitter.com/EmwjsI9wDs— OhioMatMedia (@OhioMatMedia) December 14, 2021
Olentangy Orange Assistant Coach Vanessa Oswalt gives us her post match thoughts and what the purpose of the @WrstleLikeAGirl event is. She also adds what needs done to #SanctionPA and #SanctionOH @OswaltVanessa @OOHSgirlswrest pic.twitter.com/GwRBa4OFpK— OhioMatMedia (@OhioMatMedia) December 14, 2021
Listening to these inspiring people always gets me more excited for girls wrestling and, for all growth really. I’m glad the sport has such excellent ambassadors who are willing and able to teach and show us how to move forward.
Utah Valley’s Demetrious Romero is out for the season. Romero earned the 2-seed at 174 last year, made to the semifinals after convincing wins over OkSt’s Dustin Plott and Ohio State’s Kaleb Romero, before dropping a tight 2-0 decision to eventual Champ Carter Starocci. In the Consis, he lost 5-4 to Mikey Labriola and defaulted out of the 5th place match to finish 6th in his first podium appearance.
This year, he was wrestling down at 165, where he’d been for most of his long career before last year. His injury clears a small bit of space in the beastly and deep 165-pound field, and of course he’s espoused the great attitude most wrestlers can be counted on for:
“So, I tore my ACL in my right knee and my plan is to come back for my senior year because I know I’m good enough to win a national championship especially with the coaches we have and the guys we have on the team. I want to be able to give myself the best chance possible of winning a title, so taking a medical year will help me get back to 100% and put me in the position to win a title and lead the team going forward,” Romero said. “Even being hurt this year, I plan to be a leader to the guys and help them make improvements in their wrestling so they can also achieve their goals this season.”
Stanford’s got some cool new shoes:
It’s worth celebrating the phenomenal turnaround from the wrestling program being on the chopping block, to the next year sporting some pretty dope team-specific mat kicks.
I loved this idea from Shane Sparks!
If I was a HS wrestling coach I would be tight with the band director. Bands make an event so much better. I’d do all I could to get the band to my events. I would make sure our team took care of the band. The entire school would know that the band and wrestling team were tight.— Shane Sparks (@ShaneSparksBTN) December 13, 2021
Rec Hall packs a steady 6500 people, but there are plenty of times during a dual that things get pretty dang quiet. I’d love to see a portion of the Blue Band (it’s got a lot of people) situated in one of the corners to help keep the pep up.
The thing about funniness on the internet is that, while you can occasionally be surprised by a one-off laugher from a buddy, if it’s consistency you seek, it’s best to stick with the experts. That said, and at the risk of over-fanning the fanboy in me, to the Mailbag Specialist we go:
“Tis the season for giving,” and thus, I wanted to hand out some gifts to those who need them most. I bounced the idea around the office to come up with the perfect gifts for the season.
John Smith-a new sweater vest. Between that and those warmups, they really aren’t big on change in Stillwater. You have a guy who wears a watch on each wrist now; let’s see some style spread around.
Kevin Dresser-bracket sheets. It’s nearly Open Season in Ames and if coach Dresser wants to run all his tourneys right down to the Last Chance, he’s gonna need some paper.
Austin DeSanto-open mic. Come on, it’s his last year. I need my ADS mic’d up for the rest of the year.
Check out the link for the rest.
Tomorrow is a Mystery
Journeymen Collegiate Duals
That’s Journeymen Wrestling’s Frank Popolizio describing how this event came to be. Like many useful solutions, they started with a useful question. They asked “how do we get all these good teams to wrestle good matches?”
After they answered that they went in search of, and found, a pretty cool and cozy venue:
Here’s a look at the venue that’ll turn into Wranglemania in Niceville, FL ! pic.twitter.com/XMeGYXsN41— Journeymen Wrestling (@jmenwrestling) December 14, 2021
Then of course you need participants, and you need to navigate those participants’ various requirements, such as desiring to not add even more bouts against teams you’re already scheduled to face in duals or conference tourneys, as Popolizio notes above. Another success:
From that No Go List, and these average rankings:
They built these pools:
From those pools, they built this schedule. Reminder: there are no crossover matchups — no red vs blue action:
All should be really fun, for viewers both in the arena and in front of screens. I took off Monday and Tuesday so I can watch and comment in peace.
Now all we gotta do is wait to see which wrestlers the coaches of all these great teams send out. Hopefully, with the crossover ban, we’ll see less caginess and gamesmanship, and each team’s best available wrestlers will go out and compete.
Thanks as always to Intermat Earl, for sharing this helpful tool each week.
Today is a Gift
For today’s gift, I’m sharing Jordan Burroughs challenging the recent (5-10years?) takery that participation trophies are indicative of a society gone soft. Burroughs is one of America’s greatest and toughest wrestlers, and every year he seems to grow even more as a leader.
Anyone who thinks participation trophies for kids are bad needs a hug.— Jordan Burroughs (@alliseeisgold) December 9, 2021
He elaborated more on the participation trophy piece here.
Now a father of four, he’s leaning into his dadness and speaking to all the parents out there:
Dad’s, I’m sorry that you didn’t achieve your athletic goals growing up. But hammering your son into an elite wrestler won’t bring you redemption. It’ll only compromise your chance at a genuine relationship with him.— Jordan Burroughs (@alliseeisgold) December 9, 2021
The truth is parents, we’ve tricked ourselves into believing that we push our kids so hard for their own good. When really, it’s for us. I’ve never once heard a kid say “Can I spend less time with my family and more time at practice. And by the way, if I lose can you yell at me?”— Jordan Burroughs (@alliseeisgold) December 9, 2021
A good leader knows that storytime goes a long way toward landing one’s message:
A participation trophy didn’t take away my desire to be great, it sparked it. pic.twitter.com/CceqcQHBwF— Jordan Burroughs (@alliseeisgold) December 12, 2021
My favorite part about the way Burroughs teaches these days is the balance with which he sprinkles chastisement and encouragement:
Success in athletics is a byproduct of authentic relationship with leadership and peers. Instilling principles, and creating structure that builds character. Above all, operating with grace along the way. We can do this!— Jordan Burroughs (@alliseeisgold) December 9, 2021
I love it — finishing with: “we can do this!” Agreed, Jordan, agreed. Thanks for continuing to guide us.
That’s all for this week. I hope to see you back here next week!