MORE ON THE MOVE ON AND OFF THE MAT, BRIEF TRIBUTES TO SOME KNOWN AND SEVERAL NEVER MET, FIRST HAND FORUM, SOME FINE WRITING FROM SOME FRIENDS, WINE, AND (SUPRISE!) A SOCON SHOUTOUT…
Its almost tik-tok time for college wrestling as the midsummer heat broils the US of A, simmering staff alterations and wrestler relocations in a big ole pot of Summer Stew. Dip in!
YET ANOTHER FIGHTIN SCOT FINDS A NEW HOME
Even as Edinboro makes valiant attempts at remaining relevant on the Division 1 wrestling scene, one of its recent favorite sons has landed in yet another locale. If you’re keeping score at home, thats a spectacular AD, a superb coach and assistants, and too darn many great wrestlers to count who have fled the coop (or been reassigned) as Edinboro transitions from a small but mighty wrestling hotspot to…? Well, let’s give current coach Matt Hill and new staff room to do whatever it is the school/state university system/PA legislature will let them do. Better to give huzzahs out to one Austin Matthews, late of the Fightin Scots, veteran of the (former EWL, now the expanded MAC), and JPT (Just plain tough) 165lb grappler for his new gig at Northern Colorado. Its the well-traveled, oft injured but never-say-die Matthews 3rd school after a National Championships qualifying season as a true freshman….for Clarion….in 2014! He transfered to Edinboro, started the following season 9-0, then endured injury, insult, and more injury while ultimately qualifying 3 times for the National Championships. His epic rivalry with Riders 2XAA (and current Maryland assistant) Chad Walsh along with his gritty determination in returing from 2 season ending injuries speaks volumes to what this sport is all about. Now, as a graduate transfer for Coach Troy Nickersons Northern Colorado Bears, Matthews gets to finish his education and his mat life in one of Americas most beautiful states for an up and coming program with a top flite coach. Haven’t been to Greeley, Colorado yet, Austin, but when you hit Rocky Mountain National Park, do check out the Estes Park Pie Company. You need pie…and a break. Post-season, of course.
APP ST STAR GOES WEST
Greeley, Colorado gets yet another one as former Appalachian State Mountaineer and 2018 NCAA qualifier Alan Clothier heads for the BIG hills. Clothiers sophomore season was a bit off form from his fine freshman mark and now he’s taken his talents to the Big 12s UNC (The afore mentioned Northern Colorado Bears). With no current Big 12 184 lb.ers ranked as All Americans, there’s room for Clothier to grow. New room, new location, new style, and at least he knows about high altitude workouts.
TURTLE POWER* PLANNING ON RISING FROM THE DEPTHS
A spot-on slogan for a program both figuratively and literally needing an ascendance from the muck, Alex Clemsen, late of Missouri, is now just past the two month mark as Marylands new head coach. Clemsen takes a no holds barred, double barreled honesty attitude into the Titanoboa pit of BIG10 wrestling competition. Clemsens move was noted as b@llsy at best and career-threatening at worst in an earlier column. Along for the ride on what could be an amazing turnaround or really bad timing is the aformentioned 2X Rider All American Chad Walsh and a former Tiger Hvwt star, Devin Mellon. Catch the Rudis Wrestling Podcast exclusive interview with Coach C and you will be mightily impressed with the energy, honesty, and perspective. Just don’t use *Turtle Power without accreditation.
FIRST HAND FORUM: SAN ANTONIO MADISON HS HEAD COACH CRUZ DYSON
Hailing from the hoops-happy land of Indiana, Cruz Dyson found his way and made his mark on the mats, excelling at Beech Grove HS. The future coach battled his way through a brutal state wide 189 lb wt class in high school, finishing at sub states with a 30 win senior season and then taking his talents to Manchester College. The second honest nugget Coach Dyson will share with you is that his personal athletic career fell short of his goals. The first and most important piece of information from the newly minted Head Maverick is the enthusiasm he shares for wrestling and his new Madison charges. Here he is in his own words…
- Even though it’s the oldest sport, wrestling seems to be enjoying a revival. Do you believe so and, if so, why?
Definitely. I think (one) of the biggest reasons for the growth of wrestling is how much more visible it is to the public. Wrestling has always been a sport with little recognition, but wrestlers are slowly beginning to get more recognition in the high school, collegiate, and international levels. Flowrestling has done a great job of marketing the sport along with the UFC and other mixed martial arts organizations. Until fairly recently, it was virtually impossible to watch our US wrestlers compete even at major competitions like the Worlds. (Freestyle and Greco-Roman World Championships). Now almost every domestic and international event is covered by Flowrestling. That goes a long way (towards) growing the sport.[Trackwrestling, Intermat, and the Open Mat, all excellent media services with strong national/international presences, have tremendous free and for-pay wrestling content available alongside the afore multi mentioned folks].
2.Will the position at Madison be your first Head Coaching position, and what are your goals and expectations for the program?
Madison will be my first head coach position. The previous coach, Coach Garza, did a heck of a job developing the program at Madison. A strong group of seniors graduated, but there is also a good core group returning. My expectation is to build upon the success that Madison has experienced. As far as goals are concerned, my goals are typically geared towards our preparation. If our focus is on our culture and the way we practice daily, success will follow.
3. Your wrestling background, prep and collegiately, is from Indiana. How did you reach the levels that took you to where you are now, coming from a state so invested at every level with basketball?
Indiana is and always will be a basketball state. That being said, the wrestling culture there is top-notch along with most of the Midwest. Club wrestling is huge in Indiana with most high school programs having their own club wrestling teams from elementary to high school levels. I started wrestling in middle school. I was blessed to go to a school with a rich wrestling tradition and coaches with D1 experience (who) helped to develop me.
4. How does wrestling help the student-athletes you have worked with?
Wrestling is the most difficult and most inclusive sport in the world. There are not many other sports where an athlete can be born with one leg such as Anthony Robles of Arizona State and win an NCAA Championship. Personally, I have seen wrestling build confidence and humility in my student athletes. I have competed with and coached wrestlers who did not have an athletic bone in their body, but through hard work have found success on the mat. The sport teaches wrestlers that in life it doesn’t matter the cards you are dealt, just outwork everyone.
5. San Antonio is the 7th biggest city in the country in an athletics-centric state. How can we leverage our size and status to grow wrestling in the city/county/region/state?
There are a few things that could drastically grow the sport in the San Antonio area. The focus should be on increasing participation in the sport and giving opportunities to compete at an earlier age. What would have the greatest immediate impact is for the addition of organized wrestling at the middle school level. The majority of San Antonio wrestlers start as a freshman.This would allow for 2-3 more years of development before they get to high school. Another thing that would have a great impact is other school districts in San Antonio following the lead of NEISD and adding wrestling. The more numbers in wrestling will only help to recruit wrestling coaches to the San Antonio area and encourage more wrestling clubs to open. I would also love for the addition of more collegiate programs in Texas. Programs like Schreiner University are only going to help to support Texas wrestling. Over time you will see more and more High School coaches with collegiate experience.
HAPPY IS THE HOUSE OF IMMEL
What do you get when one of the original T.R.G.L.O.W s (True, Real, Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling)** meets one of sharpest mind/eye guys in the coverage of our sport? Well, you get multi year Purdue Sports Information Star Amanda Dahl saying “I Do” to wrestling photographer/writer/sage Richard Immel. And there was MUCH rejoicing. And hopefully soon, a fine number of new witty, athletic, visually talented and verbally gifted members of House Immel.
THE GOOD DO NOT ONLY DIE YOUNG
They may leave us with 7 plus decades of special memories. If you are able, please RSVP to the Celebration of Life for the amazing Joe Seay. Its Wednesday August 14th, in Stillwater, Oklahoma, at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Seay was a titan in American Amateur Sports, a champion personally and professionally at every level, and he developed champions in sport and in life. Everyone from his athletes to NWHOF administrators have spoken, and written, of the joy of “knowing Joe”, or being coached by him. Herb Benham, columnist for the Bakersfield Californian, wrote eloquently in his July 15th column about Seay. You can find his tribute column here:
Or, they leave us after their greatness is first being noted and defined as such. Colby Singletary was a 2X FL state champion for Palmetto Ridge HS, a rising senior and star all around human being. His father, whose State Finals match sits in VHS format in the Scribes library, spoke to the FL media of his sons innate abilities to rise to the occasion when things were toughest. Sentiments like those came from around the Sunshine State, made just a bit darker with Colbys auto accident death earlier this summer.
And then there is sometimes just the anger, the questions how and why going bitterly unanswered. Zander Laurin was trying so very hard to make himself better. The 16 year old set a daunting 6 am running regimen to bolster a budding mat career that had been defined so far more by slow, steady improvement than podium placements. It was on one of those runs that a driver veered off road, ending Zanders hopes and dreams in one shattering moment. The Ponte Vedra HS wrestler and junior to be was also prepping for a Naval Fitness Test when he was struck down. Though the community lost Zander that day in May, he will live on through his Organ Donor wishes and the spirits he raised while raising himself up.
“NOW BE AT PEACE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANTS, FOR BY DEEDS DONE AND LIVES LIVED THOU HATH EARNED THY REST.”
WINE-DING DOWN WITH THE SCRIBE
2015 COTES DU RHONE
Rating: 3 glasses
A French Red Rhone imported by Vintus (Pleasantville, NY) this wine seemed just a tat more temperature sensitive than its equally rated (92) brethren of the same vintage. Still, it paired well with a range of cheeses and meats and, once properly chilled, made a fine night better with just 1 glass.
WHOOPS, SHE DID IT AGAIN
Shannon Scovell of NCAA.com has penned many a superior story about our great sport, but whoa Nellie did she raise the excitement this time. Shannon’s long-form piece on 25 wrestlers to watch for 2019-2020 bears immediate attention. And rereading. And Archiving. To aid in these efforts, the ever-gracious Ms. Scovell provided this link:
THIS COACH KNOWS RUSSIAN-THE TIES AND THE TENSES
Past: 4 years wrestling at Phillip’s Academy in Andover, Massachussets, and the first female to place at the Class “A” state wrestling meet. A degree in Russian from Dartmouth. 5 years as assistant to 2 decade plus Andover Head Wrestling Coach Rich Gorham. 2018 New England Independent Wrestling Schools Assistant Coach of the Year.
Present: Newly named as Head Coach at her prep school alma mater.
Future: just may be Kassie Archambault, a right for the times blend of brilliance, brawn, skill set, and drive. Now in charge of both the boys and girls teams at the venerable Academy, founded in war torn times (that would be the REVOLUTIONARY war!). Archambault is set to break coaching barriers and reach out to prospective student-athletes. Both genders, from all states and countries, even imperfective ones. (That one’s for you, Coach K!). So, if you’re a parent looking for a top flight educational/athletic experience, well, kids from 44 states and territories and 51 countries are currently bettering themselves there. Theres 300 plus classes and 150 electives with an average of 13 students per class. And a Coach who can probably show you how to perfect that Russian tie. Or break it. Or both!
*Clemsen told his prospective boss during the interview session that if he wasnt hired but Maryland went on to use the social media moniker that Alex had come up with, there’d be a lawsuit. Thats confidence. “Clemsen Confidence”. OK, that slogans ours, Coach C, if you wanna use it, shell out.
**The T.R.G.L.O.W. is a group of women so designated by the Scribe for their understanding, promotion (and in some cases skill) in our great sport. Though the association exists in name only, and only in this column, they are all quite real, and we fans are all so much better off for that fact.
See you later this month!