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Perseverance

Football vs Wrestling....risk/reward

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In the ever evolving world of parenting & coaching athletes, we frequently come to a personal crossroads of varying choices.  And in this case.....regardless of whether your a parent, coach, or both......your feedback and opinions are welcomed.
I've been a major proponent of football players adding wrestling to their winter resumes. But what about wrestlers on the gridiron?  I'm confident that I'm not the first to cross this topic, and probably not the only one dealing with this right now.  However, the question of football being beneficial for a wrestler is now heavy on my heart.
For clarity.....please understand that my zeal and opinions are specifically geared towards athletes whose goal is to compete in a particular sport beyond high school.
With that said, there are some HUGE variables with football that create a major contrast with wrestling, baseball and even basketball as it pertains to recruiting.  In baseball for instance, if a guy throws 90mph and has an above average secondary pitch......it doesn't matter if the only team his squad plays all year is Indiana School of the Blind!  A recruiter or scout is going to recognize those tools at breeding success at the next level.  With wrestling, it doesn't matter where you're from or how small your school is.  You have the opportunity to work your tail off, prove yourself as elite within your state.  Then in turn validate your collegiate worth by competing in a number of National Tourneys to validate your level of "elite" against the nations best.  Obviously.....basketball has so many travel teams (as does baseball) that year round play and exposure for deserving athletes is not that hard to attain regardless of classed sports.  BUT.....football is a different monster. 
Yes.....there are camps and outlets an athlete can utilize to create exposure for his football skill set.  But what is most pertinent to my point, is the the obvious distinction of competition level when comparing a solid 4A program versus even a top 10 smaller program.  I understand that recruiters are bonafide experts at evaluating talent.  So speed, strength explosiveness, attitude (and always academics) can transcend strength of schedule.  However.....for example, an individual would be foolish to assume that 2 linebackers of the same skill-set but from contrasting school sizes will get the same opportunities.  In fact, I've found that often times an athlete can have worse stats, but play tougher competition......and get the nod from recruiters over a kid of equal talent from a smaller, less prominent program.  The best example I can use to validate my point is Kiante Ennis of Winchester. Let's look past his foolish choices and legal problems, and just focus on athleticism for a moment.  This is a kid who led the nation in rushing.  Broke Indiana records.  Had 4.3 40 speed.  Where did he end up?  IU.  
Now....many will say, "That's a great school.  How does that prove your point?".  My response to those people is that we are talking about a freak athlete from a very small school.  Yes there was interest from more prominent programs as well.....BUT, it wasn't because he broke records or was the best running back in the nation!  It was because he had something that can't be taught......NFL caliber speed to compliment a solid frame.  So with that said......how many schools period (let alone 1A & 2A programs) have the opportunity to have this type of athlete.  Rarely if ever is my point. 
And mind you.....Ennis was a football player.  Not a wrestler who played football. 
To help you better understand my reasoning behind this novel......is the fact that the Shenandoah football program (ranked 6th in 2A) had 5 major injuries this season.  All 5 were wrestlers.  Including my son Silas.

Justin Hummel/freshman (7th MS State)- knee....surgery-should be in lineup by Dec.

Elijah Weistefield/freshman-broke arm....out indefinitely. 

Hayden Lohrey/junior (SQ and ranked at 138)-concussion, but should be available to start season.

Dallas Pugsley/junior (7th at State and ranked at 132)-Concussion & enlarged liver....out for an undetermined amount of time.

Silas Allred/sophomore (Fargo AA and ranked at 182)-Stage 3 thigh contusion.....out for at least 3-4 weeks.
 
These young men are wrestlers who play football. Not the other way around.  It should also be realized, that in most cases wrestlers are some of the best (if not the best) athletes in the school.  In my personal experience at Shenandoah, although I'm sure the same happens elsewhere.....this results in serious overuse to win games.  Let me make this crystal clear.....I DO NOT blame the football coaches. Athletes choose to compete in a sport and the coach puts his best lineup forward. In fact....as avid of competitors as wrestlers are, a coach will have a tough time convincing them not to play even if not at 100 percent.   So ultimately....this is a choice for the young men.  As well as us as parents and coaches.
In closing and speaking as a dad.  My son Silas is a very good all around athlete.  However, his athletic goals are wrestling related. And thankfully, he's worked hard to earn some early collegiate interest at only a sophomore. The risk/reward factor for my son AND ANY other wrestler who has goals on the mat, but plays football....MUST be taken more seriously. In Silas' case, a helmet to the thigh and only having to miss the first couple weeks of the season is obviously still discouraging......but also an eye opener and a tremendous blessing!  Blessing you ask?  Yes......because 12 inches lower with that helmet and we would be having a much different conversation pertaining to a year long knee injury.  So I remain grateful of God's protection.
However.......to return to the question at hand.  Is wrestling good for football players?  I still answer yes.  But in contrast......Is football good for wrestlers?  In my humble opinion absolutely not.  At least not the wrestlers who have the legit reality of wrestling at the next level, but are depended on for football on both sides of the ball.  Standing in my shoes, the risk far outweighs the reward.  Thanks for your patience regarding the lengthy nature of my obvious needing to vent.
Again.....thoughts, feedback and opinions are welcomed.  Even if they're not in agreement with my stance.  I keep my son accountable and fully aware of the opportunities he's created for himself.  So the "crossroads" I'm now at as a parent/coach consists of encouraging him to eliminate football altogether. Thanks again. 

 

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If you are gonna wrestle in college I am not for football honestly.. it's too risky to lose that opportunity to wrestle and have financial help because of it...Yea football might be fun but you could use that time getting better going to big tournaments for wrestling and maintaining wrestling shape..The risk out weighs the reward and being set back from your first love of wrestling is crucial. 

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There are certainly risks involved in football. But, those risks are prevalent in every physical activity. I played multiple sports growing up, including football. The only sport I was badly injured in was basketball. You never know what sport is going to be the one that a person gets injured in.

Sports have to be about love of the game. In my opinion, you can't be scared to pursue your passion because it might risk an injury. You can easily be injured slipping on the ice, or walking down the street. Play what you have a passion for - and take every necessary precaution to limit the amount of injury.

As you know - my son is having a horrible senior year, injury-wise. He broke his leg playing baseball in June. He worked as hard as he was allowed to, going to physical therapy and doing every recovery suggestion to the letter so that he could be released in time for wrestling. He got released the day football sectionals began. He was really upset that he missed his senior tennis season, but he was ecstatic that he could do his true passion - wrestling. Then, in the third wrestling practice of the season, wrestling with his twin, he broke his leg again and will be out for the entire season.

I talked to him about the injury. He is really going through a hard time emotionally being done with wrestling. But, he said he doesn't regret trying to wrestle. That was his goal, and it didn't work out.

Silas' situation is different because, as you said, he wants to wrestle at the next level. So, the question would really be - does his passion for football trump his desire to be the best wrestler he can, for as long as he can? Knowing you guys, you'll make the decision that is best for your situation. Can't wait to see what this season has in store for him.

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My son stopped playing football but still has had issues staying healthy. Let’s face it... these top level kids are tough active kids. Regardless if they play football or tic tac toe.... they are going balls out. That’s the nature of wrestlers. They have little fear and push the limits of their physical ability.  If he wasn’t playing football, he would be doing something else bad a$$. Basically, what I’m saying... is it all comes down to dumb luck. 

Edited by Mattyb

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Great topic! Very good points Mr. Allred. My two cents on the subject is although Im a fan of the "all around athlete", competing in whatever sport they can, (esp. in high school where those opportunities still exist), its a tough decision that ultimately should be made by the student athlete. My oldest played multiple sports in high school. (football, soccer, and was a wrestler first and foremost). He did the others for fun, and because he was talented enough to play on the varsity level. I supported his decisions partly so he wouldnt burn out in wrestling (which Ive seen happen) and because he was a talented athlete. I will say that I was very relieved after his sophomore year when he decided to just kick, and punt for football, and not play a field position, since I was always apprehensive about football injuries, esp. since he was primarily looking at wrestling in college. Unfortunately injuries can occur at any time in any sport, its always tougher if it happens in a sport your just playing for fun, or that is secondary to the primary one. ( I know of a solid wrestler (state qualifier) who didnt play football this year to focus on wrestling and to avoid injuries, and got hurt at a weekend wrestling clinic and will miss this wrestling season). I also think that the student should make smart decisions ( for example an upper weight wrestler vs. wrestlers under 132lbs playing football). Is the risk higher and worth it for the smaller athlete. Also will they have playing time etc.  At the the end of the day, I think you support your kid no matter what choice they make, and help guide them as well as you can and realize that injuries; though an unwelcome part of sports, can happen at anytime in anysport. BTW glad your sons injuries are minor and hope he has a speedy recovery. 

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Fully understand your concern and reasons. Your athletes on the football team a year ago were outstanding young men, and Im sure this year's team was the same. I think the question to ask is if your son looks back on his choice, will he regret doing or not doing whatever activity. Will he miss making memories on the gridiron or regret not putting more time into his craft on the mat. The good thing is neither is the wrong choice if he can live with the decision. Injuries are going to happen regardless of the sport. This accident prone guy knows all about that.

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33 minutes ago, Matdad said:

Great topic! Very good points Mr. Allred. My two cents on the subject is although Im a fan of the "all around athlete", competing in whatever sport they can, (esp. in high school where those opportunities still exist), its a tough decision that ultimately should be made by the student athlete. My oldest played multiple sports in high school. (football, soccer, and was a wrestler first and foremost). He did the others for fun, and because he was talented enough to play on the varsity level. I supported his decisions partly so he wouldnt burn out in wrestling (which Ive seen happen) and because he was a talented athlete. I will say that I was very relieved after his sophomore year when he decided to just kick, and punt for football, and not play a field position, since I was always apprehensive about football injuries, esp. since he was primarily looking at wrestling in college. Unfortunately injuries can occur at any time in any sport, its always tougher if it happens in a sport your just playing for fun, or that is secondary to the primary one. ( I know of a solid wrestler (state qualifier) who didnt play football this year to focus on wrestling and to avoid injuries, and got hurt at a weekend wrestling clinic and will miss this wrestling season). I also think that the student should make smart decisions ( for example an upper weight wrestler vs. wrestlers under 132lbs playing football). Is the risk higher and worth it for the smaller athlete. Also will they have playing time etc.  At the the end of the day, I think you support your kid no matter what choice they make, and help guide them as well as you can and realize that injuries; though an unwelcome part of sports, can happen at anytime in anysport. BTW glad your sons injuries are minor and hope he has a speedy recovery. 

Thank you.  Hated hearing of the wrestler you referenced. Great points. And yes......the decision is fully his. It's just imperative I keep him accountable in his decision making.  To be a little more specific......at the end of the day, I'd be perfectly pacified if he decides to just play defense.  That would allow him to not be so beat up on the weekends, which in turn would allot for additional time on the mat during football. Being 15 yrs old, running upright at fullback with 4.9 speed and finding enjoyment in contact......spells disaster on the offensive side of things. :) Just want him (and others) to be cognitive of the risks & realities associated with a sport they play for fun, in contrast to the sport that most likely will help pay for their education. 

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22 minutes ago, casualwrestlingfan said:

Fully understand your concern and reasons. Your athletes on the football team a year ago were outstanding young men, and Im sure this year's team was the same. I think the question to ask is if your son looks back on his choice, will he regret doing or not doing whatever activity. Will he miss making memories on the gridiron or regret not putting more time into his craft on the mat. The good thing is neither is the wrong choice if he can live with the decision. Injuries are going to happen regardless of the sport. This accident prone guy knows all about that.

100% agree.  And mind you.....I'm a guy whose had to learn to live with tons of regrets athletically and otherwise.  Admittedly......knowing the goals Silas has on the mat, and realizing what it's going to take to make those goals reality......my hope (and prayers) are that he and others facing the same tough choices make a decision that results in them being able to take an honest look in the mirror, and say "I did everything I could to be the best version of myself possible".  

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It feels like saying "you can get hurt walking across the street" or "you can get hurt in any sport" doesn't quite live up to what is really happening in football.  I feel like with wrestling being 1 on 1 and having a referee only watching 2 kids at a time, it is astronomically safer than football.  I feel a kid can defend himself against 1 other person and the ref can actually stop things before they get out of hand.  I believe football is 4 to 22 for refs to kids with no chance of stopping a potentially dangerous situation.  Whether its a running back who is getting hit high and low by multiple tacklers or a lineman who is engaged while his teammate gets knocked over on their leg, there is a lot that goes on that a kid cannot possibly protect themselves against.  Not to mention how many tackles include someone grabbing a leg and rolling.  

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I think if someone is taking wrestling very seriously, they should consider dropping football. injuries suck and should be avoided at all cost. If you play football to get in shape, you need to remember you aren't limited to football, you could workout on your own, run, stretch, anything active will help. Football is cool and all, but it may not be the best for some people, especially smaller people.

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My son played football his freshman year and then stopped to focus on wrestling.  His decision did not involve the "injury issue" being described here, but I think the decision making process used is applicable.  1st point: coming into wrestling season a bit physically 'beaten up' (just wear and tear) made the start of wrestling tougher.  2nd point: our football team was always ramping up for the play-offs when my son was ready to get on the mat.  In the end, point 2 won out.  Our philosophy is bee 100% committed.  So if the football team is making a deep run, you can't be wishing the season would end so you can start wrestling.  If football were after wrestling season, I believe my son would play football and wrestle.  If your son feels 100% committed during football, I'd say play football.  If he finds himself wishing the season would end when the "football players" are wanting to win more than ever... don't play.

 

We just had a kid break his thumb in wrestling practice yesterday...  probably done for the season.  Nothing to do with football...

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On a side note: one thing that ticks me off are those wrestling coaches who wish for their school's varsity football team to lose in the playoffs so that they can get their wrestlers back. I've always viewed that as selfish and out of good character.  

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2 minutes ago, ILUV2PIN said:

On a side note: one thing that ticks me off are those wrestling coaches who wish for their school's varsity football team to lose in the playoffs so that they can get their wrestlers back. I've always viewed that as selfish and out of good character.  

Agreed. That would parallel with a football coach not taking into account a players future on the mat, or a Team competing for a State Championship. I'm thankful neither of those are major issues that Im aware of at Shenandoah. It's ultimately a student-athletes choice. Although I'm sure there's at least at little of that going on inside each perspective Coach if I'm honest. They're human, in most cases care about their kids and want to win as much as their players do. 

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Man, I loved lots of sports and I'm trying to expose my two girls to lots of different things at their young age--but the evidence for eventually making a choice if you have next-level goals is just so hard to ignore. The age of specialization and year-round competition from an early age didn't exist before the 1990s. It picked up steam and reached a tipping point in the late 1990s that gave birth in the early 2000s to an ongoing golden age of individual wrestling in Indiana.

Number of 4-time state champs from 1953-2003: 1

Number of 4-timers from 2004-2017: 5

3 or 4-timers by decade: 1960s--2, 1970s--2, 1980s--2, 1990s--2,  2000s--7, 2010s not including '18 & '19 grads--5

If you want to do something special in a skill, there's simply no substitute for time invested in that specific skill. All the research points to it--from music to sports to computer programming. This is just to say, I get your dilemma as a father. You want your son to do the things he enjoys and have diverse experiences, but it's hard to ignore the potential at his disposal and the limited time he has to maximize it.

And one more anecdote to add to those of others above: My brother was a starting linebacker as a sophomore for a good 5A football program and loved the sport possibly more than any other. But he was a very gifted pitcher in baseball and became the ace of a good team that sophomore season. So gifted, in fact, that he decided to give up football and play baseball year-round. He made big leaps in his development, eventually becoming a first team all-stater and a pro prospect. He didn't reach all his goals after high school, but he got most of his college paid for, played professionally a couple seasons, and came to love the sport of baseball much more than any other AFTER he went deeper into it following that sophomore year. He always says it was worth the risk and he never regrets not playing the junior and senior years of high school football--even though all his buddies came an eyelash from state his junior year and spent time ranked #1 his senior year.

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1 hour ago, maligned said:

Man, I loved lots of sports and I'm trying to expose my two girls to lots of different things at their young age--but the evidence for eventually making a choice if you have next-level goals is just so hard to ignore. The age of specialization and year-round competition from an early age didn't exist before the 1990s. It picked up steam and reached a tipping point in the late 1990s that gave birth in the early 2000s to an ongoing golden age of individual wrestling in Indiana.

Number of 4-time state champs from 1953-2003: 1

Number of 4-timers from 2004-2017: 5

3 or 4-timers by decade: 1960s--2, 1970s--2, 1980s--2, 1990s--2,  2000s--7, 2010s not including '18 & '19 grads--5

If you want to do something special in a skill, there's simply no substitute for time invested in that specific skill. All the research points to it--from music to sports to computer programming. This is just to say, I get your dilemma as a father. You want your son to do the things he enjoys and have diverse experiences, but it's hard to ignore the potential at his disposal and the limited time he has to maximize it.

And one more anecdote to add to those of others above: My brother was a starting linebacker as a sophomore for a good 5A football program and loved the sport possibly more than any other. But he was a very gifted pitcher in baseball and became the ace of a good team that sophomore season. So gifted, in fact, that he decided to give up football and play baseball year-round. He made big leaps in his development, eventually becoming a first team all-stater and a pro prospect. He didn't reach all his goals after high school, but he got most of his college paid for, played professionally a couple seasons, and came to love the sport of baseball much more than any other AFTER he went deeper into it following that sophomore year. He always says it was worth the risk and he never regrets not playing the junior and senior years of high school football--even though all his buddies came an eyelash from state his junior year and spent time ranked #1 his senior year.

Very well said.......and very appreciated.  Showing this thread to Silas with emphasis on your comment. Thanks again. 

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Let’s factor in college dollars also... We have kids here in our town who are solid football players getting full rides. NCAA FBS schools get 85 full rides per team. While wrestling gets 9.9. I know of state champs (best of our best) that are getting 15% to start their college careers. 

With this said... I would love to say if your son has D1 talent in both sports... then wrestling is the best! You should just do that! But... that is simply not true. 

Saying  this on a wrestling forum is tough for me. But... if your boy has D1 football talent / size and likes football... then he should keep that option open. He would most likely get way more money to play football. 

Edited by Mattyb

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16 hours ago, maligned said:

Man, I loved lots of sports and I'm trying to expose my two girls to lots of different things at their young age--but the evidence for eventually making a choice if you have next-level goals is just so hard to ignore. The age of specialization and year-round competition from an early age didn't exist before the 1990s. It picked up steam and reached a tipping point in the late 1990s that gave birth in the early 2000s to an ongoing golden age of individual wrestling in Indiana.

Number of 4-time state champs from 1953-2003: 1

Number of 4-timers from 2004-2017: 5

3 or 4-timers by decade: 1960s--2, 1970s--2, 1980s--2, 1990s--2,  2000s--7, 2010s not including '18 & '19 grads--5

If you want to do something special in a skill, there's simply no substitute for time invested in that specific skill. All the research points to it--from music to sports to computer programming. This is just to say, I get your dilemma as a father. You want your son to do the things he enjoys and have diverse experiences, but it's hard to ignore the potential at his disposal and the limited time he has to maximize it.

While we can't deny the numbers here point to the fact that specialization of sports leads to more success by your math here, but I do not agree with the methodology to this thought process.  I'm not a fan of folding a sliver of fact around an opinion.

Using your same numbers, I can also say that the reason there's more 4-timers since 2004 is because they had iphones.  The numbers clearly state that since the invention of iphones we have had more 4 time state champions.  

There are many factors involved in winning 4 IHSAA state titles.  We could also use your math to say that it's clearly easier to win a state title since the age of specialization and year-round competition from an early age.  Is it possible that Angel Escobedo would not have won a state title as a freshman if some butt kicker cross country kid quit wrestling as a 10 yr old to just train cross country?

12 hours ago, Mattyb said:

Let’s factor in college dollars also... We have kids here in our town who are solid football players getting full rides. NCAA FBS schools get 85 full rides per team. While wrestling gets 9.9. I know of state champs (best of our best) that are getting 15% to start their college careers. 

With this said... I would love to say if your son has D1 talent in both sports... then wrestling is the best! You should just do that! But... that is simply not true. 

Saying  this on a wrestling forum is tough for me. But... if your boy has D1 football talent / size and likes football... then he should keep that option open. He would most likely get way more money to play football. 

Ugh. It's been my opinion for a long time that if you play a sport with the aspirations of money you're doing it for the wrong reasons.  Play a sport because you like it.  Workout because you like working out.  If you workout because your going to get a scholarship, then what happens after you get a scholarship?  It's over.  But if you workout because you like working out, you have long term life habit that will be with you forever.

Tom Cameron was my high school coach and the biggest mentor in my life.  When I got my first coaching position he gave me a book called Winning is Everything, and Other American Myths.  I highly recommend it to coaches and parents.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ed Pendoski

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37 minutes ago, Ed Pendoski said:

While we can't deny the numbers here point to the fact that specialization of sports leads to more success by your math here, but I do not agree with the methodology to this thought process.  I'm not a fan of folding a sliver of fact around an opinion.

Using your same numbers, I can also say that the reason there's more 4-timers since 2004 is because they had iphones.  The numbers clearly state that since the invention of iphones we have had more 4 time state champions.  

There are many factors involved in winning 4 IHSAA state titles.  We could also use your math to say that it's clearly easier to win a state title since the age of specialization and year-round competition from an early age.  Is it possible that Angle Escobedo would not have won a state title as a freshman if some butt kicker cross country kid quit wrestling as a 10 yr old to just train cross country?

Ugh. It's been my opinion for a long time that if you play a sport with the aspirations of money you're doing it for the wrong reasons.  Play a sport because you like it.  Workout because you like working out.  If you workout because your going to get a scholarship, then what happens after you get a scholarship?  It's over.  But if you workout because you like working out, you have long term life habit that will be with you forever.

Tom Cameron was my high school coach and the biggest mentor in my life.  When I got my first coaching position he gave me a book called Winning is Everything, and Other American Myths.  I highly recommend it to coaches and parents.

 

 

 

 

Ha...no doubt my quick illustration does not qualify as full-on research. However, it's a tiny example that represents a common theme highlighted in many prominent books and articles the last 15 years or so. That theme is this: assuming your talent level is at whatever needed minimum, your quantity of hours of investment will equal your level of advancement or accomplishment in a given skill across many fields of art, sports, and tech.

But that by no means refutes any of your points. I definitely agree that there are numerous factors leading to the wrestling boom in our state--not least of which (even though you joked about it! :)) is the impact of the information age. I also 100% agree you CAN be successful doing multiple sports if you're dedicated. And the biggest point of all from this entire thread is your last one: you should never, ever make any of these decisions outside of doing the things you love--otherwise you'll shrivel up and die and/or live with lots of regrets. Thanks for highlighting this point so poignantly, Coach P. 

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So you guys would be okay telling a kid, if you have serious aspirations of playing college football, you shouldn't wrestle because you might get hurt after your season is over? Or if you are serious about playing college baseball, you shouldn't wrestle because you will come in to the season beat up.  

 

I'm just not a huge fan of telling kids to quit other sports and focus on one sport. I love what a kid like Mason Parris is doing.  One of the top football players in Indiana and a Division 1 wrestling recruit. I loved watching a kid like Gelen Robinson dominate in so many sports. Maybe these guys are the exception.  

 

I've never met him and I don't want to speak for him, but I'm guessing Mason wouldn't give back these past couple of football seasons (state runner up last year, 11-1 this year) with his brothers to go to more national tournaments and maybe be a little fresher once wrestling starts.  

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15 minutes ago, BClark said:

So you guys would be okay telling a kid, if you have serious aspirations of playing college football, you shouldn't wrestle because you might get hurt after your season is over? Or if you are serious about playing college baseball, you shouldn't wrestle because you will come in to the season beat up.  

 

I'm just not a huge fan of telling kids to quit other sports and focus on one sport. I love what a kid like Mason Parris is doing.  One of the top football players in Indiana and a Division 1 wrestling recruit. I loved watching a kid like Gelen Robinson dominate in so many sports. Maybe these guys are the exception.  

 

I've never met him and I don't want to speak for him, but I'm guessing Mason wouldn't give back these past couple of football seasons (state runner up last year, 11-1 this year) with his brothers to go to more national tournaments and maybe be a little fresher once wrestling starts.  

Awesome points brother.  And to answer your question......for me personally, yes.  I would encourage....not tell him, to consider the risks involved in other sports.  As well as how that pertains to his future in what he loves most.  In fact, Silas and I already crossed this bridge with baseball. Which ironically is my background.  I squandered 2 big league contracts due to my former lifestyle.  Silas was a much more promising baseball player than football.  He touted an 80mph fastball as a 14yr old freshman with a very sharp, late breaking 12/6 curve ball.  However......because his goals in wrestling came into conflict with baseball season.......he made a choice to focus more on wrestling Nationally. And obviously, strength training for wrestling (especially upper body) is very counter-productive to being a pitcher. 

Your points about Paris and Robinson are EXACTLY why my initial post on this thread voiced the "crossroads" I'm at in my decision making. Mind you.....he will make his own decision, and I will stand behind him. But he also listens to me very closely.  With that said.....yes, Silas could likely develop into a D1 caliber linebacker. Mind you....."likely". However, the amount of work it would take to make that possible at fullback would in turn take away from wrestling.  It should also be remembered the point I previously stated about Shenandoah's strength of schedule and how that would affect recruiting.  Great example of that is a kid from Doah named Cody Rudy who graduated 2yrs ago.  Was 6'2 250.....a top tier defensive tackle in the state statistically, ran a 4.6 40, single handedly held Ennis to around 50yds rushing when we beat Winchester in Sectional play.....AND still holds most of the records in the weight room at school.  He went unrecruited by any D1 programs.  Only small schools were interested.  He opted to walk-on at Ball St where he's currently playing. 

Finally......it's important to remember that Silas literally plays football for "fun"....not "future".  He just happens to be pretty good at it.  His first love, college goals and plans for his athletic future all revolve around wrestling.  Of which.....many of those goals are quite lofty!  So realize.....I feel what your saying and those thoughts aren't far from me.  But I can't get myself past my son risking a promising future on the mat.....in exchange for having fun in a high risk sport that he has no plans on embracing past high school.  That's the dilemma brother. Just seems like an unnecessary risk. Especially factoring in the amount of work, and especially rest his body will need to make his goals reality. Silas is a smart kid and great student.  I'm confident he'll make the best decision for himself and his own personal satisfaction. And as "dad".....if it does entail continuing to play football, my hope is that it's strictly defense. :)  Thanks again.

 

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Exactly, Coach P... I agree. But... say if a kid liked both sports equally. The money is Not equal. That was the point that I was trying to make. 

With that said, there are many other things to factor in. Me personally.. i am scared to death about the brain injuries being attributed to football.

Good thread! 

Edited by Mattyb

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I understand the anxiety you feel about your son participating in a collision sport like football. About a third of my wrestling team plays football. All season long I am like a worried mother for every game. BUT, we have to always remind ourselves that no matter how much time and effort we put into these kids, we don't own them or their non-wrestling time. Some of Indiana's best wrestlers from out state (David Palmer, David Locke, Randall Hayes at Delta; Spero Karas, Joel Stubblefield, Ben McKenney, Donny Sands at PH to name two schools) played football.

But like Danny Struck and others have argued, if we want football coaches to encourage their players to wrestle we need to be willing to make it a two-way street and encourage our wrestlers to play if that is what they want to do. And yes, I have lost my share of wrestlers during the football season. It IS heartbreaking and very hard to take and my selfish instincts tell me to influence the kids to save themselves for wrestling but is the right thing to do for the kids?

By the way, thinking this doesn't make a you a bad person, just a concerned parent, coach or both.

Dave Cloud

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