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28 minutes ago, casualwrestlingfan said:

I guess my mindset is different than most. I don't see being a 1A or etc champ any different than a Mishawaka champ or such. It's prestigious but not the ultimate goal. It would be a goal & something celebrated at the 1A & most 2A programs outside of Bellmont & others in their caliber. Just like the classed team state duals have become for AC, PH, and etc. It was hard to make it to the single class team state duals with Bellmont & Yorktown. 

Not being bound by points rule & recognized by the IHSAA regardless if they or the IHSWCA run it. However I'd limit it to just IHSWCA outside of the IHSAA in the not being bound category. 

It's been tried in other states and failed. Even in wrestling heaven Iowa it was not well received. You can't simply call someone a champion one week, then say "prove it" the next. 

 

If you consider the 1A/2A event just like a random weekend event, then you aren't giving it the due it should get. Do you consider the 1A team state champions in the same light as the Shamrock Duals champions? If so then you are extremely misguided on the purpose of a classed event.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Y2CJ41 said:

It's been tried in other states and failed. Even in wrestling heaven Iowa it was not well received. You can't simply call someone a champion one week, then say "prove it" the next. 

 

If you consider the 1A/2A event just like a random weekend event, then you aren't giving it the due it should get. Do you consider the 1A team state champions in the same light as the Shamrock Duals champions? If so then you are extremely misguided on the purpose of a classed event.

 

 

I'm not talking about having the classed individual champions compete in a tournament of champions. Two separate individual tournament series. One in February classed and one in March single class. You'd have different opponents for the most part.

  As for the team state duals, no that is definitely not what I'm meaning. Those are more legitimate than our current IHSAA team champion method. I'm saying that Mishawaka, Mater Dei, and such are prestigious tournaments compared to a Jet Invite for example. However, being a Mishawaka champion isn't the same as an IHSAA state champion. I'd put being a 1A champion in the regards of a Mishawaka champion, but not an IHSAA single class champion. 

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I’m going to say it since nobody will!

 

I like it how it is now…., keep 1a 2a state on the off-season just like frosh soph and it be okay. If anything keeping it on the off-season will promote  off-season wrestling more to those smaller programs or just for everybody in general. There was 41 teams at 1a 2a state last week. I promise you that at least 80% or probably even higher then that have never competed at an off-season tournament in there life. Now not only did they go home but also there parents/ guardians went home knowing there is more out there in the wrestling world then just 4 months out of the year. 
 

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8 hours ago, Wrestlingfan937 said:

I’m going to say it since nobody will!

 

I like it how it is now…., keep 1a 2a state on the off-season just like frosh soph and it be okay. If anything keeping it on the off-season will promote  off-season wrestling more to those smaller programs or just for everybody in general. There was 41 teams at 1a 2a state last week. I promise you that at least 80% or probably even higher then that have never competed at an off-season tournament in there life. Now not only did they go home but also there parents/ guardians went home knowing there is more out there in the wrestling world then just 4 months out of the year. 
 

80% is probably a little high imo.

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Obviously, having several class tournaments is a bad idea. (more than 2) There is no need for more than two in any state in my opinion. Having just two classes keeps it very competitive. In the other states, there is no issue with multiple champs at the end of the year. Typically, everybody already knows who the best is.(or think they know) There are statewide rankings and matchups throughout the year. There is no reason for any kind of wrestling after the finals to see who the best is between the classes. Indiana's tournament is awesome either way. Just like the way it runs now. There are guys that don't get through based on brackets and which semi-state they are at. Everyone still knows who the best guys are. 

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10 hours ago, Wrestlingfan937 said:

I’m going to say it since nobody will!

 

I like it how it is now…., keep 1a 2a state on the off-season just like frosh soph and it be okay. If anything keeping it on the off-season will promote  off-season wrestling more to those smaller programs or just for everybody in general. There was 41 teams at 1a 2a state last week. I promise you that at least 80% or probably even higher then that have never competed at an off-season tournament in there life. Now not only did they go home but also there parents/ guardians went home knowing there is more out there in the wrestling world then just 4 months out of the year. 
 

 

TLDR: Class wrestling is important because, while 40-0 wrestlers keep is relevant in D1 and world competitions, 18-22 wrestlers keep our sport from becoming a niché club sport.

 

We all like how it is now. We all like the pageantry of our state finals and how many Indiana wrestlers we see on Big 10 Network. However, is the system productive? Is the system fair? If one looks at what is happening from the middle on down, it does not appear that our current system is productive. If one looks at the disparity in resources between small schools and large schools, it does not appear that our system is fair.

 

Small school athletes often must shift focus in the spring, summer, and fall to other sports or those sports won't have athletes. Wrestling in the off season means wrestling while you're trying to give another team your best. That will not lead to retaining the wrestlers we need...We need the wrestlers who "like" and "love" the sport in order to maintain. The wrestlers who "live" the sport will do so regardless of what system is in place.

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13 hours ago, Wrestlingfan937 said:

I’m going to say it since nobody will!

 

I like it how it is now…., keep 1a 2a state on the off-season just like frosh soph and it be okay. If anything keeping it on the off-season will promote  off-season wrestling more to those smaller programs or just for everybody in general. There was 41 teams at 1a 2a state last week. I promise you that at least 80% or probably even higher then that have never competed at an off-season tournament in there life. Now not only did they go home but also there parents/ guardians went home knowing there is more out there in the wrestling world then just 4 months out of the year. 
 

I do agree with the promotion of off season wrestling how ever the Idea of class wrestling is build the numbers of the sport. Off season wrestling isn't a tool to build numbers though, it's a tool to give existing numbers more mat time and more experiences. Not many kids our going to join a sport because of potential success in the off season. He's my question how many schools recognize of are going to recognize Frosh-soph or 1A/2a state placers and champs? I'm not talking about the team self promoting it, I'm talking about School announcements, recognizing during a basketball  game, Pictures on the wall of fame... those types of things. Things that someone walking the hall or sitting in class are going to hear or see and say hey we must have a good wrestling team. I guarantee if 1a/2a state became part of the regular season either through IHSAA or IHSWCA all AD and School Corps would make a big deal about it. This is how you build numbers, create excitement for the sport in that particular school. Something that is harder to obtain. The schools that participate in team state get a chance to experience this and I'm sure it helps with numbers, however most of the schools that qualify for team state already have solid numbers. branch a small school state to an individual level would create more small schools this recognition. As far as the the whole 1 true champion things I've talk to numerous state champions from states like Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, and Florida and when they talk about being a state champion the don't mention the class they're in but only the fact that they were a state champ. To me the whole "one true champion" thing is more of a spectator thing but that's just my opinion.

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Crowning more state champions per weight class will raise number in the sport…… butttttt we should concentrate more of growing the sport at youth instead of high school. If you really want the sport to grow it starts with the kids. A 5 year old newbie will wrestle potentially 13 more year vs a high school freshman that will only be potentially in the sport for 4years. 

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26 minutes ago, Wrestlingfan937 said:

Crowning more state champions per weight class will raise number in the sport…… butttttt we should concentrate more of growing the sport at youth instead of high school. If you really want the sport to grow it starts with the kids. A 5 year old newbie will wrestle potentially 13 more year vs a high school freshman that will only be potentially in the sport for 4years. 

Thats if that 5 year old decides to love the sport and the grind is worth it by time  he gets to youth. Yes youth is important  but sometimes to keep retention at the youth and middle school level there needs to be a site at the end of the tunnel and that's harder for the programs that never has success. I've seen programs with 40+ youth kids turn out 10 or less high school kids. It's king of like what came first the chicken or the egg. What do you need first success or a strong youth program. The answer is both however having a strong youth program doesn't alway lead to success but success creates excitement not just for the high schoolers that never wrestle but for the Youth team getting numbers and getting parents and kids to buy into the program. The point is you can't just attack growing numbers at one level it has to be done at every level and creating success is a way to build all levels of a program. You're talking about the kids that don't start in High school like they're less valuable to a program where every number counts whether it's at Youth, middle school, or high school. Theres a hand full of qualifiers and placers every year that don't start until high school, yes they're mostly at the upper-weights  how ever sometimes getting the right multisport athlete to join can do wonders for a program. Wrestling shouldn't just be for those that start wrestling at a young age and wrestle year round it should be for everyone whether they decide to start as 5 year old or a 15 year old. Some schools can't afford to rely on success by just focussing on year round wrestlers. Most small school have to rely on 2 and 3 sport athletes to build a team. 

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For the record I'm not 100% crowning multiple official state champions I just believe the should be something in place to improve the chances of small schools succeeding, and it's hard to get multi sport  athletes to buy into off season wrestling. For example every wrestler I had either had football, track, or baseball work outs the Monday after their season ended. Yes the turn out for 1a2a state wasn't bad considering it was competing with frosh/soph state but 41 teams is only 20%. You also have to think it's hard to convince a senior who isn't wrestling in college to wrestle in an off season tournament. I just think if you're going to do a 1a/2a championship it should be part of the season.

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No matter when the event is run it is a good thing for the sport and the state. This is an opportunity for these kids to get to compete. Opportunity is how we continue to grow the sport as a state. In season or off season this is a great event and I hope it continues to grow.

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19 hours ago, Galagore said:

There's nothing wrong with promoting off-season wrestling, building youth programs, and having a fair post season individual tournament. Sounds like a recipe for some great wrestling in the Hoosier State to me.


People on both sides agree to this statement. 😊 

 

Just different opinions on what’s “fair”. 

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Thanks everyone for your posts on 1A/2A individual state.  I wanted to thank Ryan Williams, Jamie Welliever and Juan Grino for their support.  Ryan Williams came up with those amazing plaques for the guys and brackets for the champs and brought his expertise, gear and crew.  Thanks Jamie and Juan for hosting and providing a great facility, expertise, crew and putting together amazing tourney shirts.  Also special thanks to all the people at Beech Grove, Southmont and Lutheran who helped run tables, hand wrote out each bracket, and did all the work that makes a tournament of that scale work.  Thanks to my dad who drove all the way up from Tennessee to see this thing and worked a table the entire day.  You guys are awesome.  Also thanks to all the small school coaches who encouraged their kids to come out and wrestle.  Without the support of all these people working together for our wrestlers, that day wouldn’t have happened. 

 

No matter what your feelings are on class wrestling, the tournament was a great day for small school wrestlers.  Seeing wrestlers from Tipton, Beech Grove, Cloverdale and so many other small programs have wrestlers at the top of the podium and win some recognition, fantastic positives!  I have all these great podium pics.  What you see in these guy’s faces is that they had FUN!  If the wrestlers walked away loving wrestling a little more, then we were successful.

 

We used the definition of 1A/2A that the IHSWCA uses for the dual team state.  The tournament was open to over 200 of Indiana’s 300 wrestling programs.  Our promotion of it consisted of two email blasts to the head coaches of those 200 schools and I told every small school we wrestled this year about it.  Year 1, we had wrestlers from 45 programs/clubs.  The competition level was high and that likely surprised a lot of coaches and wrestlers.  Based on the feedback I received so far, I expect this tournament will grow.

 

I think wrestlers came for a lot of reasons.  For some, it was just an off-season tournament and opportunity to get some mat time.  For others, it was another chance, another shot at achieving goals.  A lot of wrestlers who made the podium were guys who lost in regional or semi-state rounds to wrestlers from large schools.  We had several IHSAA state qualifiers there as well.  I know the wrestlers from Lutheran were pumped about it. I had more wrestlers from my program participate in 1A/2A state than participate in our sectional…and I’m not talking JV guys.  We don’t have JV guys at Lutheran.

 

The goal of the tournament was to give small school wrestlers an opportunity to compete on a level playing field, gain some credentials that may help them at the next level, and help grow wrestling in Indiana.  There’s a huge growth opportunity for wrestling in Indiana at the small schools.  My personal motivation was to help keep Lutheran’s wrestling program going.  I’m wanting to “end” the season with an experience that’s much more fun for our wrestlers than the IHSAA state tournament series. 

 

Our sectional is generally a demoralizing experience.  We face 5 huge schools...then add 3 more at regionals.  They have an unfair advantage over us (if you don’t agree that large schools have an advantage, please challenge me on this post).  Getting tanned by big school programs makes my wrestlers think they’re not good, and that our program isn't good, and a lot of our wrestlers wash out and focus on other sports where they are having success…classed sports like football.  And I’m left trying to pick up the pieces each year; set back again and again in my efforts to build a quality room with training partners.  At Lutheran, we need something better than that.  I know I’m not alone.

 

The plan is to keep offering 1A/2A state as a post season tournament.  Those from small schools who see the value in it can come out and wrestle.  Hopefully it will help small school wrestling programs grow and thrive.  I’ll keep you posted if it has that effect at Lutheran.  Hopefully one day the IHSAA and IHSWCA will see the value in it and get behind it.  Thanks again to all who supported it! 

 

Greg Hughes

Lutheran Wrestling

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