As the Ben Davis guy who has been around a long, long time I will try to give you a couple. Don't get me wrong, they sound like excuses and I don't like excuses much. And, none of this is personal, hopefully my comments aren't construed as being a shot at anyone. Some comments i won't make in this forum as it isn't the right forum. However, there is my list, top of my head.
1. Resources - many programs develop talent by charging their kids $ every month or kids go to a "pay to play" facility like CIA, Red Cobra, Contenders, etc... In a lot of cases, we have kids who can't afford shoes, the sport fee or don't even know where they are staying tonight. Now, add on the cost of a USA card, tournaments, etc... and that is money our families need to spend elsewhere. Sure, we fund raise, but you can't cover costs for 50+ kids in a youth program to develop them in wrestling the way we would like. By the way, very few of our kids have a great support system. I can't imagine, as a 16 year old kid trying to cut weight, get to a Saturday practice, pay for a sport fee, new shoes, etc... without any parental support
2. All of the BD families from my era and later have moved to Avon, Brownsburg, Plainfield, Danvile, etc... i.. And, no families move into Ben Davis. Everyone is heading out West over the last 15 years, ncluding my family. I know I have coached a dozen or so kids in Junior High that have gone on to be successful at the state level in other programs. Good for those families for getting themselves into what they see as better situations personally.
3. I think BD has a remarkable amount of kids that start as Sophomores and Juniors. Sounds great to have bodies in the room, but wrestling in the MIC, Marion County and the same Sectional as Avon (you), Brownsburg and Plainfield - 90- percent of the time these kids just can't compete with someone who has had 4+ years of experience get frustrated and quit. And, how hard is it to sell this story "If you bust your butt, give everything you can you might win half of your matches" and "to be the most competitive you can, you need to learn how to eat right and maybe watch what you eat a little". They can't because they don't have quality food in the house.
4. The sport has no "middle class" anymore, there are elite wrestlers and everyone else. We all know the sport is hard - if you are getting beat up all the time it isn't fun, if it isn't fun you quit (unless you are an idiot like me and wired differently). We have a lot of great kids in this state who do well nationally. So, I am a 3rd year kid who has grown up wrestling some of the many studs on the WestSide and Marion County and I get pounded every time, I get discouraged. I get discouraged and just don't love the sport the way I need to love it to get better - I could have been a good wrestler, not elite, but good, maybe a Semi-State or even a State qualifier, but I can't get out of sectionals. I tihnk it was 2 years ago at the Avon Sectional at 106, 3 of those kids placed in the top 7 at state and I believe 3 others from MIC and Marion County placed as well.
5. I can keep going, but will conclude with this... I would rather build better young men (as I am sure we all do). It has taken me a while to admit that winning isn't as important to me as making someone successful at life (and this statement in no way makes me think that the previous 2 statements are exclusive, I am a better person, employee, boss, etc.... for being a wrestler). At some point, we are trying to get kids to graduate because we are now their parents. I could throw in a bunch of stats, but they don't change the situation. I would love to be singled out in a post about our wrestling, not the lack of our wrestling, but that isn't where we are at right now.
Don't misinterpret any of this, I want to beat everyone. I don't want to lose. but, spend a few months inside the program and you will see it isn't just a numbers game.
For better or worse, I am BD wrestling - as are a group of guys that I am proud to coach along side who also fight the daily battle to keep this program together and moving forward.
BD 1987 and 20 years coaching wrestling in Wayne Township