The first of Americas 3 teams to compete at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships has left the stage, and not in a good way. Team USA Men’s Greco Roman team (there is as yet no international level womens GR wrestling) won 8 out of 20 matches in Nur Sultan these past few days. That’s a 40 on the most important test of the whole year. That’s an F. Not a D that you can fudge around and get a retake. Not an “incomplete” because you didn’t get the exam parameters, or the weigh in scale wasn’t calibrated properly, or you failed the skin check. Say what it is: a FAILURE by the best coaches coaching the best athletes in the best ways in the best country. Or, are all those “BESTS” accurate? Seriously. The DEEP affection by the wrestling community for all involved in American Greco Roman Wrestling says….what, exactly? From here, it’s easy to see what reality says. Reality says HELL NO, the USA isn’t good at Greco. We’re not even bad. WE..ARE…TERRIBLE. USA GR needs a billionaire, or two, or three, and a Vince Lombardi. The first few for funding, the second to simply ask ‘WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON AROUND HERE?” And kick ass and kick asses out. Sadly, currently, the longer individuals participate in our Greco Roman system, the further they regress on the World stage. C’mon, people, STOP making excuses. If we do NOT set a definitive time frame for achieving world medal winning performances, and find that person(s) willing to invest several BILLIONS of dollars over that time to fund that chase for success, AND hire the Ghengis Khan of American Greco Roman wrestling, NOTHING WILL CHANGE. PERIOD. END OF PARAGRAPH.
Damn, hated writing that. Sometimes the truth just sucks.
On a MUCH more pleasant note, wrestlers and coaches are finding new homes, schedules are being finalized with juicy matchups, and we are just a month and a half out from college mat action. BOOMSHAKALAKA!
4xNCAA championships qualifier Sean Fausz of NC State is now way out west, trading the four season feel of Raleigh for the full on Sunshine of San Louis Obispo, California. Fausz takes his tall, lanky talents (and, one suspects, a vastly different weight class 🙂 to the Mustangs coaching stable. He’ll work with Head Coach Jon Sioredas (Chattanooga ’05, just sayin) and assistant Chris Chionuma, another lightweight coaching star who took that East West jaunt last season from Army West Point to Cal Poly. After surely attending CPs Welcome Back BBQ for athletes and coaches, any guesses on Coach Fauszs current needle domain on the great scale of life? Not sure but hopefully, after years of near impossible to believe weight cuts, Coach F is residing comfortably in the Scribes class: 1-8-a lot. And, while we’re on the Cal Poly range, lets note the selection of NCAA Champion wrestler Mark DiGirolamo (118 lbs) to the Mustangs Athletics Hall of Fame. and that Coach Sioredas and crew have corraled 8 home duals for this season. AND Cal Polys Engineering programs rated best public one in CA, top 8 nationally. Not to mention some sweet new season gear from Adidas. Now how about rescheduling that Fresno St. Dual and coming back home for the Scuffle, Coach C?
And on that note, Coach John Hangey and his Rider Broncs will head down to Chatt town for the Scuffle. Hangey, new coach Jarod Garnett, and their band of #Jerzeytough guys will test the mettle of an increasingly formidable field come Jan. 1st and 2nd in Chattanooga. In point of fact, teams from every D1 conference (COUGH, COUGH, ACC, COUGH COUGH) except the most geographically logical one will be there. Hmm. Though initial reach out efforts to Blue Devils Head Wrestling Coach/savant Glen Lanham were missed due to author errors, attempts to contact/persuade/plead/bribe will continue. SAD UPDATE: the gracious Coach Lanham has checked in with notice that Duke will not participate this year. Que lastima, ACC.
VMI will have new coaching blood for this season as Virginia native and 2X Division III All American Cameron Timok steps aboard as Assistant Coach, joining Ty Schoffstall and Jim Greiner on Head Coach Jim Gibsons staff. One of the SoCons finest, 165lb Neal Richards, returns for his Redshirt Senior season after a 28-6 campaign and an NCAA Championships qualifying SoCon title. Richards picked up a trifecta of tournament titles last season. He took the Lock Haven Classic Crown and won outstanding wrestler awards for both his SoCon and All Academy Tournament titles.
Sacred Heart is another school welcoming new blood to its coaching staff as former Lehigh wrestler Will Switzer becomes Head Coach John Clarks 2nd assistant. Switzer brings multiple years of developmental experience with him, certain to be of use in helping mold the schools 21 incoming athletes from 5 different states.
See you next week!