April 3, 2008
Lindsey at Nationals
First thing I would like to say is thanks to everyone who showed support to the Bobcat wrestling team this season. The whole season had it ups and downs but one thing I can say is next year we will have more ups than downs.
My experience going to Nationals last weekend was overwhelming. Watching three days of wrestling made me more mature. When we left Athens on Tuesday, I was inspired to do my best for Ohio University and myself. On Wednesday, I wasn't afraid of my competition I was more anxious to wrestle. Then on Thursday it hit me how big Nationals really is. Nationals are on a whole different level. You see athletes who train all year and all want the same goal.
All three matches taught me something. My first match taught me you just have to wrestle and forget the crowd. My second match taught me if you wrestle like you have nothing to lose you'll have fun in your matches. Then my last match taught me when to fight a takedown and when to give it up. The things I learned were simple but they were the things I watched all the good guys do in their matches as well.
The whole experience just showed me how much harder our team has to work. What I did is only the beginning. I can talk on and on about Nationals like all the crazy scrambling or all the goose bumps you get when 15,000 people are cheering. I can even tell you how even the best wrestlers at Nationals mentally broke down.
The people who watched it on TV didn't even get a full experience. It's not the same watching it on TV. You have to be there to actually get the experience. Just seeing, breathing and wrestling in an environment like that is amazing.
So the last thing I can say is that the wrestling team will be training for that experience next year. The whole team.
March 11, 2008
Making the Best of Opportunities
With the exception of one or two matches, we had the best MAC tournament we could have possibly had. Let me put it in perspective. Last year we took 4th place with an older and more experienced team which included two seniors and a junior. This year we tied for 4th place with the youngest team in the MAC which included no juniors or seniors.
Quentin Keyes (133) beat Sean Clair from Eastern Michigan who was ranked 15th in the country in the opening round. Kevin Christensen (149) didn't win a MAC dual all season, but ended up beating Clint Sponseller (KSU) and pinning Kalen Knull (NIU) who beat him earlier in the year. Germane Lindsey (141) beat Eric Kruger (CMU) who was ranked 13th heading into the tournament. Kruger beat Lindsey 3-0 two weeks ago, but Lindsey's 2-1 victory at the MAC tournament helped him earn a wildcard bid to the NCAA tournament. Chris Iammarino beat John McClure from Eastern Michigan 4-2 in the consolation finals. McClure beat Iammarino earlier in the season 3-2.
The coaching staff was extremely proud of the way our guys responded this past weekend. We felt our guys took every lesson they learned during the season and applied it during the tournament. I remember a saying on the wall of one of my junior high classrooms that stated, "opportunity favors the prepared individual." Each one of our wrestlers had an opportunity this past weekend and, for the most part, each one of them seized that opportunity. That's the great part about sports. Everyone will get an opportunity, but will they be prepared when their time comes?
The MAC tournament is different than any other competition on our schedule and it's not just another tournament. You can throw out all records and season accomplishment once you enter these NCAA qualifying tournaments. Once the tournament begins, everyone's record is 0-0. Let me put this in perspective also. There are only 32 wrestlers at each weight class that qualify for the NCAA tournament. At 141, the 9th, 13th, 15th, 16th, 19th, and 25th ranked wrestlers didn't qualify for the NCAA tournament. Every wrestler understands that he has an opportunity to qualify for the tournament no matter what his record or accomplishments were during the regular season. Each wrestler is fighting for their NCAA tournament lives, and this is the sole reason why post-season wrestling is so much more intense that the regular season.
We'll leave for the NCAA tournament held in St. Louis, MO next Tuesday. We'll continue to train hard this week and then back off heading into the tournament. Wrestling begins Thursday and the finals are set for Saturday night. Wish us Luck!
2nd: Kevin Christensen (149)
3rd: Jacob Ison (174)
3rd: Germane Lindsey (141) NCAA Qualifier
4th: Chris Iammarino (197)
4th: Quentin Keyes (133)
Feb. 27, 2008
A Positive Outlook
Hello Ohio wrestling fans. Well, we concluded our dual meet season last Sunday at #4 Central Michigan. Our team fought hard, but Central Michigan is just on a different level than us this year. They are one of the better teams in the country, with 8 national qualifiers in their lineup compared to our zero. Our lineup is filled with freshmen and sophomores. Not an excuse, but it's hard to compete against returning All-Americans with that young of a squad. The good thing though is things starting to change.
True freshman Germane Lindsey has been a bright spot all year. He leads our team with 17 wins. Germane is one of the hardest workers on the team and has a bright future ahead of him. He has had some great wins and some close bouts against top ranked guys at his weight.
Sophomore Clay Tucker has been improving all season and is hungry to compete at the MAC Tournament. After moving up a weight mid season, he has finally adjusted to the new weight class.
Redshirt-freshman Quentin Keyes is another bright spot for our team. After securing the spot from fellow teammate Seth Morton at 133 pounds, Keyes has been a lot more focused on correcting his mistakes.
True freshman Erik Schuth has also been a success. Schuth came in thinking he was going to redshirt, but with the departure of senior Antione Love, Schuth became the starter.
Wrestling varsity as a true freshman is probably one of the most difficult things to do. First of all the college season is twice as long as the high school season, so that is an adjustment in itself. Second, these kids are 18 years old competing mostly against seasoned 22 and 23 year olds. Lastly, most of these guys were used to dominating everyone in high school. To remain positive throughout the year is a testament to their commitment.
Probably the brightest spot of the season is the way our redshirt class competed. Led by Matt Reedy and Tommy Weinkam, our redshirts have proven to be worthy of their rank. Reedy finished the season with 19 wins and a championship finish this past weekend at the Eagle Open in Ashland.
Weinkam had a 16-5 record with a gold medal at the Eagle Open and a runner-up finish at the Kent State Open.
Nick Purdue also shined with a 14-5 record while winning third place at the Kent State Open and Michigan State Open.
Darrin Boing captured a championship at the Cleveland State Open and was runner-up at the Kent State Open.
Andy Hartshorn had 16 wins in 26 matches while placing at a number of open tournaments.
Commitment: an agreement or pledge to do something until it's accomplished.
This word has been constantly repeated to our team this season. Unfortunately, this word is what put us in the position we are in this season. After last season, we had a positive outlook for the future of Ohio Wrestling.
We had just placed 7 guys at the MAC Tournament and earned a wild card position to the national tournament. On top of that, our incoming recruiting class was ranked 17th in the country. Coming into this season the coaching staff was excited about where we were headed. This is where the word commitment comes into the equation. Out of the 10 guys we expected to be in our starting lineup this season, only 2 remain; Clay Tucker & Jacob Ison.
The other eight guys didn't have the commitment that is expected from our coaching staff and current team members. Those guys let a lot of people down. However, it makes us better in the long run. The group of guys we have now is committed and willing to do what it takes to be MAC Champions and All-Americans!
Next weekend is the MAC Tournament. Although we aren't favored to win a single weight class, we are confident that if we compete like we know we are capable, good things will happen. The key is to continue to improve and keep a positive mindset. The future of Ohio Wrestling has a bright future with endless possibilities.
Feb. 12, 2008
The Recruiting Trail
This week begins our journey of signing the missing 20 percent of our puzzle. This will be an important recruiting week for the coaching staff. Head coach Joel Greenlee will leave for the Iowa High School State Tournament on Wednesday, assistant coach Kyle Hansen will be at multiple in-state wrestling sectionals on Saturday, and I will be at the Kentucky High School State Tournament all day on Saturday.
We have a double dual this Friday. We wrestle North Carolina at 6 p.m. and West Virginia at 8 p.m. in the Convocation Center. These are our final two home duals of the season, so come out and support your Bobcats!
Feb. 8, 2008
Walking the Walk
There's comes a point and time where we need to rid ourselves of all excuses and get to the bottom line. The bottom line is based on the season we're having and our individual records, each one our guys will have to win the Mid-American Conference Tournament to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
The MAC receives 19 bids to the national tournament. The champion of each weight class and nine wildcards get into the NCAA Tournament. The nine wildcards are voted on by the MAC coaches after the MAC Tournament is complete. The wildcard meeting is a complete mess, because every coach believes his guys deserves a bid into the NCAA Tournament. This is the reason why it's so important to have a winning record and wins against top level competition during the year. We're training for each one of our guys to win the MAC Tournament. The bottom line is we can't afford for any one of our guys to take second place because we don't have enough regular season wins or wins against top level competition to receive a wildcard bid.
We were talking a couple of days ago as a coaching staff about last years recruiting class, and it was brought to our attention that we signed seven top 30 recruits and one special mention recruit. Wrestling USA Magazine has a ranking system that ranks all seniors by weight class each year. Last year our recruits went as followed: Germane Lindsey (ranked 7th at 140), Matt Reedy (22nd at 140), Tommy Weinkam (29th at 152), Erik Schuth (20th at 189), Nick Purdue (22nd at 189), Justin Powell (11th at 215), Andy Hartshorn (26th at Heavyweight), and Darrin Boing (special mention). Two of these guys are already in the starting line-up, but we expect the rest of them to be fighting for starting spots next year.
The previous paragraph is why next year is so important for us as a wrestling program. We have about 80 percent of the puzzle complete and we should sign the other 20 percent during this year's recruiting class. Once we collect all the pieces to the puzzle, the pressure shifts to the coaching staff.
It's up to the coaching staff to develop these guys and get them ready to perform to the best of their ability academically and athletically. From this year forward, we must improve each year. We have the full amount of scholarships and an improved coaching staff, so there are no more excuses for us to lean on. If we're in the same situation we're in this year 2-3 years down the line, we're not getting the job done as a coaching staff. It's a lot of pressure, but we gladly accept the responsibility.
The bottom line is that we've been talking the talk this year about how good we can be in the future, but starting next fall it'll be our responsibility to start walking the walk.
Jan. 22, 2008
Something Still Missing
We're coming off two tough defeats this past weekend. We were beat 26-10 by Northern Illinois on Friday and 23-18 by North Carolina State on Sunday. We wrestled well as a group against both teams but we still came up short. When two teams are evenly matched, it comes down to who can win the 1 or 2 point matches. We were 2 for 6 in those matches against NIU and 0 for 3 against N.C. State.
On a more positive note, we had our red-shirt freshmen compete at the Kent State Open this past weekend. We went 5 for 5. We had five guys who competed and all five placed in the top 5. Nick Purdue (174) placed third and currently holds a 14-5 record. Tommy Weinkam (165) placed second and currently holds a 13-5 record. Darren Boing (133) placed second and currently holds an 11-5 record. Matt Reedy (149) placed fourth and currently holds a 15-7 record. Andy Hartshorn (HWT) tied for fifth and currently holds a 13-7 record. Keep up the good work guys.
There are approximately 90 Division 1 wrestling programs. In my opinion, each wrestling program belongs to one of three categories. The top teams are ranked 1-30, then the middle of the road teams are ranked 31-60, and then the bottom tier teams are ranked 61-90. The number one team has a constant target on its back. They are doing everything within their power to stay at the top. Teams 2-30 are successful programs, but they're still not satisfied. They are ranked in the top 30 in the country, but now it's time to figure out how to get to the top and stay there. Teams 31-60 have the ability to be a top 30 team, but something is missing. They're trying to get over that hump. They're tweaking this and tweaking that trying to get it just right, so they can make their way into the top 30. Teams 61-90 are trying to get into the 31--60 category. These teams usually lack the resources to climb the ladder. They are trying to get that extra scholarship or trying to increase their budget so they have to resources to be more competitive.
The Ohio University Wrestling program belongs in the category of teams ranked 31-60. We have the ability but something is missing. We have most of the resources needed to be a top 30 team, but we're still in the tweaking phase. Joel, Kyle, and I believe in this program and we'll tweak this thing until we get it just right.
The bottom line as a coach is that you're never satisfied. Once we get into the top 30, we'll be thinking of ways to climb into the top 20. The only time you are ever really satisfied as a coach is when your team is holding the national championship trophy at the end of the year. Even the satisfaction of your team winning a national championship is short lived, because now it's time to figure out how to do it again next year with a target on your back.
Jan. 10, 2008
A 24-Hour Sport
First of all, I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year. We made it through another year. We started school this Monday after a six week winter break. We're on the quarter system, so we have an extremely long winter break. It takes a lot of mental toughness to stay in Athens and train for six weeks while others get to go home. I say that because if you've never been in Athens over winter break you have no idea how dead it is during that time. Our guys trained anywhere from 1-4 hours a day during the break, and then they had the rest of the day to think about what they shouldn't eat and drink.
That's what separates wrestling from other sports. We call wrestling a 24 hour sport. This is true for most sports but even more so in wrestling. Everything you do affects your wrestling. In wrestling, you can lose a Friday night match if you stuff your face with Burger King on Monday night. For the most part, everyone did a great job with their weight and training over break and we're all looking forward to the second half of our season.
We have the Virginia Duals this weekend. It's a double elimination 16-team tournament. The brackets came out yesterday, and we have the University of Virginia in the first round. We've wrestled Virginia the past two years and we've split the two duals.
In conclusion, it's no secret that we're taking our lumps this season, but we're getting better. It kind of sounds like an oxymoron, but it's true. I'm not going to on and on, but we finally have the resources to be more competitive. In the past, the wrestling program has kind of been set-up for failure, with limited scholarships and being under staffed. The bottom line is that it's difficult too succeed in anything if don't have the resources to succeed. We do now and it's only a matter of time before success follows.
Dec. 11, 2007
Not an Ideal Beginning
We wrestled our first MAC dual last Thursday, and we didn't fare to well. We were defeated 31-6 by Eastern Michigan. When the dual was over, the coaching staff, wrestlers, and all the Ohio fans who attended the match were in shock. We were favored to win on paper at 149, 157, 165,174, and heavyweight. We were 1-4 in those matches.
The turning point of the match came during the heavyweight match. We were expecting a win if not a pin during that match and we ended up losing that match 7-3. There were other opportunities throughout the match to make a comeback, but you could feel the change after that match. After that match, Eastern Michigan picked up a pin at 125, and it was all but over at that point. The momentum shifted to Eastern Michigan, and we could never recover. On a more positive note Erik Schuth (184), one of five freshmen in the starting line-up, beat a senior national qualifier during his match.
I'm not disappointed that we lost, because if you play sports or coach long enough you will eventually lose. It was how we lost and the margin of defeat that hurts the most. Let me give you an example of how bad we wrestled. First of all, I don't want to take anything away from Eastern Michigan. They were the better prepared team and deserved to win. With that said, we have two common opponents that we have both wrestled in a dual this year. Eastern Michigan beat Liberty 17-16 this past weekend, and we beat Liberty 22-10 earlier this year. Those scores don't explain everything, but it gives you some insight into how bad we wrestled.
It feels like someone is testing our patience and belief in what we're are doing as a wrestling program. On the outside, it's easy to look at the win-loss record and conclude we're not doing the right things here at Ohio. We as a coaching staff believe in what we're doing, but it's just going to take time.
We're almost to the point where everyone in our program believes in what we're doing and are willing to make the sacrifices it takes to get to the next level.
Well, it's back to drawing board and time for the coaching staff and wrestlers to get back on the grind.
Dec. 5, 2007
Marshall's Journey Back to the Mat
To put it simply, the Las Vegas Invitational was a learning experience. The tournament included 48 teams and 13 top 25 teams. This is, by far, the toughest competition on our schedule this season. The Las Vegas Invitational allows you to bring ten wrestlers, one at each weight, to be designated point scorers for the tournament. We're battling through some injuries and some bad luck, so we only wrestled seven guys. The fact we were missing three starters put us behind the eight ball before we even wrestled a match.
Quentin Keyes (133) went 3-2 on the day. His first lost came to No. 16 ranked Joe Baker of Navy and his second loss came to No. 18 ranked Rickey Deubel of Edinboro. Quentin is a very talented individual, but his youth and inexperience holds him back. We're going to work on those two areas and help Quentin become a better wrestler physically and mentally. Jacob Frerichs (157) and Jason Marshall (HWT) made it the farthest in the tournament. They were both two matches away from placing in the top eight.
The proudest moment of the day was watching Jason Marshall wrestle in his first competition in over a year and a half. Jason Marshall came in two years ago as a freshman, but left our program due to some personal issues. He spent the last year or so back home just getting his life back together. He enrolled in summer school this past year to get back on track academically. During the Fall, he enrolled in six courses that totaled 22 credit hours. You only have to be enrolled in 12 hours to be eligible, but he took 22 credit hours so he could wrestle during Winter Quarter. We received grades last week and he earned three A's and three B's. He currently has a 3.45 GPA and he only missed the Dean's List by half a grade. Jason Marshall has taught us all a lesson about life. One of life's guarantees is that you will make mistakes, but it's never too late to turn those mistakes into something positive. Everyday is an opportunity to make yourself a better person. It's truly amazing how far Jason has come. We are all very proud of what Jason has done over the past year with his life. It takes a strong and resilient person to go through what he went through.
Overall, I think the Las Vegas Invitational was great for our team. Our guys were given the opportunity to compete against the best wrestlers in the country. It's important for us to wrestle in tough tournaments like the Vegas Invitational, so our guys can feel and see what it takes to get to the next level. We didn't do as well as we wanted in the win-loss column, but we grew as a team this past weekend. Sometimes you learn more when you lose, and that was definitely the case over the weekend.
Nov. 27, 2007
Talent Shines Through Inexperience at Hoosier Duals
Going into the Hoosier Duals there was a lot of nervousness and uncertainty among the coaching staff, but on the other hand it presented a great opportunity. There is no denying it, we have a young team. During our dual against Indiana, we had seven freshmen, two sophomores, and one junior in the starting line-up.
The nervousness and uncertainty came from wondering how our young guys were going to handle wrestling in their first college duals. It's easy to wrestle in the practice room when no one is keeping score and you aren't penalized for your mistakes. We are officially keeping score now and if you make a mistake it could cost you and the team crucial team points. Most of our young guys come in from high school where they were the cream of the crop. They have high school all-american, high school state champion, and other high school awards attached to their name. They used to beat up everyone in their wrestling room. They had a tough match every now and then but they could beat most kids when they weren't feeling 100 percent. Those days are over. At this level they have to bring their "A" game every time they step on the mat. This weekend I thought our young guys wrestled better than we expected. Our young guys can flat out perform. They were giving up one to four years of college wrestling experience and physical maturity but still holding their own.
Germaine Lindsey (141) is like the Energizer Bunny. He has a gas tank for days. He's only a freshman, so he's going to take his lumps, but he's going to give you maximum effort every time out. Erik Schuth (184) is efficient on his feet, on top, and on bottom. It's rare to have a kid good in all three areas coming out of high school. Erik was noticeably giving up some physically maturity. He was visibly smaller than and not as strong as every guy he wrestled this weekend, but he out wrestled most of them. Again, Tim Samson was the surprise of the bunch. We didn't bring a heavyweight, so we had to bump Samson up to Heavyweight. Tim is a 197 pounder, so he had to weigh in at 197 and wrestle guys that weighed up to 285 pounds. He went an impressive 2-2 and won and exciting 6-5 overtime match against the guy from University of Cumberlands that weighed all of 285. At one point, we had one dual already won, so we didn't need or want to wrestle Tim at heavyweight. In this sport giving up that much weight is not always a good thing. We told Tim that we weren't going to wrestle him basically because we didn't want him to get hurt or crushed. He looked at us like we were stupid and told us he wanted to wrestle anyway. He went out and beat the guy who outweighed him by at least 40 pounds. The bottom line is Tim loves to wrestle and you have to love that as a coach. Chris Iammarino (197) is one powerful kid. He's not going to score a whole lot of points, but when he decides to attack he usually finishes what he started. He shared the best record on the day going 4-1.
The Oregon dual stood out the most. During certain matches, you need guys to step up. Going into the 157 pound match the score was tied at six. We had Jake Frerichs, our National Qualifier, and Jacob Ison, who led our team in wins and pins last year, coming up next. They did what veterans do in situations like these. They not only won their matches but they both pinned their opponents and gave us a 12 point lead, and we went on to win that dual. As a coach, that's what we expect in those situations, and we hope our guys do to.
We learned a lot about our team this weekend. We are young but we can wrestle. With such a young team, we as a coaching staff can't let any teaching opportunities pass and we must get the most out of every training session. We leave for the Cliff Keen Invitational on Thursday and will return on Sunday. See you next week Bobcat Fans.
Nov. 14, 2007
Michigan State Open
It's always a good sign when you have guys wrestling at the end of the day of any tournament. We had six freshman place in the 20 and under division this weekend at the Michigan State Open. Darrin Boing (St. Peter Chanel) placed fourth going 4-2 on the day. Germane Lindsey (Moeller) placed third going 5-1 on the day. Matt Reedy (Ravenna) showed great resiliency coming back from two tough overtime losses including a double overtime loss to Edinboro's Thomas Straughn to place fifth.
One of the most impressive performances of the day came from freshman Tommy Weinkam (Moeller). One of the toughest things to do in any wrestling tournament is to take third after losing in the first round. After his opening round loss, Tommy went on to win six consecutive matches and defeated North Carolina's Tom Ferguson 1-0 in the third place match. Nick Purdue (Genoa) placed third going 5-1 on the day. Tim Samson (Whitmer) was the surprise of the bunch placing sixth, going 3-3 on the day.
In the open division, Clay Tucker (Martin's Ferry) was one match away from placing going 2-2 on the day. Kent Smith (Bowling Green) was also 2-2 on the day.
It was fun as a coach to watch our freshman wrestle in their first college matches. On the other hand, Tommy let his nervousness get the best of him during his opening round loss, but he settled down and finished strong. We gave Tommy a hard time on the way home because the guy who beat him in the first round lost his next two matches and was eliminated from the tournament. But winning his next six matches in a row showed how resilient he is.
We saw a lot of positive things in the guys who wrestled in the open division, but we need to improve in a lot of areas. We had five starters who didn't compete, but they should all be ready to go for our next competition - at the Hoosiers Duals on Nov. 24. Since we don't compete this weekend, we have a great opportunity in the next two weeks to make improvements in our technique and conditioning.
On a final note, finals are this week. Time management is the key word for our guys this week. With two workouts a day and studying for finals, there won't be time for much else. Good luck guys and go Bobcats!
Nov. 6, 2007
It's Go Time
First of all, I want to thank all the parents, coaches, and wrestlers who attended the Fall Wrestling Clinic. We had a good turnout and we look forward to seeing all of you next year.
Those of you who missed the Green and White Match this past Sunday missed out on some great wrestling. The results indicate why wrestling is such a great sport. The sport of wrestling doesn't care if you're a state champion, a returning starter, an inexperienced freshman, or an experienced senior. The wrestler who has prepared himself mentally, physically, and emotionally to compete at his highest level has given himself the best opportunity to be victorious.
As an athlete, all you can ask for is an opportunity. On Sunday, eighteen wrestlers had their opportunity. The bottom line is that some of them showed up and wrestled up to their capabilities and others didn't. The results also indicate that our 17th ranked recruiting class has some talent in it. It shows that the talent level in our wrestling room is at an all time high. It's safe to say that nobody's starting spot in the line-up is safe.
We're not disappointed in the results, but we want those who didn't wrestle up to their capabilities to correct what needs to be corrected, and those who wrestled up to their capabilities to continue to get better.
Championships are not won or lost in November, but it's important to limit mistakes, continue to improve, and under any circumstance be ready to do go to battle.
This Sunday we will be competing in the Michigan State Open. We have put in two solid months of training, and now our guys are excited to wrestle someone with a different color singlet. All the freshman will be competing in the 20 and under division and all other wrestlers will be competing in the open division. It's officially GO TIME!
Oct. 30, 2007
Green and White Prep
This past week was highlighted by Friday Night Matches. Friday Night Matches are basically wrestle-offs to get into the Green and White match. The Green and White match will then determine our starting line-up until the Las Vegas Invitational. The final results of the Green and White matches are not final. Unless red-shirting, each wrestler will have opportunities throughout the season to challenge for the number one spot. The Green and White match is this Sunday, Nov. 4th, and is set to begin at 1p.m. Admission is free and we hope to see you there.
125- Mike Wilson; Sophomore (2-3 as a true freshman last year) vs. Heath Allen; Freshman (132-42 career record at Benjamin Logan)
133- Quentin Keyes; RS Freshman (red-shirted last season) vs. Seth Morton; Sophomore (placed 4th at the MAC Championships as a true freshman)
141- Mike Fennell; Freshman (NHSCA Junior National All-American) vs. Germane Lindsey; Freshman (2007 State Champion, Ranked 11th in the country at 140)
149- Clay Tucker; RS Sophomore (placed 4th at the MAC Championships) vs. Kevin Christensen; Sophomore went 6-2 last season as a true freshman)
157- Kent Smith; RS Sophomore (starter at 165 during the 2005-2006 season, red-shirted last season) vs. Tommy Weinkam; Freshman (2x NHSCA All-American)
165- Jacob Ison; RS Sophomore (led team with 31 wins and 10 pins last season) vs. Anthony Ciraky; RS Freshman (red-shirted last season)
174- Ryan Knapp; Senior (starter at 174 during 2005-2006 season) vs. Nick Purdue; Freshman (2x State Champion)
184- Erik Schuth; Freshman (2007 State Champion) vs. Antione Love; Senior (23-8 last season, placed 3rd at the MAC Championships)
197- Chris Iammarino; Freshman (2x State Placer) vs. Daniel Herres; Sophomore (state placer)
HWT- Jason Marshall; Sophomore (State Champion) vs. Zach Starr; Freshman (4x letter winner in wrestling)
Those who are not competing in the Green and White will either wrestle in the Eastern Michigan Open or the Buffalo Open this weekend. We are also hosting our annual Ohio Wrestling Fall clinic from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. before the Green and White match. The clinic is open to wrestlers K-12. For more information contact Ozzie Saxon @ 740-593-1213
Oct. 25, 2007
Friday Night Fights
As the leaves start to change colors and the weather turns chilly, the season for the oldest sport in the world approaches. Good day Ohio wrestling fans, filling in for assistant coach Kyle Hansen this week is the much better looking 174 pound starter hopeful Nick Purdue, reporting from Athens on the Bobcats' progress for the upcoming season. The past week of practice has not been an easy one for the Bobcats. On Friday everyone on the team was required to make a set weight. Everyone made weight without too much trouble, and with the intensive workout regiment the coaches have put together for us, making weight should not be a problem this year. We are preparing for Friday matches or Friday night fights as the wrestlers call them. This is when wrestlers from similar weights square off in a live, scored regulation bout. Everyone on the team is eager to see how their skills match up against their teammates.
Quickly approaching is the green and white scrimmage. This is a hot topic. There should be some real dog fights at more than one weight class this year as wrestlers battle for starting positions. The following weekend we jump right into our season with the Michigan State Open. This tournament is not an easy one; it has been called the NCAAs for redshirt freshmen in the past. It looks like another great season for the Bobcats. Stay tuned and keep reading, as the calendar turns you will hear from more wrestlers and their thoughts on Bobcat wrestling. Thanks for reading!
Oct. 17, 2007
Hello wrestling fans, it's Joel Greenlee writing this week's entry. It's an exciting time of the year for all of us here in Bobcat land. We're now three weeks into wrestling practice with three weeks to go until we start competing. Our intrasquad match is Sunday, November 4th, which is where we'll determine our starting lineup. If the practice room competition will be any indication of the Green & White match, there are going to be some great battles.
This past weekend was homecoming here in Athens. I would like to first thank everyone who attended our practice and tailgate. The coaching staff and wrestlers appreciate all the support. Overall, the weekend was a success. Practice on Saturday morning was fun. The guys wrestled a little bit harder with an audience. After practice we had a great turnout for the annual homecoming tailgate. Lots of parents and wrestling fans showed up, which means a lot to our program. It just reminded me of the backing we have here, which is always comforting. During the football game, former All-American Joe Zychowicz was inducted to the Athletic Hall of Fame. Joe is an outstanding individual. Any honor to Ohio University Wrestling is a satisfying event. The weekend concluded on Sunday, when we received our first verbal commitment of the recruiting season. It was nice to finally get things started. We are looking to add to our 17th ranked recruiting class from last year.
Many of you are probably wondering how the Ironman lifting competition shook out. With one event remaining, Matt Reedy, Kevin Christensen, and Justin Powell each lead their respective division. We were unable to participate last Friday because of the football game, so the guys will resume competition this Friday. It is a tight race and will be fun to see unwind. Our new lifting schedule is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning with drilling taking place the other days. That's enough for now...it's about time for practice!
Oct. 9, 2007
Hi, it's Kyle Hansen here again. The first week of practice went well for the Bobcats. Everyone made it through the week, so that is a positive. We focused on drilling and positioning last week and spent most of this week going over our expectations in the wrestling room. We are continuing to work on positioning and introducing some new techniques as well. We're going to work a lot on getting off bottom these next few weeks. All our guys are anxious to learn, which is great for the coaches.
Weightlifting is going great as well. A new concept introduced this year has everyone competing hard. Coach Yelton came up with an Ironman competition, which takes place every Friday morning. We split the guys up into three groups (lightweight, middleweight, and heavyweight) and they compete against each other in four different areas. The first area is the number of box jumps in a minute. Quentin Keyes won the lightweight division with 63, Kevin Christensen won the middleweight division with 55, and Justin Powell won the heavyweight division with 64. The next area was the burnout bench press with 60 percent of their max. The leaders were Caleb Metcalf with 31 reps, Tommy Weinkam with 30, and Aaron Schecter with 22. The next competition was a sled pull. Three red plates are placed on the goal line and a sled is placed on the 40-yard line. Each red plate has to be ran out and placed onto the sled. After the third plate is placed on the sled, the guy has to pull it back to the goal line. Matt Reedy won in the lightweight division in 1:38 and Clay Tucker won the middleweight in 1:95. While the light and middle weights did the sled pull, the heavyweights did the tire flip. Each guy had to flip a huge tractor tire from the 30-yard line to the goal line. Justin Powell had the fastest time in 46.1 seconds. After three competitions, Matt Reedy, Kevin Christensen, and Justin Powell are the leaders in each division. This Friday concludes the Ironman competition and it should be a battle in each division. Either way, the guys are having fun with it.
Homecoming is this weekend. We will be having an open practice for the public Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. It will give the parents and other fans a chance to watch a practice. Following practice we are having our annual tailgate before the football game. Hopefully there is a good turnout. All parents and fans are invited to stop in and say hi. There will be food and drinks available for anyone who stops by. Hope to see you there!
Stay tuned for words from Head Coach Greenlee next week.
Oct. 2, 2007
First Official Practice
Hi there Ohio Wrestling fans, it's Kyle Hansen writing this week's blog entry. It is the beginning of a new year, official practice began yesterday. From here on out it's wrestling practice Monday through Friday at 3:20 pm. I think it's a little relief for a lot of our guys, they made it through preseason running. Some guys felt like they were on a cross country team, running anywhere from four to eight miles a day. We finished up last Friday with an eight mile run. Germane Lindsey won the run with a time of 57:00. Caleb Metcalf came in second, while Clay Tucker took third. The reasoning behind the longer run was to get guys to think bigger. For most of them, eight miles was farther than they've ever ran. We want guys to realize that they can do anything if they put their mind to it.
The first practice went good yesterday afternoon. The only downfall is the amount of guys in the room. I think we have around 35 guys right now, so the room gets a little crowded. We wrestled live in groups of three to free up a little space. I don't consider it a problem though. I think it is awesome that we have that many guys, willing to sacrifice and put in the work hard to wrestle. We are definitely heading in the right direction and pretty much all our guys are on board now. They realize that we have something special here at Ohio and are starting to see that they can be MAC Champions and NCAA All-Americans if they want to. One positive I've noticed this year is the attitude of our guys when working out. They give 100% in running, lifting, and wrestling. That's the type of attitude that wins championships.
The guys are in good shape from preseason and a great summer. We had more guys this year than any other time since I've been here stay in Athens for the summer. We've been trying to get the message out that summer training makes the difference in March. The guys really did a great job this summer. I'm proud of the effort they gave. Well, that's enough for now, stay tuned for next week!
Sept. 25, 2007
The last two weeks of preseason have gone really well. We've been running Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons. We've also been lifting Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings and wrestling Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.
The first big story of the pre-season came after our first run. Something took place that has never happened since I've been coaching here. We had a freshman, Germane Lindsey, win the first pre-season run. Germane is a state champion from Moeller High School in Cincinnati. It wasn't a fluke either, because he has won every run since then too. The top runners have consistently been Lindsey (141), freshman Tommy Weinkam (High School All-American from Moeller, 157), senior Caleb Metcalf (125), junior Jake Frerichs (157), freshman Matt Reedy (State Champion from Ravenna, 141/149), and freshman Darrin Boing (4x state place winner from St. Peter Chanel, 133).
One of the biggest changes from the previous two years has taken place in the wrestling room. The level of competition in the room is at an all time high. We have upper classmen pushing freshmen and we have quite a few freshmen pushing upper classmen. The coaching staff welcomes the increased competition with open arms and we hope our upper classmen feel the same way. In order to get where we want to be as a wrestling program, this is one of the pieces to the puzzle. The bottom line is that it will make our team better in many ways.
Weightlifting has started to smooth out. The first couple of weeks started off slow. A lot of time is spent getting our Fall maximums, making sure our young guys know each lift and have the proper technique for some of the Olympic lifts. They have been very patient with us and are willing to learn.
This is the last week of preseason with official practices starting next Monday. We have a lot of work to do from now until our first competition. We are off to a great start but our success this season isn't made on the first day, first week, or even the first month of the preseason. There's a lot of talent returning as well as in the freshman class which is exciting and motivating, but as coaches we all know that talent only takes you so far. Our goal now is to take that talent had get the most out of them and we welcome that challenge with open arms. Stay tuned as my fellow assistant coach, Kyle Hansen, will write next week's blog.
Sept. 6, 2007
The Blog Begins
The coaching staff has decided to produce a blog for the entire 2007-2008 season. The blogs will feature entries from the coaching staff as well as current team members and there will be a new blog posted every Tuesday until the completion of our season. We hope you enjoy and continue to follow us throughout the season.
My name is Ozzie Saxon and I spent the last two years as a graduate assistant and now I'm entering my first season as an assistant coach. During my first season, we went 11-11 with no national qualifiers. Last year we improved to 16-8 with a single national qualifier. Let me note that during those two years we were operating with a limited number of scholarships and without a full staff. To put it simply, it's difficult in any sport, especially wrestling, to compete at this level without the full number of scholarships while being under staffed. The maximum number of scholarships a wrestling program is allowed is 9.9 and we were nowhere near that number. The current head coach/my boss, Joel Greenlee, has done a great job over the last 12 years with limited resources, but times have changed for the better.
Any successful wrestling program will tell you that it's crucial to have the support of your university, especially the athletic administration. This past year our athletic administration has given us their support. They have awarded the program the maximum of 9.9 scholarships along with full time assistants. That has helped the Bobcats garner the 17th ranked recruiting class according to Wrestling International Newsmagazine. The incoming freshmen include five state champs, a high school All-American, and three wrestlers ranked in the top 20 in their respective weight classes.
It's that time of year again. Classes begin today. Official practices don't begin until October 1st, but we'll be conducting pre-season practices up until that time. We'll be lifting four days a week, running three days a week, and wrestling three days a week. We'll give our athletes this week off, because there's a lot of business to attend to. We have team physicals, a team meeting tomorrow afternoon, compliance meetings, and a ton of papers for our student-athletes to read and sign.
The coaching staff and student-athletes are excited to get the pre-season underway. Together, we have put in a lot of time and effort in this summer. Well, that concludes blog No. 1, we hope you have enjoyed it and stay tuned for next week's post.