9/7 Wrestle with Mr Twister - Was the IWF/IKWF split a good or bad thing?
The other day Nic9er wrote a post (on the IKWF board) that got me to thinking about the old IWF days. He asked if anyone had a list of who won the IWF state championships. A few responded and that was that. But I began to wonder about the whole IWF/IKWF issue for the first time in many, many years. Everyone should remember what got the whole thing started. There was a disagreement over money (the root of all evil), who was going to run the IKWF, the summer series and in the end it seemed to really be about power. The high school coaches versus the Club coaches. There was some mud slinging, court dates and law suits before it was all settled. The entire state came back together in 2002 (after 4 years apart) and a great state tournament took place with my team, the Harvey Twisters edging out Martinez Elite for the senior title. It was obvious that year that Illinois had a lot of great wrestlers and being seperated was not a good thing. Or was it?
I have often wondered was Illinois rise on the national stage the last few years a by product of the split. If more kids wrestled in more organizations, then there were more champs and more kids feeling great about themselves. I had in the past debated this with the old timers who tell me the old days (the 80's) when there was only one kid's champ was better than what I was use to, which was a junior, senior and novice champ. And they tell me adding novice was a hot debated topic in the early 90's. A junior state champ in fact was an IWF inovation that the IKWF added in the last year of the split to help bring teams back to their organization, partially because it was so popular in the IWF.
Now as my son moved away from the kid level to high school I looked back and see there is now a midget and bantam state champ. In fact I got into an argument one day with a parent when I said, "How can a kid (midget) be a true state champ if it's not sponsored by the IKWF and if there is a 60a, 60b and 60c state champ. Come on, three champs for one weight can't be a true champ." I was told in no uncertain words I had no right to take away a kid being a state champ or his glory for doing it. I really peed off this parent because all he wanted was his kid to be a state champ, even if he was 7 and sharing it with two other kids. Now I know how those old timers felt. I was defending the status quo and it was changing before my very eyes. So is the old saying less is more correct in this case? hmmmnnn. Interesting.
As I went back and looked up the names of some of the former champs in the IWF and the IKWF from the late 90's and early 2000's, I think that many of those kids stayed in wrestling because they got a chance to compete in one of three (IESA/IKWF/IWF) organizations. Illinois has 10,000 kids level wrestlers on a yearly basis. That has to be a good thing. There are many kids from that Civil War era that have gone on to become All Americans, National Champs, State Champs, Freestyle/Greco champs, college recruits and just plain on the high school team wrestlers. That may not of happened had there not been a split. Now I am not advocating another split but I do think Illinois has become better and bigger, especially on the national scene because of it. In fact those IWF/IKWF/IESA wrestlers from the late 90's, early millinium have left some big shoes to fill. Hopefully the winning Illinois wrestling tradition continues.
Last edited by admin; 09-07-2005 at 10:17 PM.