SEASON 5, COLUMN 4: ALL THE WORLDS AN EMPTY STAGE; VMI SCORES A DOUBLE TAP; RANDOM RAM-BLINGS; & SO COOL, SO HOT, SOCON

The word is in, the World is out. Tokyo 2021 will roll out its 2 week extravaganza without international fans. This is the best idea for an impossible situation: throwing the greatest sporting party on Earth while letting the World indulge only 2 of its 5 senses. What will be especially interesting will be the dynamics between the decision makers and the personal entourage that so many of the Olympians have. Who gets to bring how many support staff? Who gets preferential treatment, who gets turned down for access, and how does that play into the competition? Forget the City wide state of Covid-19 emergency or the brutal chemical war being waged on the Transgender front. Nobody makes it this far without MANY helping hands (1). Who has all or most of theirs, and who misses theirs the most just may be a BIG headline from Tokyo.

TWICE THE NICE, KEYDETS STYLE

Just a short time back in this column space (Season 4, Column 7) the recent fine academic and athletic achievements of Coach Jim Gibsons VMI Keydets received a modest amount of recognition. Further back still (Season 3, Columns 11 & 12, 11/11 & 11/18) you’ll find forward focused interviews with Head Coach Jim Gibson and Assistant Ty Schoffstahl. However, it turns out theres layers to Gibsons career and life story that had yet to be revealed. This mans fascinating back story was brought to light by Intermat SoCon correspondent Raquel Gallardo in an excellent, in depth standalone piece. With the permission of the author and Intermat Editor Earl Smith, heres the link to that fine and fun read..

https://intermatwrestle.com/articles/24738

RANDOM RAMBLINGS

Whoda thunk long, Looong time (28 years) Cornell Head Coach Rob Koll would go Coastal, swapping Ithaca, NY, for Palo Alto, CA, and the recently resuscitated program at Stanford? Or that he’d convince 4x AA, 3X Finalist, 2x NCAA Champ Vincenzo Joseph, late of Penn State, to go way out West with him? Further filling out the Stanford brain trust, Assistant Coach Dr. Enock Francois. Simply reading this mans coaching and education credentials would make your eyes tired. Think of him the way an amused Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) described Bruce Banner to Steve Rogers in the Avengers. ‘”He’s like, a REALLY smart person.” The social media outreach from Koll, the new Stanford head honcho, has been impressive. Equally impressive, the uploading going on at the California RTC. Incoming athletes include former Duke star and Missouri AA Grant Leeth, ex Spartan RTC and Cornell upper-weight wunderkind Ben Honis, and 3xAA and national finalist Tyler Berger, Nebraska ex. All Stanford needs now is a serious influx of college eligible studs to help bridge the recruiting gap that opened between the Cardinal being Gone, Baby, Gone and their Schwarzeneggerian return.

Cornell, BTW, didn’t miss a beat, taking all of half a day to promote Associate Head Coach Mike Grey to the top spot. A slightly longer period of deliberation produced a real “dream youth team” of assistants. Former Binghamton AA, Bearcat, Cornell and NC State assistant Donnie Vinson comes back to Ithaca, and 3xAA Kellen Russell steps over from Michigan. All that the Big Red needs now is an invite to the Scuffle, right?

The Drexel Dragons bid farewell to long time Assistant Coach Zach Shaeffer, heading elsewhere after 10 years on Head Coach Matt Azevedos staff. Does Scotty Parker move up? Will Azevedo look off staff to fill the slot? Teams everywhere are struggling to fill Volunteer and Graduate Assistant spots, let alone the chair closest to the throne. Unless theres a new Dragon in hand, Matt A. and crew will be beating some mighty big bushes for a while. Sounds like a New Years work-cation, Southern style, would be just the thing to put a smile on a Dragons face.(2)

SO COOL, SO HOT, SOCON

Latest news out of Buies Creek sees Campbell 184lb star Andrew Morgan (@wordnagrom, clever, no?) settling in as a Regional Training Center athlete. Lineup news heralds an upcoming battle royale between Korbin Meink and NC St. transfer Zurich Storm for a Camels ltwt. roster spot. Matt Dallara, a former conference finalist, looks to step in at 157 for Ben Barton who transferred to Lock Haven. Bilal Bailey has his sites set at 165.

New additions to an already excellent Southern Scuffle roster poured in to the Scribes smartphone this week. Gardner-Webb gave a big paws up as the Running Dogs will pull themselves off their brand spanking new mats and head down to Chatt-town come Jan. 1st and 2nd. A quartet (at LEAST) of Big 12 powers in addition to NDSU signaled their plans to be Scenic City bound. The Air Force Academy has set their sights on another fine Scuffle showing. The Falcons are a Scuffle mainstay. Tim Flynn will bring his new look, old school tough West Virginia Mountaineers to town. Rolling down the plains from Ames, Iowa State plans another podium assault. Kevin Dressers Cyclones announced their return to wrestling relevance at the Scuffle in 2019. They can cement Top Tier status with a team title. But, to get one, they’ll have to have eyes on that prize and on a vicious ambush(3) of felines also heading South and East in search of prey. The roaring return of Brian Smiths Missouri Tigers, a huge get for any event, puts #TigerStyle in the center of a 3 mat Chattanooga circus. So hurry, hurry, hurry, folks, don’t miss a minute of this show. We’ve given you previews of NDSU, George Mason, and VMI so far. More to follow!

See you sometime soon!

Ted Carreras

(1) Unless you are, of course, the incomparable Dr. Edwin Moses. The greatest hurdler who ever lived made himself that virtually BY himself. Moses, who starred collegiately at HBCU Morehouse College and then Pepperdine, was a self coached World and Olympic champion. He won an inconceivable 122 races in a row from 1977 to 1987. Only the useless1980 boycott prevented Dr. Moses from winning 3 Olympic titles, and he set and reset the World record multiple times. His unique 13 step style and near 10 foot stride were products of decades of his acumen in Engineering, Biodynamics, strength training, nutrition, and a daily stretching regimen that lasted 30 minutes to an hour or more.

(2) In this Worlds socio-culturally charged climate, probably going to be hard to pull off that whole “luscious virgins tied to stakes” thing. Just sayin.

(3) Yes, a group of Tigers is correctly referred to as an ambush. We went over this already.