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  1. Also, in 1968 it was not Elkhart Central as the State Champions. It was Elkhart High School as the State Champions. Central and Memorial did not split until a few years later.
  2. This would be a shallow topic if we did not expound upon the toughest tournament in the state and and arguably the best in the nation, if we leave out the Al Smith Wrestling Tournament. For those of you who don't know who Coach Al Smith is, I will start out with just a few staggering statistics. Coach Smith has close to 100 former wrestlers that are, or have coached at the Elementary, High School, Collegiate and International levels. Coach Smith has coached several athletes who have gone on to become National Freestyle Champions and Collegiate All Americans. Coach Smith is also responsible for close to 100 wrestlers, coaches, contributors and officials who have been inducted into the IHSWCA Hall of Fame as he sits on the Hall of Fame Nomination committee. Coach Smith was also the President of the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association on several different occasions. Back in the 60's we had 16 team sectionals where only the champion advanced. Regionals that were comparable to today's semistates where only the champion qualified for the state championships, meaning there were only 4 wrestlers in the state finals! You couldn't have a bad weekend! Coach Smith was responsible for battling with the IHSAA to expand and enhance the number of qualifiers for the next stage of the state tournament. The element of having a "bad weekend" or maybe victimized by a tough call gave wrestlers a better opportunity for advancement. Some of the battles he won and some he lost, but he impressed upon State Officials that wrestling was important to this State! In the early 70's when freestyle competition began to take roots in Indiana, Coach Smith would take wrestlers (not only Mishawaka wrestlers) to tournaments in Southern Michigan and Opens in Indiana too. My most memorable times would be the early 70's and the AAU State Freestyle meets at Indianapolis Tech where he would hall wrestlers down to compete, he would coach, officiate, (at times feed) and encourage other coaches to help officiate a style of wrestling that was foreign to most us. Back in those days we had just a hand full of freestyle officials. It was not uncommon to see Coach Smith in the corner coaching a wrestler who was not even a Mishawaka kid either chewing them out for not hitting a move, or patting them on the back encouraging their efforts. He truly was the pioneer in at least Northern Indiana, if not the state. I chuckle when I hear cheap talk about growing this great sport! Al Smith is the epitome of growing the sport! In the 1972 Olympic team trials, held in Anoka, Minnesota, Coach Smith drove Penn's first State Champion, Al Dover to compete in the 149.5 lb. weight class. Dover ended up wrestling the eventual Olympic Champion, a guy by the name of Dan Gable. Obviously Al Dover lost, but what other coach would drive 7 hours to give a young man an opportunity to chase his dream? Coach Smith's coaching record is astounding by itself, attested by his total number of state champs and team State Championship in '91, but it goes a lot deeper than that. The best way I can describe a conversation with Coach Smith is that when you walk away from him, you feel like a breath of fresh air has just run through you. He made you feel good about yourself! With his positive attitude, humble demeanor and competitive nature, Coach Al Smith made his wrestlers love this great sport of wrestling! Hopefully, I've given you some incite on why the Al Smith Wrestling tournament, which started as an 8 team invitational in the '70's, to the tournament it is today! Also a little information about one of Indiana's Legendary Wrestling figures, Al Smith! In Wrestling, Henry Wilk
  3. Al Dover was Penn's 1st State Champion, not Jeff White. Jeff won the next match at 138lbs, while Al won a 132lbs. in the 1971 State Championships.
  4. Only 12 weight classes in the 60's and mid '70's! 7 wts. in the early 20's! 10 wts. in the late 20's!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. Sarah Hildebrandt won her 1st match vs. Russia's Mariia Gurova 6-3 and Kayla Miracle lost her 1st match 6-8 to Veronika Chumikova as the US edged Russia 4-4 on criteria. In the second round vs. Sweden both girls won: Hildebrandt by TF 12-1 over Szilva Peter and Miracle won by dec. 5-0 over Eliln Nilsson. The team takes on Japan on in the pool finals at 10:30 ET. Japan defeated Russian 5-3 in the 2nd round. Shoud be a barnburner!
  6. 1969 South Bend Sectional. The late Robert L. Foster, Indiana State Wrestler, Hall of Fame Official, was a 2nd place finisher at Heavyweight for South Bend Riley in the sectional. South Bend Washington Heavyweight Jerry Demeyer defeated Bob in the finals of the 16 team event. Now in those days, only the champion moved on and only the regional champion moved on to the state. Regional champions were at worst a fourth place finisher. To make a long story short, Demeyer came up sick early in the week prior to the EC Regional and Riley was contacted to have Foster ready. This regional was comparable to the East Chicago Semistate, now a days pretty much the same schools fed into this regional as they do now. Robert dominates the field at HYW at this regional to advance to the State Finals. He draws eventual State Champion from Muncie Central, Pete Lee. Lee defeats Robert 10-4 as Foster wins his consolation bout to finish 3rd. Lee would go on to finish 5th in the '76 Olympics at Greco Heavyweight. Foster also wrestled Pete Lee at least twice as Ball State and Indiana State wrestled each other in the early '70's. Great trivia!
  7. 2takedown

    Henry Wilk

    Henry Wilk
  8. Correction: Tomiyama won the '84 Olympics in LA over Barry Davis. Sergei Beloglazov was the '80 Champ at 125.5#.
  9. Two more 2x All-Americans from yesteryear! NAIA 5th place 1976 @126; NAIA Runner up 1977@126 Doug Stoll from Elkhart High School (State Champion 95# 1968). Anderson College NAIA 5th place 1972 @118#; NAIA Runner up 1973 @118# Henry Wilk from Mishawaka High School (State Runnerup 1968, State Champion 1969 @95#). Anderson College Both wrestled at Anderson College for one season 1974. Stoll defeated Wilk in the 1968 state championship match. Another major bit of trivia =Stoll defeated Tomiyama of Japan on an NAIA cultural exchange to Japan in the summer of '77. Tomiyama was later an Olympic Champion in 1980 @ 125.5.
  10. I would like to take the time commend Coach Harper and his program staff for a very successful tournament despite the talk of it being canceled. Someone mentioned on another thread: Is summer wrestlling dead? Well in my opinion, opportunities to develope wrestling in the northern part of the state just took a giant leap forward with an interesting concept that Coach Harper has introduced. Coaches' "Mat Time Practice" puts an emphasis on getting as many matches as possible in a three hour period in "triple threat matches" (1st per.=Freestyle, 2nd per.=Greco, & 3rd per.=Folkstyle if necesssary). Of the close to 80 wrestlers participating, I think the minimum number of matches wrestled by one wrestler was 7 matches and the maximum number was well around 20. This sure beats sitting in a gym for 10 hours and wrestling 2/3 times during this time of the season. Other benefits for the participants were: 1.) some old and young wrestlers actually officiating matches in a practice invironment, 2.)wrestlers were coaching other wrestlers=wrestlers learning the techniques better by teaching, 3.) deemphasized winning and just getting a great 3 hour workout in, 4.) Wrestlers were having FUN! and lastly the wrestlers walked away with a great feeling that they had a great 3hr. workout and out of there before 12:30! Congratulation to Coach Harper, pairing people, officials, parents and particiapants! Maybe a few more of these "Triple Threat Tournements" can revive freestyle and greco in our state! Older than Dirt. Coach Wilk
  11. Chad Hershberger -Penn (6-5). Hershberger went on to finish 6th and Sheets went on to win.
  12. There has to be a healthy balance in the life of an elementary & middle school athlete/wrestler. You are absolutely correct, the sport is too demanding both physically and more importantly mentally. There is a national tournament every weekend for heavens sake! The pressure on these youngers garnered by success at lower levels puts unrealistic expectations by the time they reach HS. These high placings and championships at the lower levels mean absolutely NOTHING! Parents, wake up! They mean nothing. Let your kid be a kid! Participation in these never ending national tournaments means "0". As a HS coach for over 30 years, I've seen the reverse happen as a result of this undue pressure (i.e. burnout, no intensity during inseason competition, inaccurate assessment of opponent's ability because of early results and more importantly deteriation of basic skills. The one reason I've been involved with sport so long (43 yrs.) is because I've had fun with it. How do you have fun with it? you ask. Everytime I walked into a wrestling room I learned something new. I continure to learn. When I stop learning is when I'm done with it. He who thinks he knows it all, knows nothing! Treat each workout as a learning experience for your athlete. This approach will sustain his passion for the sport. As Gable once said, "if there is a true passsion for the sport, there can be no burnout." Even Olympic athletes take a break from the sport. I remember the late, great Dave Schultz once spoke in an interview of the importanace of taking a break from the sport. To refresh yourself and comback with a freshness when the season begins. I hope this brief rant & rave has made sense and helps you. Sincerely, One old coach.
  13. sb25 you are right on. '67-'68 riding time for each min. more than your opponent. '68-'69 rt was taken out. We use to keep it with those red clocks that someone mentioned earlier and we always had some brain surgeon run them but we were really unaware of home much time was accumulated. Rides such as the navy, sailor, crossbody, etc. were rampant and I think pinning was more prominent and kids worked to get out from underneath.
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