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Old 01-15-2013, 04:27 AM  
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*** Official Youth, High School, College and International Wrestling Thread ***

I can't be the only wrestling fan on this site. In fact, I know I that's not the case. The almighty king of n00bs, Sorter, is a wrestling fan. I figure there could be more.....????

Discuss anything wrestling related:

Youth wrestling: Heck, wrestling in Iowa has a rabid Youth wrestling scene...I lived through it, my younger brother lived through it and my brothers who are 15 and 13 are living through it, well the 13 year old is anyway...he's in high school. The 13 year old is a 7th grader who has been wrestling since he was 5 years old and has accumulated 4 state championships since his second grade year...a total badass. Believe it or not, Iowa has a youth wrestling forum that is hopping...even during the summer. Iowans take this stuff seriously. I'm assuming other states have rabid youth followings, for when I watch my bros at National tourneys, we are constantly running into kids and super clubs from other states that are amazing. Ironically, one of the biggest youth tourneys our club hits annually is the Park Hill Individual and Dual tournament...which to my knowledge is in Kansas City (I've never attended that one). Do any of you have kids who are wrestling? If so, how are they doing?

High School Wrestling: High school and college wrestling in Iowa is big... we are known for it, ask AC Slater. State tournament is a big, televised event at the Wells Fargo dome...you will see probably 10 times more spectators at state wrestling in Iowa then any other high school sporting event in Iowa. With some of the crazy talent I have seen/wrestled against at Fargo Nationals, I am assuming that it's either on the rise or just as big in other states as well... What are your thoughts on some of the high school wrestlers and/or teams out there?

College Wrestling: Hell, you Missourians semi-recently had those Askren brothers. I've never met Max, but have met Ben. He was the celebrity guest at Iowa Grade School State one year...he signed autographs and handed the medals and wall charts to all of the kids on the podium that year, which was cool because my youngest brother won it that year and was able to get his championship singlet signed by him. I was with my brother when he approached him....Askren struck me as a funny, goofy type of dude. I don't know Max, but someone posted his blog on an Iowa wrestling message board and the dude seems like a character. I know there are some Oklahomans' who post on this board. Anyone see Okie State defeat Iowa this past weekend? Iowa's first dual loss of the year. Anyone have any thoughts on college wrestling?

International Wrestling: Any of you have any thoughts on the international wrestling scene? Future Olympians, future Olympic champs, future World champs, Greco, Freestyle, etc.?

Wrestling Memories/General Discussion: Any of you have any memories you'd like to share from your personal experience(s) of wrestling when you were in youth, high school or college? Any opinions on females wrestling with males. Last year, a girl named Megan Black made history in Iowa by placing at state. Do you believe females should be able to wrestle with males at that age? Any thoughts on weight cutting? What are some of the most memorable matches to you? Who are your favorite wrestlers? One match that always sticks out to me is this:



Crazy match.

My favorite wrestler (besides my bros and former teammates) of all time is ironically not an Iowan. I don't really have a favorite team in wrestling...I root for individuals. It's a dude from Ohio that I initially hated because I didn't like the way he conducted himself after a match vs. my brother in the national duals when he and my brother were Seniors in High School, in which he defeated my brother. Kid was cocky. He and my brother both went on to wrestle D1, so I followed him since I knew who he was. I ended up becoming a huge fan of the kid's style...the kid could hit cradles from ANY position. He went on to win 2 National titles for Ohio State...and did so both years as an underdog, for he'd lose quite a few silly matches during the season, presumably due to his risky, but dangerous style that worked well for him at NCAA Nationals. It's a dude named Jeff Jaggers. First vid is what really put his name on the map as a high school wrestler. 2nd vid is his 1st NCAA championship as a Junior, in a match where he was a huge underdog, broke his ankle during the match and gutted it out and won. My favorite wrestlers tend to be the ones who are risk takers or brawlers...not afraid to be aggressive or take chances. I can't stand stallish wrestlers who are successful as hell simply because they don't open up and therefore don't give up points and score their own points by capitalizing on the other wrestler's aggression. Boring.






So what ya got?

Note: I have been posting on wrestling message boards for 12 years and I (and I'm sure everyone else involved with the sport) have heard every wrestling joke (rolling around with men, etc.) imaginable, but if ya want to clown on the sport, shoot... it was inevitable to happen anyways on CP, so have at it!
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Old 12-19-2015, 06:29 PM   #376
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My wrestler won 1st in Novice and 3rd in Open today.

Highlights:
Wrestled a really, really good kid who has a lot of stuff. He bridged for like 20 seconds twice to avoid the pin. Still got beat on points, but my son has always been really really shitty at defending a pin, so I was so stoked to see that.

Wrestled a kid who, a month ago, pinned him in the second round (it was a weird pin, as my son was leading him on points and generally whipping his ass and suddenly the ref slapped the mat). Anyway, my son pinned him 8 seconds in today. It was freaking awesome.

Anything that goes around my boy's neck is his kryptonite. Headlocks or reverse halfs or anything like that has made him panic and basically give up a pin in the past. Today, he got headlocked with constricted breathing for 30 seconds to end the first. He fought it off, came up crying, got his shit together then threw a headlock on the other kid and pinned him in the second. It was freaking awesome to see him bounce back from, what in the past, would have beat him.
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Old 12-19-2015, 06:47 PM   #377
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewChief View Post
My wrestler won 1st in Novice and 3rd in Open today.

Highlights:
Wrestled a really, really good kid who has a lot of stuff. He bridged for like 20 seconds twice to avoid the pin. Still got beat on points, but my son has always been really really shitty at defending a pin, so I was so stoked to see that.

Wrestled a kid who, a month ago, pinned him in the second round (it was a weird pin, as my son was leading him on points and generally whipping his ass and suddenly the ref slapped the mat). Anyway, my son pinned him 8 seconds in today. It was freaking awesome.

Anything that goes around my boy's neck is his kryptonite. Headlocks or reverse halfs or anything like that has made him panic and basically give up a pin in the past. Today, he got headlocked with constricted breathing for 30 seconds to end the first. He fought it off, came up crying, got his shit together then threw a headlock on the other kid and pinned him in the second. It was freaking awesome to see him bounce back from, what in the past, would have beat him.
That is awesome. Congrats!
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:11 PM   #378
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Went up and wrestled a good tourney in Missouri today.

Drew a rough first match against the kid who would win the bracket.

Won 3 in a row after that with some tough fought battles.

Got pinned in second round of final match after leading the whole match. My wrestler has gotten pretty strong. The good part of that is that he's overpowering kids. The bad part of that is that his technique has gotten sloppy. If he'd been executing his moves properly in his final, he would have beat the kid in the 1st round, but his poor technique caught him.

Anyway, he ended up 4th in a tournament where he'd likely DNP'd in the past. Pretty happy with his progress this season, but I'm ready to get him into some camps and really start seeing him drill and work technique properly.
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:24 PM   #379
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We ran a dual tournament today, and it was a ton of fun. Took 200 kids from like 15 clubs in the area, divided them up between 10 random teams. Tried to match weight/skill fairly closely, but kids were basically on teams with a bunch of kids they didn't know.

Best tournament ever! Seeing all these kids that might have sort of known each other before but haven't actually bonded, now being on a team together and bonding and talking and wrestling with each other was so much fun. They all run into each other at tournaments, but don't really talk because kids stick to their teams. This tournament allowed them to actually get to know each other and form that community.

We were talking and were thinking how cool that a lot of these kids (the younger ones especially) are going to be running into each other and spending a lot of time together over the next 10 years.

Oh, and my boy went 4-2 today. His wrestling is coming along. He's had a surprisingly good season. He'll probably end up 2nd or 3rd in state at the tournament in a couple of weeks.
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Old 02-06-2016, 11:24 PM   #380
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I've been helping coach the youth group this year, we've had up to 50 boys(and girls) in the room....which is great considering how low wrestling numbers are in HS across the state.

As a group they've been doing pretty well at tournaments. I've taken my 5 year old to a handful. I've harped all along that winning isn't the most important thing and that all he has to do to make me proud is try hard and do his best.

The first tournament was a little rough as later in the year a lot of these boys have had a lot of matches...and in that one there were teams of boys from a few states away, including Kansas boys. He came really close to winning one but fell short. I was really proud of how hard he tried, never stopped or gave up. Wrestling technique can be learned....heart cannot. The thing that surprised me the most was how much he hates losing. Hated it.

Second tournament was much better...wasn't nervous if the activity and crowd and understood things better and went out like a little beast. It was so fun to see and a friend caught a video when he came off the mat...he was so proud. You saw the light switch to on. Beat an older boy in the 2nd and lost in the champ round by making a mistake with 8 seconds to go. I was really really proud of the effort, he said "I hate 2nd, it sucks ..." And didn't want his metal.

3rd tournament was a mix of wins and an ass whooping by a talented little boy.

I'm baffled by the kid because in practice he isn't really competitive...he definitely acts 5, but he is so much more aggressive and competitive in matches. I'm glad he hates losing and it makes him want to do more.....but I'm trying to figure out how to harness it.....I'm more interested in him having fun, working hard, learning one new thing each week....and act right after matches. We tach all of our boys to win/lose with class...if you try hard, hold your head up......and not only shake your opponents hand after but also his dad/coach.

Anyway....I think we're about done for the season and I'm keeping him out of the Aau state qualifiers. He's not ready and I want to stop for the year before it's not fun......we might go to some of the freestyle practices after high school state for fun and mat time.

Anyway..... Wrestling is awesome....and this is how you drive through a double leg!
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:43 PM   #381
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowanian View Post
I've been helping coach the youth group this year, we've had up to 50 boys(and girls) in the room....which is great considering how low wrestling numbers are in HS across the state.

As a group they've been doing pretty well at tournaments. I've taken my 5 year old to a handful. I've harped all along that winning isn't the most important thing and that all he has to do to make me proud is try hard and do his best.

The first tournament was a little rough as later in the year a lot of these boys have had a lot of matches...and in that one there were teams of boys from a few states away, including Kansas boys. He came really close to winning one but fell short. I was really proud of how hard he tried, never stopped or gave up. Wrestling technique can be learned....heart cannot. The thing that surprised me the most was how much he hates losing. Hated it.

Second tournament was much better...wasn't nervous if the activity and crowd and understood things better and went out like a little beast. It was so fun to see and a friend caught a video when he came off the mat...he was so proud. You saw the light switch to on. Beat an older boy in the 2nd and lost in the champ round by making a mistake with 8 seconds to go. I was really really proud of the effort, he said "I hate 2nd, it sucks ..." And didn't want his metal.

3rd tournament was a mix of wins and an ass whooping by a talented little boy.

I'm baffled by the kid because in practice he isn't really competitive...he definitely acts 5, but he is so much more aggressive and competitive in matches. I'm glad he hates losing and it makes him want to do more.....but I'm trying to figure out how to harness it.....I'm more interested in him having fun, working hard, learning one new thing each week....and act right after matches. We tach all of our boys to win/lose with class...if you try hard, hold your head up......and not only shake your opponents hand after but also his dad/coach.

Anyway....I think we're about done for the season and I'm keeping him out of the Aau state qualifiers. He's not ready and I want to stop for the year before it's not fun......we might go to some of the freestyle practices after high school state for fun and mat time.

Anyway..... Wrestling is awesome....and this is how you drive through a double leg!
So awesome!

I'm loving the progression of my kid, and I'm really ready to see what he can do with some small group clinics this offseason when he's working on some very specific skills.

He's still not as driven toward improvement as he needs to be, but I'm seeing that attitude develop quite a bit. He's starting to step up as a leader on the team as well, keeping the other kids in line and encouraging others during conditioning.
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:54 PM   #382
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:56 PM   #383
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I check the oil in my car every time this thread is bumped.
You guys are a bunch of shitty midwesterners. You're supposed to actually be INTO wrestling, unlike me, who is a southerner.
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:23 PM   #384
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Out of curiosity, what are some good forums about wrestling out there?

I'm not really interested in keeping up with college wrestling and such, but I'd like a forum just about the sport of wrestling. Training tips, different move series, things of that nature.

Kolat wrestling has some amazing video tutorials, but I'd like other just sort of "wrestling primer" sites that tell you, "here's what you need to have your kid doing at this age/skill level." And things like different strategies and ways to teach strategy.

One of the main problems my kid is facing currently is: learning to sense what your opponent is trying to do and fight it off before they can actually do it. So if a kid is starting to try to run a chicken wing on him, he doesn't necessarily realize it until his opponent already has the move in. So like, ways to teach kids to think strategically, stuff like that is what I'm looking for.
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:36 PM   #385
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowanian View Post
I've been helping coach the youth group this year, we've had up to 50 boys(and girls) in the room....which is great considering how low wrestling numbers are in HS across the state.

As a group they've been doing pretty well at tournaments. I've taken my 5 year old to a handful. I've harped all along that winning isn't the most important thing and that all he has to do to make me proud is try hard and do his best.

The first tournament was a little rough as later in the year a lot of these boys have had a lot of matches...and in that one there were teams of boys from a few states away, including Kansas boys. He came really close to winning one but fell short. I was really proud of how hard he tried, never stopped or gave up. Wrestling technique can be learned....heart cannot. The thing that surprised me the most was how much he hates losing. Hated it.

Second tournament was much better...wasn't nervous if the activity and crowd and understood things better and went out like a little beast. It was so fun to see and a friend caught a video when he came off the mat...he was so proud. You saw the light switch to on. Beat an older boy in the 2nd and lost in the champ round by making a mistake with 8 seconds to go. I was really really proud of the effort, he said "I hate 2nd, it sucks ..." And didn't want his metal.

3rd tournament was a mix of wins and an ass whooping by a talented little boy.

I'm baffled by the kid because in practice he isn't really competitive...he definitely acts 5, but he is so much more aggressive and competitive in matches. I'm glad he hates losing and it makes him want to do more.....but I'm trying to figure out how to harness it.....I'm more interested in him having fun, working hard, learning one new thing each week....and act right after matches. We tach all of our boys to win/lose with class...if you try hard, hold your head up......and not only shake your opponents hand after but also his dad/coach.

Anyway....I think we're about done for the season and I'm keeping him out of the Aau state qualifiers. He's not ready and I want to stop for the year before it's not fun......we might go to some of the freestyle practices after high school state for fun and mat time.

Anyway..... Wrestling is awesome....and this is how you drive through a double leg!
Awesome to hear that you are helping out with the youth program. Strong youth programs are the foundation of strong high school programs. Always begins in the youth scene.

Cool to hear that your boy is doing well and is competitive.
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rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:39 PM   #386
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewChief View Post
Out of curiosity, what are some good forums about wrestling out there?

I'm not really interested in keeping up with college wrestling and such, but I'd like a forum just about the sport of wrestling. Training tips, different move series, things of that nature.

Kolat wrestling has some amazing video tutorials, but I'd like other just sort of "wrestling primer" sites that tell you, "here's what you need to have your kid doing at this age/skill level." And things like different strategies and ways to teach strategy.

One of the main problems my kid is facing currently is: learning to sense what your opponent is trying to do and fight it off before they can actually do it. So if a kid is starting to try to run a chicken wing on him, he doesn't necessarily realize it until his opponent already has the move in. So like, ways to teach kids to think strategically, stuff like that is what I'm looking for.
Kolat is my absolute favorite. My two youngest bros (Senior and Sophomore) love watching his training vids. I would love to take them to a Kolat camp.

The board I am on 20+ times per day is thepredicament.com, but that is for Iowa youth and HS. themat.com has an active forum....was pretty active as of a few years ago...It's been a while since I have ventured there.
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rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.rico has enough rep power to blowy ou to bits.
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:47 PM   #387
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So my Sophomore brother at 138 has been on an absolute tear lately and I am real excited about that. He pinned a real tough kid from Washington in the finals at Sectionals yesterday (if the kid would have gotten off his back, he would have ended up with a 21-6 tech fall), so he is on to districts and it is looking as if it should be him and the Washington kid will be the ones to advance to state.

Things are pretty dang dramatic for the Senior brother at 132 pounds. The #2 ranked kid from 126 (and runner-up from last season) unexpectedly bumped up to 132 in the other Sectional we face. Not sure why he did this, but if he would have stayed at 126, he would have had Brock Rathbun...the 2 time state champ that my Sophomore brother had that crazy semifinal match with at state last year (I posted the youtube vid to that match a few months ago...the commentary from Gable and Ironside made that match very entertaining as well as the match itself). I mean, so if he would have lost to Rathbun, at least he would have been on the opposite side of the bracket as him at state.

Anyways... My brother is ranked #3 at 132. He beat the #8 ranked kid from Washington (a kid who placed 8th last year and the year before) 6-4 in OT yesterday... He has ALWAYS struggled with that kid. The kid has such strong hips and uses them well. He has a deadly neck wrench-trip. He is the type of kid that you can be up 14-0 against with 20 seconds left and still feel uneasy. Anyways, that kid will have the #2 ranked 126 lb guy first round at districts... A good kid will not qualify at that weight...and I hope that's not my brother.
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Old 02-07-2016, 08:15 PM   #388
Valiant Valiant is offline
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My friends boy is slowly getting better. Will be a freshman next year at Staley. Just needs to have the switch turn on and he will be a champion. Keeps getting 2nd and 3rds. Traveled to texas and one other states national tournaments. Won one total, so he sees what he needs to learn.

His only block right now is mental.
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:54 PM   #389
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Note: I am not posting this to brag or anything... In fact, I have mixed emotions about this article. I just thought it was interesting...and I don't think I have shared it with CP yet.

I don't think I mentioned this yet, but on the Christmas Day in the sports section of The Hawkeye newspaper, the cover story was a story about my family's wrestling tradition....My grandpa, dad, my brothers and I. 2 big pictures on the front, a couple in the mid (continued from front page) section...on Christmas Day...kind of crazy.

In order to read stories on the internet from The Hawkeye, you have to pay for a subscription. However, they posted the story on Iowa's primary wrestling page/forum/newspaper called The Predicament... therefore I am able to share it with you.

Like I said, I was a bit mixed on this... I felt like with me, they kind of tried looking for went wrong opposed to what went right. I wasn't a 3 time state finalist/state champ like my brother closest to my age, but I did place at state...and I did pin my way through Conference 2 times...and I still hold 3 school records (single season nearfalls, career nearfalls and career pins)... I don't know... Yeah, I had some frustrating shit going on, but I felt the doom and gloom plus being my brother's brother were emphasized pretty heavily. One of the questions I was asked was, "what was it like being Justin Swafford's brother?" I knew exactly what he was getting at...I'm not obtuse... but I didn't give him anything. I just said something like, "oh it was great. He was a fun person to root for because you could literally always count on him to win, no matter who the opponent was, whether it be on the state level or national level. We had a great sibling relationship." My brother was upset because he felt like the majority of what he wanted to be quoted saying about he and I was not used.

I gave such a rambling, stupid interview. I was so anxious and some of the questions were so open-ended. They caught me off guard. There was a point where I felt like I sounded like The Excited Southerner from one of those Adam Sandler albums. Haha.

I like the guy who wrote it, though...He is a nice guy and has always been good to my family. I realize that whatever I perceive in what was written about me was not intended for me to perceive it that way... I mean...it's the media, what am I supposed to expect?

Anyways, here it is:

https://www.thepredicament.com/2016/...ing-tradition/

A family (wrestling) tradition
Posted on January 22, 2016.
By Matt Levins


MEDIAPOLIS — Bob Swafford had it all planned out, or so he thought.

Swafford, who was a pretty fair basketball player during his day at Oakville High School, envisioned his three sons — twins Brian and Kevin, as well as Mark, a year younger — would be basketball players for Mediapolis High School. They would follow in their father’s footsteps and, if things worked out, maybe, just maybe, they would make up 60 percent of the Bulldogs’ starting lineup in the middle and late 1970s.

But one sentence from then Mediapolis wrestling coach Ron Crooks forever changed the course of history. Crooks noticed that Brian and Kevin Swafford were not happy with their roles as bench players on the Mediapolis junior high basketball team, so he approached Brian one day at school.

“Why don’t you give wrestling a try?” Crooks asked Swafford.

And with that, a wrestling legacy was born.

Kevin, Brian and Mark Swafford each went on to become state wrestling qualifiers for the Bulldogs over the course of the next five years. The Swafford brothers had a collective 157-56 record and each qualified for state once. In 1977, Kevin became the first wrestler in Mediapolis history to win a match at state, breaking the barrier and setting the standard for those who followed.

Now, nearly 40 years later, the last of the Swafford clan is making their way through the Mediapolis wrestling program. Shea and Brennan Swafford, the youngest of Mark and Jacinta Swafford’s four sons, are coming off state tournament appearances last season and both are ranked in the top four at their respective weight class.

Shea, a senior, and Brennan, a sophomore, are following in the footsteps of their older brothers, Justin and Josh, who wrestled for the Bulldogs more than a decade ago.

What started out as a dream to have a family of basketball players instead turned into a wrestling legacy for Mediapolis. Wrestling has become a family tradition for the Swaffords, something which brings the family together and something which has been passed down from one generation to another, and soon another.

And it all started with one sentence from Crooks some 40 years ago.

“My older brothers went out for wrestling their freshman year. I went out for basketball my eighth-grade year. They were bringing all these wrestling moves home and, playing basketball, I was the sixth man. I never got in the game until there was 30 seconds left. I thought, ‘This is no fun.’ I quit basketball halfway through my eighth-grade year and went out for basketball. So my brothers kind of influenced me. It kind of fell into place. I remember I won my first match and it kind of came easy for me to a degree. It was difficult, but it flowed for whatever reason,” said Mark Swafford, who was 50-26-3 during his high school career, qualifying for the state tournament in 1978.

“I think one of their teammates talked them into it. One of the wrestlers told them,’ You’re wasting your time with this basketball stuff. Come out for wrestling.’ So they went ahead and swapped and went out for wrestling. The next thing you know they’re practicing moves and home and I’m sitting there going, ‘Hey, can I try that?’

“My dad (Bob) played basketball for Oakville. He graduated in the 1950s. He didn’t like it at all until he went to his first wrestling meet. Then he was hooked. He really wanted me to play basketball. When I quit he kind of pouted about it to a degree. I think he was kind of disappointed. But before that first season was over, as a parent, he was hooked. He was all in.”

“I remember the twins went out for basketball in middle school and they were sitting on the bench a lot. They weren’t very happy,” said Joyce Swafford, Bob’s widow. “Ron Crooks asked Brian to give wrestling a try. Brian went to practice and it was a lot of fun. He went to New London for a meet and he won his first match and he came back and told Kevin it was the most fun he had had in a long time. Well, that was the start of it. Kevin joined up and not long after that Mark was wrestling.”

As for the current generation of Swaffords, well, they know a little bit about the family history. But they’re more focused on the now. Shea and Brennan are trying to make their own mark, both on the program and the family legacy. As for Josh and Justin, well, they are Shea and Brennan’s biggest fans. They would love nothing more than to see their two little brothers erase the marks they made over a decade ago, to push that bar a little farther and a little higher.

“Crazy would be the number one word for it. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to grow up anywhere else. My dad can be a jerk sometimes, but it’s for the better. It’s teaching me responsibility. I wouldn’t be in the sport without him, I don’t think. He’s the one that got me introduced to it,” said Shea Swafford, who is 10-0 and ranked second in Class 2A at 132 pounds. “I remember Justin wrestling at UNI. My earliest memory was at a high school meet. I don’t remember Justin wrestling, but I remember Chad Hutchinson and the Kellers. I remember hanging out with them and hanging out with Russ Hutchinson and going to Chuck E. Cheese afterwards. Other than that, I don’t really remember much.”

“They’re pretty good. Josh is like the intense one. When I was in the little kids club, he was screaming on the mat, telling me to do stuff. Justin was like the technician. He would teach me to do things the correct way. That definitely helped a lot coming into high school. I can’t wrestle with Josh as much because he’s way bigger than me. But I’ll be there by my senior year. But I can wrestle with Justin now. But he still beats my butt,” said Brennan Swafford, who is 8-2 and ranked fourth at 138. “I know Justin was a state champion and Josh placed sixth. Mt Dad and my uncles, Kevin and Brian, they were all state qualifiers. They never really had the chance to do the little kids club stuff or they probably would have been really, really good. They started in junior high or even freshmen in high school and they still made it to state. That’s pretty amazing.”

“Whatever little bits of wisdom I can impart on them, I’m going to do my best and make sure they stay the course and make sure they’re balanced individuals and have a good work ethic. I think they’re already well on their way to that. It’s exciting to see them grow into that,” said Justin Swafford, 31, who works in marketing for the website company Hibu, doing website consultations, proofing and editing in Iowa City. “(Shea and Brennan) are starting to catch up to me size-wise. They’re definitely in better shape than me today. I sit in a corporate job, sitting on my butt and then I get out there and wrestle, it took it’s toll on me.

“I’m hoping this year to get back in shape and work out with them since they’re getting to that size where I can instruct more. I want to show them the kind of techniques I wish I knew when I was their age. I want to give them a little more of the hands-on instruction that is well needed.”

“It’s very comparable to watching Justin wrestle growing up. With me being 14 years older than Shea and 16 years older than Brennan, I feel like I’m not their father, but I play kind of a fatherly role with the age difference. Since I have two daughters, I feel like this is the closest I’ll be to watching my sons wrestle because I’m not really counting on having sons at this point,” said Josh, 33, who lives in Mediapolis and works at U.S. Gypsum with his father. “It’s real neat. I have a real good relationship with both of them. I think by the time Brennan is done growing he may be comparable to my size. But for whatever reason I’m bigger than all three of my brothers.”

Over the course of the last 39 years, Mediapolis head coach Dan Cummings has had the pleasure of coaching all seven Swaffords. Cummings was an assistant coach for two seasons under Crooks before taking over as head coach 37 years ago. Cummings coached Kevin and Brian Swafford their senior years and Mark Swafford his junior and senior seasons. He has come full circle now. He coached Josh and Justin all four years, is in his fourth year of coaching Shea and his second season coaching Brennan.

While Cummings sees many similarities in all of the Swaffords, he also knows that each has become his own individual. They have provided plenty of pleasant memories through the years, moments Cummings reflects on as he watches the final two Swafford cut their own swath through the program.

“The Swaffords have always been a family of wrestlers. Mark, Brian and Kevin were really, really good wrestlers. They were part of that 1977 team which was a really, really good team. We qualified six kids for state that season,” said Cummings, who also had the pleasure of coaching his own three sons — Jamey, Ryan and Brandon. “I remember when Mark told me that he was going to have another kid. It was almost like having two families with the big gap they had between the first two and the last two. They are all really good wrestlers, yet they are all their own persons.”

Mark and Jacinta’s four sons have made a huge impact on the program through the years. Through the Cedar Rapids Xavier Duals, the second generation of Swaffords has a combined 485-107 record, eight state medals and one state championship — Justin was the Class 2A state champion at 125 pounds in 2002.

One of the special moments for the Swafford came in 2001, when Justin finished as a state runner-up and Josh placed sixth at state. It was a moment none will forget, except Shea and Brennan, who were too young to remember.

“My wife and I were sitting together. I’ll never forget it,” Mark Swafford said. “t’s something you never dream of. (Justin) was so close the two years before he was in the finals. When it finally happened … it’s hard to explain how you feel. The main thing I felt was happy for Justin because he deserved that. He was such a hard-working, dedicated wrestler. There are a lot of kids in his class that didn’t there own thing. Justin was the only one who was still working while all his buddies were out having fun. He sacrificed so much in what I felt was overwhelming joy for him. Not for me. Not for the program. For Justin, for all the hard work.

“I felt really glad that he got his due. He sacrificed a lot. He was driving to Iowa City and working out with the Future Hawkeye Wrestling Club. That was new back then. That was a new concept. (Josh) struggled a little bit. He had tremendous talent. He could beat just about anybody in the room. Then he would take his anxieties out on the mat. It was hard to watch sometimes. He had all this talent and he put so much pressure on himself. But he got through it. He pinned the first two kids at state and got his medal. That was something I was pretty happy for him, too, because he was struggling with all these anxiety issues. He had sports anxiety.”

The family’s other treasured moment came last February, when both Shea and Brennan made it to the Class 2A state semifinals, helping the Bulldogs win their first state team championship. Only this time, Mark was sitting in the corner instead of watching from the stands. He left that to Josh, Justin and Jacinta. It was a scintillating evening, although Mark isn’t sure he wants to be in the corner if or when either makes to the state finals. At that point, he would rather be a dad than a coach.

“I didn’t have my coaching authorization when the two older ones went to state. Maybe I just need to be the kids club coach and back off. Then I wonder if it would benefit these kids if I sought my coaching authorization and I was in the room. I don’t regret that at all. I’m glad I did make that change. It’s been a special treat for me to sit in the corner at Wells to coach some of their matches. That’s kind of a dream come true. If either one of these two would get lucky enough to win a state title, I don’t know if I’m going to coach in the corner. I think I’d rather be a Dad, to be honest. In a moment like that they don’t need emotion. They need coaches that are focused,” Mark said.

Of course growing up, both sets of boys were best friends and competitors at the same time. That created more than a few interesting moments in the Swafford household from time to time.

“I looked up to him a lot. We had our spats, but there is a lot of love and respect, too. With Joshua, he liked to kind of dictate what was going on. He was always bending the rules. He’s that kind of guy. But that made me who I was and it made me tougher. That type of big-brother mentality is a competitive thing. It elevates you. We were best allies and best enemies, depending on the day and if there was food in between us,” Justin said of Josh. “He muscled me quite a bit. If we wrestled, I could kind of get him tired to where I could kind of go with him. I always had more of an engine that wouldn’t stop. In the wrestling room there was a little less pressure and he usually had a little more steam. He had exercise-induced asthma. A lot of that was stress, too. We scrapped a little bit in the room, but mostly it was being each other’s biggest fans, on and off the mat. I think that still holds true.”

“It’s like a squirrel fight. That’s the best way to explain it. We don’t really get in fights at home. The No. 1 place we get in fights is in that room,” Shea said. “Really what we have at home is an elliptical. That’s all we have for a workout. Other than that you have to make your own workouts. Tom and Terry Brands used to do shots on the wall. They used to do shots on each other in the living room. Sometimes you have to resort to that.”

And of course with a house full of wrestlers, someone had to be there to be the glue. That person is Jacinta, who was there to support both her husband and her sons every step of the way.

“I’m glad I’ve had her. She’s been one of the most understanding individuals. Really supportive of the kids. Mama Swaff knows what it takes to get the kids through it and to get me through it, too. It’s been a blessing having this particular woman as my wife and mother of these kids. I just can’t picture ever going through it without her support,” Mark Swafford said. “She’s the one that stops at the store and gets the pineapple and watermelon and muskmelon and the grapes and cuts them all up into pieces and makes sure they have their shrimp or their grilled chicken. She’s been a big part of it, too.”

There are still 2 1/2 more years of wrestling left at Mediapolis for the Swafford family. There have been plenty of other influential families through the storied history of Mediapolis wrestling, but the Swafford have left their mark. And they aren’t finished yet. Not by a long shot.

“It’s pretty satisfying seeing all the hard work they put into it is coming to fruition, especially Shea. Nothing has come easy for him. Sometimes he’ll have a blowup in practice, which is unfortunate. It’s all because of frustration. But if he keeps pushing through it, it’ll come back. To see the kids work really hard and then watch the results to me is fairly satisfying. Knowing the tradition of our family. Their uncle Kevin was the very first Mediapolis wrestler to win a match at state. I’ve reminded them a time or two — look where this program was when Cummings took over and look where it is now. They’ve been a part of that. That’s pretty refreshing for them,” Mark Swafford said.

“Mark has been a big part of what we have done through the years at Mediapolis, no doubt about that,” Cummings said. “I can’t imagine there not being a Swafford involved in the Mediapolis program. When you talk about Mediapolis wrestling, one of the names you always think about is Swafford. They have definitely had a huge impact on our program.”
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:01 PM   #390
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Btw, both of my brothers, Shea the Senior and Brennan the Sophomore qualified for state again Saturday. Shea got 2nd at districts (the returning runner-up and ranked #2/3 guy at 126 moved up to his weight unexpectedly and he beat us in a close match. The Sophomore, Brennan, got 1st and is on an absolute roll right now... I'm pretty sure he has pinned his last 16 or 17 opponents...just doing crazy-good right now. They wrestle at state Thursday...The Senior placed 7th as a Sophomore and 4th as a Junior, the Sophomore placed 6th as a Freshman and almost had the upset of the tournament vs. an upperclassman who hadn't even wrestled a full match coming into the match with him. I posted the youtube clip of that one a few pages ago. Anyways, looking to build from that this year. If you get 1st at districts, you get a guy who got 2nd from another district and vice-versa... Ironically, the district runner-up bro, Shea, has the better first round draw. My youngest bro's first round draw is pretty tough...if he gets past him, I feel like things are looking ok for him to get to the finals. We will see, I guess.
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