The Bryant Blog: Life, Wrestling, Pop Culture

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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 themat.com 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

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