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Discussion Topic: General Health of Wrestling in Ohio
Pat Altvater added to this discussion on March 23, 2017

By this time, we are all aware that a talented team from OSU got second at the NCAA'a with 6 AA's, which was a great feat. But, there are some other signs of wrestling excellence in the State of Ohio that we may not notice as quickly.
______________________________________________________
DIV 2 - COLLEGE

Ohio had four teams finish in the top 4 of InterMat's Top 25.

1) Notre Dame
6) Ashland
8) Findlay
9) Tiffin

Perhaps the excellence at Notre Dame has pushed the other teams in Northern Ohio to improve to compete?
_____________________________________________________
InterMat TOP 50 HIGH SCHOOLS

Ohio has 9 teams in this list. Better than the 7 of Pennsylvania, 4 of OK, 3 of California, and 4 of Minnesota.

High School Wrestling is alive and well in Ohio!!!

3) St Edward
5) St. Paris Graham
12) Elyria
16) Olentangy Liberty
23) Wadsworth
28) Massilon Perry
34) Mason
36) Brecksville
50) Cincinnati Elder

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF THOSE PROGRAMS, COACHES, AND WRESTLERS!!!!



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Discussion Topic: General Health of Wrestling in Ohio
Mark Niemann added to this discussion on March 23, 2017

Excellent!



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Discussion Topic: General Health of Wrestling in Ohio
Jim Behrens added to this discussion on March 23, 2017

I hate to be a "Debbie Downer" but this topic came up at the GCWCOA meeting on Tuesday night. The general consensus is the opposite.
The teams and individuals at the top are VERY good. Probably better than they have ever been. However, the depth is simply not there anymore.
There are an awful lot of teams, even D1 HS teams that can no longer field a full squad. Some of them have been traditional power-house teams and this includes the storied team of Walsh Jesuit. Not singling them out but everyone know their tradition.
Lots of reasons of course and to fix one problem would likely create others.
We had probably a dozen coaches sitting in the meeting and they all expressed the same sentiment.
There is no easy fix, of course, but my point is to look beyond the very top level and see what is happening throughout the entire sport.
From this person's view, the picture is not quite as rosy.



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Discussion Topic: General Health of Wrestling in Ohio
Jim Behrens added to this discussion on March 23, 2017

Quote from Jim Behrens's post:

"I hate to be a "Debbie Downer" but this topic came up at the GCWCOA meeting on Tuesday night. The general consensus is the opposite.
The teams and individuals at the top are VERY good. Probably better than they have ever been. However, the depth is simply not there anymore.
There are an awful lot of teams, even D1 HS teams that can no longer field a full squad. Some of them have been traditional power-house teams and this includes the storied team of Walsh Jesuit. Not singling them out but everyone know their tradition.
Lots of reasons of course and to fix one problem would likely create others.
We had probably a dozen coaches sitting in the meeting and they all expressed the same sentiment.
There is no easy fix but my point is to look beyond the very top level and see what is happening throughout the entire sport.
From this person's view, the picture is not quite as rosy."



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Discussion Topic: General Health of Wrestling in Ohio
Bob Preusse added to this discussion on March 23, 2017

Pat, i get your points however aside from ohio st how are ohio's other college Div I doing?



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Discussion Topic: General Health of Wrestling in Ohio
Bob Preusse added to this discussion on March 23, 2017

Debbie er i mean JimB, lol--
fyi i quote from March issue of AmWrNews may interest you. Share it, makes sense to me. Dave Caslow is a veteran PA magazine writer & coach, savvy guy:

Why Many Youth Drop Out
Dave Caslow addresses another problem, “It is well documented that seventy percent of youth wrestlers drop out by the time they reach the age of twelve. If the wrestling community desires to reverse this trend, it must design youth wrestling programs and events in favor of athletes with average readiness. Far too many kids are not yet ready for the intense training and competitive experiences that overzealous parents and coaches are currently promoting. Low intensity programs for beginners should be designed to emphasize basic skills and play. The primary goal of youth wrestling should be to win kids hearts and keep them wrestling!”

“All wrestlers need to avoid excessive weight loss! Even kids who are ready for competitive wrestling have had their attitudes destroyed by excessive weight loss. Attempting to make weight can create misery, while the failure to make weight results in embarrassment. Youth wrestlers are not regulated by the Optimal Performance Calculator and should be restrained from losing any significant amount of weight!”

Great points Dave, let's allow kids to grow into the sport, as they reach higher competitive levels those that want to pay the price to be superior will do so, but let's not lose them at a young age. And let's not chase away the average kid, he is our future fan. (Contact Bob at ohiobobp@aol.com)



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Discussion Topic: General Health of Wrestling in Ohio
Jim Behrens added to this discussion on March 23, 2017

Bob,
I agree 1000% (if that is possible) with you on this.
The drop out rate is staggering.
As I sat and listen to someone as well known as Jamie Milkovich talk about the issues of the sport, I have to wonder about it 10 to 15 years from now.
My guess is club teams only but what do I know?
BTW, I don't think the administrators of the sport are doing anyone any favors.
Also BTW, I have no idea why the post appeared twice.



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Discussion Topic: General Health of Wrestling in Ohio
Bob Preusse added to this discussion on March 23, 2017

Jim further quote from AmWrNews my column, forfeits are killing dual meets:

Questions About Forfeits
I refer to the April 2011 National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) news release in which they notified us that they were making weight class changes effecting every member high school in the nation. The changes basically eliminated a popular lower weight class and added another upper weight. Prior to 2002 there were only two upperweights, 185 and heavyweight. In 2002, the 215 class was added. Now since 2011 we have the 182, 195, 220 and heavyweight classes.

The stated reason in the 2011 NFHS news release was “the goal to create weight classes that have approximately seven percent of the wrestlers in each weight class”. Question: has that seven percent goal been reached? I don’t think so and coaches I talk to mostly don’t think so. In fact, coaches think the change added to forfeits.

Question: Was the elimination of a popular lower weight a smart move? Many coaches have taken issue with this change saying wrestling attracts kids who cannot compete in any other sports where size matters a lot; kids who gravitate to wrestling because the smaller athlete can be a champion. We had two upperweights 20 years ago, now we have four. Was three perhaps the right number? Question: are fourteen too many weight classes? Is it realistic for most high schools to be able to fill 14 weights for a dual meet?

In the 1960’s Ohio only had one class for all schools and only 11 weight classes. Now we have 3 classes with 14 weights in each. Question: did the addition of another upper weight dilute the already thin talent in the weights where big athletes have more choice of sports they can successfully compete in? Yes it did dilute it. Should the NFHS should revisit the weight class makeup and consider reducing the number of weight classes? I look forward to hearing from readers.



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Discussion Topic: General Health of Wrestling in Ohio
Hank Kornblut added to this discussion on March 23, 2017

Thirty years ago the best wrestling in the state was in the Cleveland suburbs. All these public teams were either tough as nails or competitive with at least a few state placement caliber kids almost every year.

Maple
Garfield Heights
Strongsville
Solon
Cleveland Heights
North Royalton
Southview
Richmond Heights
Warrensville
Valley Forge
Mayfield
Kenston
Parma
Shaw
Euclid
Eastlake North
Willoughy South
Painesville Riverside
Normandy
Brush
Lakewood
Shaker
Beachwood
Orange

Not one of these teams is remotely as good as they used to be and most are much worse. That's just the way it is. The only really good Cleveland area suburban public school right now is Brecksville. Maybe Brunswick.

One thing I've noticed is that youth wrestling is flourishing but lots of kids stop prior to high school. In essence, the youth programs are almost the equivalent of what some of the high school programs used to be.

Aside--Dan Cosimi is doing great work in Kirtland. His youth and middle school programs are thriving. He is the exception.



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Discussion Topic: General Health of Wrestling in Ohio
Pat Altvater added to this discussion on March 23, 2017

Obviously the dynamics of wrestling is always changing. Different wrestlers, different coaches, and different times. As Hank talks about the glory days of the Cleveland area, I constantly see signs of the growth of wrestling in the I-70 corridor between Dayton and Columbus. A lot of which can probably be attributed to Jeff Jordan's influence, but there are several programs in that area that has improved such as: Marysville, Urbana, Mechanicsburg, and several Dayton area schools.

But, I guess my point is that I was surprised that 9 of the top 50 programs in the nation are in Ohio, which is 2 more than PA, and a lot more than many other great wrestling states. - Per your points, several programs are down from what they were, or several other programs have raised their level, or Ohio's high school programs are standing up to the current conditions better than other programs around the nation. - I did not expect that.

As for the other D1 schools in the State, I think that CSU improved this year. I hope they continue the progression. It seemed to me that maybe KSU and OU are both rebuilding a little from what they have been the last 3-4 years. No real standouts this year like Kilgore or Miller. Hopefully through good coaching and maturation of the youngsters, the cycle will correct itself.



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Discussion Topic: General Health of Wrestling in Ohio
Bob Preusse added to this discussion on March 23, 2017

Quote from Pat Altvater's post:

"But, I guess my point is that I was surprised that 9 of the top 50 programs in the nation are in Ohio, which is 2 more than PA, and a lot more than many other great wrestling states."




good observation Pat, re Ohio hs teams. This may interest readers, from the coming April issue AmWrNews:

St. Louis – As the NCAA tournament unfolded this reporter reviewed the number of qualifiers by their respective home states; it’s one measure for how tough a state’s high school wrestling is. Especially when there’s a trend, and there is, as usual the same states lead.

Pennsylania is always tops, this time with 49. Ohio often runnerup had 31, followed closely by New Jersey with 30; that’s fully one third of the qualifiers from 3 states. Those three - and a nearby Illinois had 30 - comprise the nation’s “Wrestling Belt”.

Leading the next tier are California 20 and Michigan 19, Iowa 13, Minnesota and New York each 11. Of course population counts, and smaller population Iowa’s 13 is testimony to the hard work ethic and fabulous tradition in that great heartland state. Five states had eight qualifiers each, Oklahoma, Missouri, and attesting to growth in the nation’s south, Virginia, Georgia and Florida.

Last year’s NCAA tournament showed these statistics, All-American’s by home state:
Penn. 12 – Ohio 10 – Ill., Mich. 6 - Iowa, N.J. 5 – Calif., Md. 4 – Mo., Colo., N.Y. 3 – Neb., Minn, Okla 2.
This year’s NCAA shows the same two states at the top but with Ohio leading: Ohio 10 – Penn. 8 – Ill., Iowa, Mich., N.J., Okla. 5 – Calif., Minn. 4 – Mo., N.Y. 3 – Md., Oreg., Tex. 2.



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Discussion Topic: General Health of Wrestling in Ohio
Britt Malinsky added to this discussion on March 23, 2017

Quote from Pat Altvater's post:

"Obviously the dynamics of wrestling is always changing. Different wrestlers, different coaches, and different times. As Hank talks about the glory days of the Cleveland area, I constantly see signs of the growth of wrestling in the I-70 corridor between Dayton and Columbus. A lot of which can probably be attributed to Jeff Jordan's influence, but there are several programs in that area that has improved such as: Marysville, Urbana, Mechanicsburg, and several Dayton area schools.

But, I guess my point is that I was surprised that 9 of the top 50 programs in the nation are in Ohio, which is 2 more than PA, and a lot more than many other great wrestling states. - Per your points, several programs are down from what they were, or several other programs have raised their level, or Ohio's high school programs are standing up to the current conditions better than other programs around the nation. - I did not expect that.

As for the other D1 schools in the State, I think that CSU improved this year. I hope they continue the progression. It seemed to me that maybe KSU and OU are both rebuilding a little from what they have been the last 3-4 years. No real standouts this year like Kilgore or Miller. Hopefully through good coaching and maturation of the youngsters, the cycle will correct itself."


Which CSU was that? They were 64th in the final Dual Impact Index (Dual-Component rating) in 2015-16, and although I haven't run a final Dual-Component rating for 2016-17, they were 73rd in the pre-tournament ratings (and the three teams below them combined for zero national qualifiers).

Granted, most of this was probably due to them losing a year of recruiting due to Ben Stehura fighting to save the program, but that's not an improvement.



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Discussion Topic: General Health of Wrestling in Ohio
Shawn Andrews added to this discussion on March 24, 2017

I wonder how the emergence of several top tier teams (most of which have affiliations with various off-season clubs). Has changed the dynamic within our sport.
Eds- Wrestling Factory (I know they don't all train there)
Brecksville-Seasons
Wadsworth-Battlezone
La-Salle- Golden Cross
Elder-Spatoloa
Elyria-BTW
Graham-Jordans
Mechanicsburg-Evolution
Lake Catholic-
I'm sure I am missing many....

I think the top teams are wrestling at a higher level than in my recent memory because of their outside of season commitment (this is not new). This makes state finals and semi-finals very exciting but maybe doesn't help with a Thursday night Dual meet.

The result is the kid who is in 2 or 3 sports or has a job in the off-season sees the writing on the wall and chooses not to participate.

I just wonder if the talent gap between say the top 10-15 teams is getting so wide that we see less participation

The final question as mentioned his how do you determine the health of wrestling in a state? Our top end individuals and teams are as competitive as ever. Does that mean the rest of the state as diminished or just haven't been able to keep up with the frontrunners?



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Discussion Topic: General Health of Wrestling in Ohio
Pat Altvater added to this discussion on March 24, 2017

Quote from Britt Malinsky's post:

"

Quote from Pat Altvater's post:

"Obviously the dynamics of wrestling is always changing. Different wrestlers, different coaches, and different times. As Hank talks about the glory days of the Cleveland area, I constantly see signs of the growth of wrestling in the I-70 corridor between Dayton and Columbus. A lot of which can probably be attributed to Jeff Jordan's influence, but there are several programs in that area that has improved such as: Marysville, Urbana, Mechanicsburg, and several Dayton area schools.

But, I guess my point is that I was surprised that 9 of the top 50 programs in the nation are in Ohio, which is 2 more than PA, and a lot more than many other great wrestling states. - Per your points, several programs are down from what they were, or several other programs have raised their level, or Ohio's high school programs are standing up to the current conditions better than other programs around the nation. - I did not expect that.

As for the other D1 schools in the State, I think that CSU improved this year. I hope they continue the progression. It seemed to me that maybe KSU and OU are both rebuilding a little from what they have been the last 3-4 years. No real standouts this year like Kilgore or Miller. Hopefully through good coaching and maturation of the youngsters, the cycle will correct itself."


Which CSU was that? They were 64th in the final Dual Impact Index (Dual-Component rating) in 2015-16, and although I haven't run a final Dual-Component rating for 2016-17, they were 73rd in the pre-tournament ratings (and the three teams below them combined for zero national qualifiers).

Granted, most of this was probably due to them losing a year of recruiting due to Ben Stehura fighting to save the program, but that's not an improvement."



Perhaps i am wrong here, but I remember seeing early season meets, and league standings for them that increased from past results. - Obvioulsy, they don't have the same budget as the other D1 schools in the State, so it is harder for them to acquire top level talent without the scholarship appeal.



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Discussion Topic: General Health of Wrestling in Ohio
Hank Kornblut added to this discussion on March 24, 2017

Over the last few years, I've gotten a bit involved in youth wrestling and it's very competitive. In fact, there are plenty of youth events where the skill on display rivals or exceeds high school competition. The majority of these youth wrestlers do not continue through high school. There are a number of reasons why but one obvious one is that these youth programs are too demanding at a young age and kids grow tired of wrestling. If you're participating in state level events at the age of 8, you're often sick of it by the time you're twelve. Most of the youth coaches I've come across are good guys who enjoy what they're doing. But the sheer amount of competition these kids are expected to do at a young age is overwhelming. Wrestling 40 matches at age 7 is ridiculous. But it's happening all over the state. I'm shocked at the amount of technique I'm seeing and feel that too many coaches want their kids to become highly sophisticated with technique at a time when they just need to master a handful of moves. Just my two pennies.



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