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Archive for October 2008

Arkansas numbers skyrocketing

I’m short on motivation today, although I did polish off six miles on the second week of my 26-week marathon training. Me and my roommate Tim (if you haven’t guessed, I went from living by myself for three years to living in a house with four other people — you could really do a Real World Arden Hills out of this place) walked up to Jake’s Sports Cafe and got dinner.

Counterproductive? I don’t think so. Three miles up, water and a salad (yes, I actually like salads, although my waistline didn’t always show it) and three miles back. Walked/Jogged at a pretty good clip. Still not on the full running thing yet, but based on the program I noted the other day, I’m getting to the point where 3-4 mile walks/jogs don’t tire me out and my feet still aren’t hurting.

Halloween’s tomorrow and we have a pot luck in the office. I was assigned to “drinks” last time … pretty unimaginative. I got salad for tomorrow. So rather than buying a bag o’ salad and faking it, I got two different types of lettuce, fresh carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes. Boiled up some eggs and grated them, chopped up some ham and turkey and cooked up some chicken breasts in a homemade lemon pepper glaze. They’re just gonna love me tomorrow … as I’m dressed in my costume. Pictures, I’m sure, will follow.

I haven’t been “in shape” in a long time. Hell, I’ve even curtailed the social aspect of life since the Tommie-Johnnie game.

Weather today was great … sported the Missouri Wrestling shirt, the cool dry-wicking stuff that Cliff Keen’s got. Those killer long sleeves from Fargo — yeah, they rock. Blue Chip in the house!

I’m also now a Minnesota resident as my driver’s license will show.

Weather: It was 71 today!? It was awesome.
Gas: $2.09 and steady as we head towards Election Day.
Mileage: 21 miles
STL: 171 days.

I wanted to pass this message along from Greg Hatcher down in Arkansas about how the boom in wrestling down there has been very positive. They’ll be sanctioned by the Arkansas Activities Association for the first time this year.

Here’s Greg’s e-mail.

I wanted to drop all of our participating schools a note and let you know that I am hearing from schools and it appears that the number of wrestlers at each school is skyrocketing.  I’ve already heard from Conway and they have over 100 wrestlers, Springdale Har-Ber has 98 wrestlers signed up, North Little Rock High School has 48 wrestlers signed up and that’s not even counting those athletes who are in fall sports who will sign up as soon as the fall season is over.

I wanted to drop each of you a note and ask you to send me back an email telling me approximately how many wrestlers you had in your program last year and how many you expect to have in your program this year.  These don’t have to be exact numbers, but ballparks.  If you did not have wrestling last year and this is your first year then your last year number would be zero and this year would be the number you expect or have signed up now.

In addition, when you get your rosters of wrestlers if you want to email them to us we will add under your schools icon a listing of all of your wrestlers and their different weight classes.  It’s our goal to continue to build our website to provide more and more information to the wrestling community.

Finally, don’t forget about our new wrestling message board that you can link to on at our wrestling website at or you can go directly to it at .

Written by Jason Bryant

October 30, 2008 at 10:48 pm

Posted in Four Points

Tagged with ,

The Champ is Here: Henry Cejudo

The story of Olympic Champion Henry Cejudo is well-documented. He’s explained it in nearly every newspaper story and television interview. A rough upbringing, a non-existent relationship with his father, a dynamic relationship with older brother Angel and a very strong-willed mother.

Now Henry’s speaking about his travels, as seen here in the most recent story by The Denver Post.

Next week, Henry will come to Minnesota on behalf of The School of Champions.

The School of Champions is a very unique coaching and practice situation. It provides very low-cost practice sessions with All-Americans and National Champions. Instead of heading out after a day of class or work, these guys are providing an intense training sessions for the kids in the Twin Cities area. Some schools have wrestling clubs tied to their college programs. The School of Champions, while manned by many a former Golden Gopher, isn’t “the club” with Minnesota. However, with the Gopher Wrestling Club and the School of Champions, Cejudo will come in for a Fall Clinic at Bloomington Kennedy H.S. on November 7.

According to The School of Champions web site, there’s time to still register for the Clinic.

What’s personally impressive is how the staff of The School of Champions, rather than being wild former wrestling 20-somethings, they spend evenings coaching kids. When I first moved here, I called a few of the guys up to see what was going on for, say, Monday Night Football. “Sorry dude, we’re coaching tonight.”

Bringing in Cejudo is icing on the cake for programs like this. Kids get great coaching and technique and a chance to meet an Olympic Champion who’s close enough to their age to where they can relate directly. Henry’s become an icon for American wrestling. He’s personable and quick-witted, so those of you who live in the Twin Cities with kids looking to get an extra edge, check out The School of Champions — and for those of you who want to meet an Olympic Champion, mark down November 7.

Written by Jason Bryant

October 29, 2008 at 6:19 pm

Four Points: Boy, that’s brisk!

Yes, I’m being a complete wuss about my animosity towards the cold weather and snow. The worst thing about living up here is going to be getting used to the winter chill that’s already in the air. The best part about living here is easily the people. It’s really hard to find a nicer bunch of people (collectively) than those I’ve met in the upper Midwest.

I’m watching the Wild-Blackhawks game as two of my roommates are there watching. I’ve got another roommate shooting darts behind me. I’ve already beaten him in Cricket tonight so my undefeated streak here in Arden Hills remains safe.

I’m going to have to get that health club membership soon. Why? I need a place to run, jog and walk. As I noted before, I’ve decided to give the Go! St. Louis Marathon a shot come April. I started to get in the frame of mind last week. I walked/jogged 13 miles last week and tonight, did more running than I had on a short “Route 66” two-mile trip. There’s a convenience store just across 35W which is a mile from the house. An up and back is what I call “The 66.” It’s now an Exxon or something, but it used to be a Phillips 66 as my roommate Joe (Tired of Renting?) explained.

I’m tracking my progress at, but I’m looking over things for the running rookie, which I am, and realized my start date last week was exactly 26 weeks from the marathon, which works well with‘s 26-week training plan. I’ll basically be spending the next 11 weeks getting myself into a state where I CAN put some foot to pavement with some speed and distance. Right now, it’s just slow jogs and brisk walks.

Two more miles Monday. It’s freakin’ cold.

Weather: Beautiful, clear and COLD. 38 degrees here, but 39 degrees back home!
Gas: $2.15
Mileage: 15 miles.
STL: 174 days.

This is Halloweentown
One thing I do like about the office environment I have here in Minnesota is the relationship Kyle and I have with the other entities in the office building. The other half of the building is occupied by J Robinson Camps and the staff over there is incredibly fun to work with. While we’re not working with them directly, the office dynamic is laid back, fun and you can always find someone cracking a joke or, as I found out, making very useful signs on dry-erase boards and appliances.

This Friday will be our monthly “Pot Luck” lunch where we all bring something in and grub out. It’s also Halloween. The girls love this, as I’ve seen in pictures posted around the office. They’re all quite creative.

Streak @ 32 ends @ 3
I won’t be going to the Super 32 this year, which will end a three-year run in Greensboro. Dave Barker, Sara Koenig and staff have done a great job making that event what it is today — the most talked-about and most competitive preseason tournament in the nation. Not bad for a little club tournament not even 10 years ago. I really enjoyed going down there, but not being on the East Coast makes a one-day trek across the country most difficult. I knew this in advance, so I tried to make up for it by going down to Iowa on Saturday, as I talked about yesterday.

I’m waiting to unveil my Halloween Costume, but it would have been cool to wear it at a tournament. I will look forwarded to checking out the historic “First Avenue” that Sunday, though. I’ll be attending a concert by Minnesota’s own Atmosphere.

Book it!
Anyone remember the Book It! Campaign back in the late 80’s and 90’s? It rewarded kids for reading books with personal pan pizzas from Pizza Hut. Man, talk about inspiring a nation of bookworm, cheese-bread munching WoW players. Just kidding. But I’m back on the book kick again. Why? Give Mark Palmer of the credit for this one. After reading his review of “The Fighting Scots of Edinboro,” I jumped right online and headed over to to make this purchase. I’d read “The Silent Gladiators” earlier this year and was rather disappointed. I’m hoping to read a wrestling book that will not only educate, but will be well-written. I just finished “The Granby Roll,” a short biopic about the late Billy Martin.

Before I left Pennsylvania, I headed out to Pier Village, N.J., to visit my former partner in crime, the forum’s infamous prognosticator Gripsnhips (Herbert dec. Askren 5-4). After housing a GreaseTruck-sized sandwich, he made me read a chapter from this wacky book. He insisted that I take it with me. I neglected to, but upon purchasing “The Fighting Scots” the book I so desperately tried to remember, was sitting there on the “recommended reading” from Amazon. SCORE.

So after the ‘Boro book, I’ll dive into the Chuck Klosterman offering pictured.

The Wrestling411 web site has been undergoing some rather odd hack/attack attempts in the last two days. Keep an eye on some great news coming from the NWCA/InterMat that will really change the way wrestling results are distributed and accessed. This is going to be a great asset for the wrestling community and the national media — not wrestling media — but the mainstream media. We will have some substance, trust me. Kyle Klingman released an interview with Wisconsin coach Barry Davis on Wrestling411 today, as well.

Written by Jason Bryant

October 27, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Keck, USAW Preseason Nationals off to great beginning

It’s now Sunday and chilly in the Twin Cities. The last four hours were spent trucking up I-35 heading back to Minnesota from a Saturday jaunt to Des Moines, Iowa for the USA Wrestling Preseason Nationals. Preseason folkstyle tournaments have grown in popularity since the explosion and exposure of events like the Delaware Fall Classic, the Lock Haven Classic and the Super 32. Kansas City now has a large event and now, so does Iowa.

The brain child of Brian Keck, the “Barn” in Des Moines hosted the 12-mat inaugural event with nearly 500 competitors in grades 9-12, which is very good for a first-year event.

Keck’s got a few tournaments he’s running out in Iowa now and with the support of USA Wrestling and the staffing of the Iowa pairing folks and coaches coupled with trackwrestling, this tournament has a lot of room to grow and fill a void in this part of the country.

One of the better matches of the day came at 171 pounds with Jake Dorulla of Michigan and Kyven Gadson of Iowa. Both were state runners-up and both showed tremendous ability in fighting off each other’s attacks, countering and taking advantage of their strengths.

Jesse Thielke was the tournament’s outstanding wrestler. The returning state champion was undefeated last year for Germantown in Wisconsin at 112 pounds. Thielke defeated another undefeated Wisconsin state champion, Alex Dieringer 9-1 in the finals. Dieringer won the title last year at 103 in Division I.

For the full release and results, click here.

USAW’s Chris Moen, Steve Buening and new NCEP director Sam Barber were all in the house. Good people.

The layout of the venue was perfect for wrestling. Lots of floor space, ample seating for spectators and parents and good sight lines. I think the only thing that needs to be improved, and this is not a shot, but I’m sure it’s something Brian’s already working on, is more officials. 14 officials for 12 mats is rough for the men in stripes. I’m sure that will be addressed, but from all accounts and my own observations, this tournament was a big success and will only grow in the future.

Scott Casber of Takedown Radio was manning the PA and I stepped in to do some play-by-play with Steve Foster for the finals. We had two falls in the finals and a couple of overtime matches.

Keep your eye on Alex Polizzi of Wisconsin this season. He topped Kyle Caylor in the finals, but Polizzi doesn’t look like a prototypical 215-pounder. I think he’d be a 189 who didn’t feel like shedding any weight for this event. It’s the first time I’d had an opportunity to see him wrestle. Looks like a real good D1 prospect. Good movement, strong and a thick mop of shaggy hair atop his head.

After the event, I headed out with Scott Casber to his place and we watched the UFC from Rosemont, Ill. Good card, but it’s unfortunate the Patrick Cote-Anderson Silva fight ended the way it did. They don’t measure “reach” with the legs, but Silva looks like he could kick you from Montana, that’s if you’re still sitting in suburban Chicago.

The Mangler
Mark Manning won two NCAA Division II titles in the 80’s for Division II Nebraska-Omaha. Now the head coach at the University of Nebraska, the 40-something coach had been “having words” with a former Husker football player. Long-story short, they settled it on the field.

Here’s the video, but here’s a thread on that explains it a bit better than my explanation.

Manning only had to stop the trask-talking <grin> strength coach once to prove his point.

Word is Brian Smith at Missouri’s going to give Tigers Strong Safety William “Willie Mo” Moore a shot at pass coverage.

Oh, and I still hate snow
The drive back through Iowa was met with insane crosswinds and snow. Yes, SNOW. I was getting pushed all over the highway by the winds coming from the west. Corn husks were flying through the air, pelting my trusty Blazer … then the snow came. Eh. I know there’s going to be worse days than this, but I didn’t expect to see any of the white stuff until at least Halloween.

Cal Baptist Open
One of the first college opens took place yesterday out in California with first-year NAIA program California Baptist hosting the CBU Lancer Open. John Petty, formerly an NAIA head coach at Embry-Riddle and Northwestern College, leads the Lancers into their first season.

How’d things go? Check out the results here.

Written by Jason Bryant

October 26, 2008 at 3:02 pm

Four Points: I will take Chocolate Rain over October Sleet

Real freakin’ funny, Mother Nature. I’m completely amused.

I dropped a bit of a bombshell yesterday on people announcing my intention to not only say I’m going to run a marathon, but to follow through on it. Steps one and two were accomplished on Tuesday. Actually, I’d begin with making the decision, then setting out to get some running shoes fitted for my feet, then actually set out on a journey.

The last time I stepped on a mat in any such competitive sense was probably three years ago when I was living back in Poquoson and working out at my old wrestling club, the PWA. I’d walk up to practice, roll around some, hit the AirDyne and catch a ride back home with the coaches. One of the AirDyne bikes in the Poquoson Wrestling Room was used by the 1984 Olympic Team — Goldie — as we call it.

Anyway, I walked two miles yesterday. It’s a start, because I’m 178 days away from the marathon. The plan will call for 18 weeks of training. I’ll need to get in shape before even starting this training. It’s like that Power 90 thing on TV — you can’t go from being a fat waste to ripped in 90 days, you need to build up to be in good enough shape to start something. I’m not a fat waste right now … I might have been at one time, but those days are actually long gone.

Steps I took a long time ago will make this easier. Not living a college lifestyle definitely helps, as does having someone who is going through the training with you.

Gas: $2.39
Weather: 43, raining and sleet and pretty damned miserable.
Days to go: 178

Ice Age? Not Hardly.
By the way, why am I in a sour mood at Mother Nature? I went home for lunch and when I drove back to the office, ice pellets were falling from the sky. It’s OCTOBER!?

My Facebook status has also been an easy target for folks who love to punish me over the fact I’ll be soon to endure my first Minnesota winter. Yeah, you  Sarah in Northern Va. … not funny. You, Tammy in PA and you Joe in Minnesota… not funny either. Chris, taking another shot from here in Minnesota. I’ll take the warning. Natanya in Naptown. I know this. Amanda, you’re now in the Deep South. Keep rubbing it in and thinking you’re funny.

The rest of you — I am not amused. That goes for Diego, too.

Some of you might not get this.

Wrestle-off Time
Tis the season for college wrestling intrasquad matches. It basically means we’re thismuch closer to kicking off the year. Last night, Indiana wrestled its Cream and Crimson intrasquad. Team Hernandez and Team Escobedo wrestled to a 16-16 tie. What some might find surprising are the individual outcomes, especially if you are thinking some high school studs can come in right away and expect to punk down the upperclassmen. How did guys like Vince Ramos and Nick Cook do? How about the outcome of Kurt Kinser and Matt Coughlin? Find out here.

Hall of Famers
Some differing news on the wrestling front with several individuals known throughout our sport getting inducted into various Halls of Fame.

Art Martori of the Sunkist Kids and John Smith, the head coach at Oklahoma State and six-time World & Olympic Champion, will be inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame on November 1. Wait, Smith? Italian? Yessir.

“I am half-Italian. It is always a proud side of my family,” said Smith. “There are a lot of happy Italians in Oklahoma about this. The athletes inducted are all tied to Italian blood. It is a proud people. My family has a remarkable history, having to grind it out for many years to allow the next generation to have a better life. It wasn’t easy for the Italian people when my family first came to America. They made a commitment to their family. My mother is as excited as anyone about this.”

Other notable Hall of Famers making the news are Jim Scherr, who’s heading into the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame and Maryland native Bruce Malinowski goes into his state’s chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Pitching in
(Rich Tortorelli release)
Oklahoma City University faculty, staff and students including student athletes participated in the “One Give” program Oct.12 in an effort to spruce up the OCU campus.

More than 450 students, faculty and staff came out Sunday afternoon to participate in a number of projects across the campus. Members of both the men’s and women’s wrestling teams were a part of the “One Give” project. They’re pictured, and to read the full release, click here.

Written by Jason Bryant

October 22, 2008 at 5:03 pm