Illinois Matmen Forums Illinois Matmen Forums

Go Back   Illinois Matmen Forums > Statewide > IHSA 3A

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-18-2018
Technique Technique is offline
Junior Varsity
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 42
Wrestling Participation Meeting and other issues related to wrestling - Willowbrook

All coaches, kids through high school, are invited.

Hosted by Willowbrook Wrestling Head Varsity Coach, Brandon Murphy,
& Varsity Assistant, Gary Walker
Thursday, May 24 - 7:00 pm* - Willowbrook High School, Villa Park – Main Gym
Keynote Speaker:
Steve Marianetti - Head Coach, Elmhurst College
1995 NCAA Champion, 150 lbs, University of Illinois; 3x All-American
1998 Senior World Team Member, Freestyle, 167 lbs

Additional Speakers:
Bryan Medlin - Director of Operations, Illinois Regional Training Center, University of Illinois
-Russia’s youth wrestling development system

Rob Porter – Coach, Naperville Central & IKWF Naperville Wrestling Club
-How to keep young wrestlers wrestling from kids to high school
-How to run a fast, efficient IKWF tournament

Chris McGrath - Head Coach, Downers Grove North
-IHSA policy

Jim Considine - President, Illinois Kids’ Wrestling Federation
-IKWF’s participation data

Sean Lovelace - Head Coach, Downers Grove South
-Downers Grove Wrestling Club development system

Pat McCluskey - Head Coach, Glen Ellyn Dungeon Wrestling & Freshman Coach, Glenbard West
-Dungeon Wrestling Club development system

Fred Arkin
-Proposal to include girls’ wrestling into the IHSA

*A coaches’ social will follow immediately after the meeting. Location: Anyway’s Pub (2 minutes away from WB on Roosevelt)
Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2018
FoxesFan FoxesFan is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,162

This meeting agenda is packed with content from some of the best wrestling minds in the state. My compliments to the organizers. So . . . .how did it go?
Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2018
eagle eagle is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 540
Any information from this event would be greatly appreciated.

Do you think it was productive?

What is the next step?
Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2018
seanlove22 seanlove22 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 249

I believe that Coach Walker from Willowbrook was going to put together some notes from the meeting but here are some of the highlights/bullet points from some of the speakers. It was a great night, and could be the start of something in IL in terms of growing the sport of wrestling, but it will only happen if we "the wrestling community" of coaches, wrestlers, and parents" continue to make it happen.

Gary Walker- Willowbrook
- Explained reasoning & format of the meeting
- Created a handout that included the following: stats/trends of wrestling numbers decreasing in high school/IKWF (IESA has added programs) and IL is near the top of decreasing states (see link below)
- Areas of concern which included: Sunday tournaments, skin issues, retention, too many matches too soon for kids, the gap between elite and average, sports specialization, a decrease in young coaches/teachers in IL high schools
- Solutions page: How do we attract new athletes, how do we keep the ones we have, look to field all levels, competition limits, foundational blocks prior to competition, blocked weight tournaments for youth and high school (underlevel) tournaments, more duals, two entries per weight, shorten youth season, improved marketing/promotion
- Also included the minutes from the High School Blue Ribbon Task Force which met last July

Rob Porter- Naperville Central
- What are wrestlers, administrators, parents looking for that we need to do deliver
- Great thoughts on what parents are looking for in terms of discipline, efficiency, and clear communication
- How to run a fast/efficient tournament: 1) use track 2) eliminate morning weigh-ins 3) use monitor for mat assignments 4) do not get greedy when accepting teams/numbers 4) coaches/officials hospitality room 5) ensure you have enough parent volunteers 6) make sure you have the proper space to host

Sean Lovelace- Downers Grove South/Downers Grove Wrestling Club
Continuity from youth club to high school program- get everyone on the same page
Recruitment- 1) feeder school clinics before and after season 2) build relationships with local sports organizations 3) social media presence 4) word of mouth
System- 1) develop clear mission for your club 2) know what you have, what you don't have 3) tiered system in DGWC (fundamental, skill development, DG Elite) 4) We had over 100 kids in our youth club last year and only 15 went to tournaments (THAT IS OK!) 5) curriculum skills workbook developed from Base Wrestling System and USA Wrestling
Retention- 1) Do not send kids to tournaments who are not ready 2) Communicate mission and purpose to parents 3) Must support kids who want tournaments at same time 4) 60-75 minute practices 5) vigilant about skin care, youth club must have role in this 6) teach kids how to compete in wrestling and through other drills/games/activities 7) clear weekly communication with parents and organized website
Promotion- 1) social media 2) build followers and get them to promote 3) Promote each other's programs (follow each other and recognize other's achievements) 4) share your ideas, don't hoard them 5) build community presence 6)

DGS Wrestling & Football Promo Video:

DGS Wrestling & Soccer Promo Video:

Chris McGrath- Downers Grove North- IHSA Updates
1) Full wrestle backs at state tournament
2) 40/30/30 split of classes
3) action items to ensure this happens
4) Coaches MUST be the change agent
- Advisory committee and AD board have unanimously passed each, but now this must go to the executive board
- Last year several issues passed unanimously only to get rejected by executive board
- ACTION ITEM: contact wrestling coaches that have a principal on the executive board and make them aware of the upcoming vote and why it's important, most just don't know (or care)
- It is up to coaches to implement change if we want it
- We MUST be the recruiters, promoters, technicians, organizers, etc. that both our youth programs and high school programs need
- We CANNOT sit on our hands, we must act and act with purpose and offer solutions
- Complaining in the regional meeting means nothing without clear and concise action items following

Colleen Kristoff- Girls Wrestling in IL
- Many states adding girls wrestling as an emerging sport
- Colleges with female programs have doubled over the last 5-10 years
- IL is behind on this initiative
- Looking to add to already existing IHSA season
- Looking for 3-4 tournaments to host in IHSA season (not counting against tournament limits)
- Ideas for qualifier and state tournament
- More promotion of the sport
- Potential solution to Title IX justification for school dropping sport
- Already have the infrastructure in place at schools with coaches, rooms, and kids

Link to Task Force Packet Created by Gary Walker:
Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2018
Blonjuan44's Avatar
Blonjuan44 Blonjuan44 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,243
From above:

Sean Lovelace- Downers Grove South/Downers Grove Wrestling Club

+ I read those points and thought that is different than what most clubs do, it will be interesting how that goes...
There are two guys in that zebra costume! Very funny...

Last edited by Blonjuan44; 06-01-2018 at 06:58 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018
Technique Technique is offline
Junior Varsity
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 42
Originally Posted by Blonjuan44 View Post
From above:

Sean Lovelace- Downers Grove South/Downers Grove Wrestling Club

+ I read those points and thought that is different than what most clubs do, it will be interesting how that goes...
Yes, the points in the packet (that Sean posted a link to) are different from what most clubs do. I do not have any definitive answers, but we need to look at every level of wrestling and ask ourselves why is there such a huge drop-off in participation at IKWF regionals between Novice and Seniors, as well as at the high school level. Look through the packet and you will see how many athletes we lost recently at the high school level in Illinois.

We all need to change, adapt, and deliver our sport to athletes in a better way. I also coach track, in addition to watching my son progress through levels within USA Gymnastics, and I can 100% tell you this: if I coached my track athletes the way I was coached in wrestling (and the way I coached my wrestlers for the majority of my career), all of my runners would be injured and hate track. What USAG does with their levels and skill progressions is an excellent model to at least take a look at. Look at little league baseball as well, pitch counts, etc.

Feel free to private message me here or email me at if anyone would like to have a conversation.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:49 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.