Wednesday, April 30, 2014

SoMe Wrestling "Grapple at the Garden" at the worlds most famous arena-Madison Square Garden

The University of Southern Maine Wrestling team officially got the green light to compete in the 3rd annual "Grapple at the Garden" at the worlds most famous arena-Madison Square Garden in NYC on December 21st!!

Teams competing: Oklahoma State University, Ohio State University, Univerity of Maryland, University of Nebraska, Lehigh University, Hofstra University, Rutgers University, New York University, Hunter College, Stevens Institute of Technology and the University of Southern Maine!! 

There will be a section in Madison Square Garden specifically for University of Southern Maine fans, friends and alumni and a social held immediately after in New York City to celebrate! 

Stay tuned for next years schedule and incoming recruiting class. Coach Pistone- USM Head Wrestling Coach

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Maine’s ‘Barbarian’ hopes to regain momentum in UFC 172 bout

Lincolnville native Tim Boetsch (right) battles Mark Munoz during their middleweight UFC bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 6, 2013.

Lincolnville native Tim Boetsch (right) battles Mark Munoz during their middleweight UFC bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 6, 2013.

In a crowded UFC middleweight division, every fight is potentially a career crossroads for Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch.
The 33-year-old Lincolnville native is coming off an up-and-down 2013, with back-to-back losses to Costas Phillippou and Hector Munoz followed by a split-decision victory over C.B. Dollaway in his most recent bout at UFC 166 in Houston last Oct. 19.
With plenty of new talent making its way to the upper echelon of the UFC 185-pound circuit, along with several seasoned veterans rated ahead of him, the 11th-ranked Boetsch knows his place within that hierarchy will depend on his fight against No. 6 Luke Rockhold on the UFC 172 pay-per-view card Saturday night at the Baltimore (Md.) Arena.
“There are a lot of fights going on in this division, things are shifting a lot,” said Boetsch, who lives with his wife and three children in Sunbury, Pa., and trains under well-known MMA coach Matt Hume at AMC Pankration in Kirkland, Wash.
“For me it’s very important to win this fight to get back into the top 10 and then go from there.”
A former four-time state wrestling champion at Camden-Rockport High School in Rockport who went on to compete collegiately at Lock Haven (Pa.) University, Boetsch used a four-fight win streak to climb as high as sixth among UFC middleweights in late 2012 before the back-to-back losses dropped him from the top 10.
And many among the UFC cognoscenti thought he lost to Dollaway, too.
“I’m not sure what happened there, but I did what I had to do and got the win,” said Boetsch, an eight-year professional MMA veteran.
Boetsch is considered a heavy underdog against Rockhold, a former Strikeforce middleweight champion who bounced back from a loss to Vitor Belfort in his UFC debut last May with a convincing first-round stoppage of Philippou at UFC Fight Night 35 in January with a kick to the liver.
The 29-year-old product of Santa Cruz, Calif., has a professional record of 11-2, 1-1 in the UFC.
“He’s one of the best guys in the weight class,” said Boetsch, who was slated to fight Rockhold at UFC 166 until Rockhold pulled out due to an injury. “He’s as legit as they come.”
Boetsch (17-6 overall, 8-5 UFC) is known for his grinding style, knockout power and resilience in the octagon. He’ll have to use all those assets to deal with an opponent who stands four inches taller than his 6-foot frame.
“He’s one of the taller middleweights around and he’ll have a distinct reach advantage, but that’s something I’m used to,” said Boetsch. “My first fight at middleweight was against Kendall Grove, who was the tallest middleweight in the UFC at that time at 6-6, so I’ve dealt with it before.”
Boetsch expects Rockhold to attempt to capitalize on that reach advantage, and not just with his striking game.
“I really think he’s going to bring a lot of hard kicks, which will be a different look,” said Boetsch. “He finished his last fight with a hard body kick, and I need to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
UFC 172 will be headlined by a light-heavyweight title bout between champion Jon “Bones” Jones — the brother of New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones — and undefeated Brazilian Glover Teixeira.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

NCAA Committee proposes three new experimental rules pending approval

The NCAA Wrestling Rules Committee recommended three experimental rules, including two that involve stalling, be implemented at the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic Nov. 1 at the University of Pennsylvania.
The committee met this month in Indianapolis. All rules proposals, including rules used on an experimental basis, must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to discuss wrestling recommendations during a conference call June 25.
The first experimental rule focuses on wrestlers who step out of bounds with both feet while in a neutral position. In this scenario, the referee will call stalling on that wrestler.
The other experimental rule will result when, from a kneeling starting position on the mat, the wrestler in the top position drops to a lower extremity or uses a side headlock. In either of these situations, the referee will make a visual five-second count using his arm. If the wrestler who started in the top position doesn’t make an attempt to engage in action before the referee reaches the count of five, the referee will call stalling. 

The protocol for all stalling calls includes a warning for a first offense and a point awarded to the opponent on the next offense. The stalling penalty sequence is warning, one point, one point, one point, disqualification.
Both of the rules are being looked at on an experimental basis because the Wrestling Rules Committee wants to encourage the wrestlers to create action and not use stalling tactics to preserve a lead.

“The Wrestling Rules Committee is trying to be forward-thinking in their approach to potential new rules,” said Ron Beaschler, the NCAA secretary-rules editor for wrestling and the head coach at Ohio Northern. “The committee is looking at ways to ensure there is action during matches to make it fun and exciting to watch and easier to understand to the casual fan, yet easier for the officials to officiate.”

The final experimental rule involves a wrestler earning a position of control, such as a takedown or a reversal to earn the top position, and the action comes to a natural stoppage. An example of a natural stoppage would be when the wrestlers go out of bounds.

In the proposed experimental rule, instead of beginning in a kneeling position on the re-start, the wrestler who earned the top position can indicate to the referee that he elects for the next action to begin in the neutral position.

Currently, the referee awards a point to the opponent of a wrestler who makes this choice. Under the experimental rule, the point will not be awarded.

In positions of control that are not earned – for example, at the start of the second or third periods – a wrestler can elect to release his opponent after a break in the action, and the opponent will receive a point.

Committee members want to gather data on the matches at the NWCA All-Star Classic, a one-day event featuring one all-star matchup in each of the 10 weight classes, to see if the experimental rules should be something they consider for permanent changes in the future.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Who Have We Forgotten???

The other day, I received a call from Tim Wilson, MAWA Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2011.  He inquired about past wrestlers from the 1960’s and 1970’s who should have been considered as nominees for the Hall of Fame.  I informed Tim That I wasn’t from Maine and have only been part of the Maine Wrestling Community since the 1990’s when my kids were wrestling, so I didn’t know any wrestlers before then.  Tim talked about many wrestlers who should or could be considered to be inducted into the Hall.  He asked me to bring this topic forward to the MAWA board, which I did.  The board is asking for your input.
We are in the process of selecting this year’s inductees to the Hall of Fame.  We typically wait until shortly before awards night to nominate someone we think should be considered as an inductee. Please talk or email one another and nominate a wrestler or coach who may have been forgotten and deserving of a nomination.  The person may have passed or can’t be located at the present time, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be nominated, if deserving.  We can’t do the research for you, but as a group you can use your resources and provide the needed information. 

You don’t have to be a Hall of Fame member to nominate someone, but the Hall of Fame members can reach out to the wrestling community and find those early year wrestlers who should be considered.   To find out the criteria and nomination process go to and click on the HOF tab at the top of the page.  If you need assistance, you can contact me, Mark Nowak at Yes, this is a challenge to find those “Who Have Been Forgotten.”

Cony wrestlers paying it forward

Augusta wrestlers go for dinner, end up giving back.

AUGUSTA — Do something nice for somebody.
click image to enlarge
Pay it forward: Cony wrestlers Elais Younes, left, and Tre Caudill take the statement “Do something nice for somebody,” seriously.
Staff photo by Joe Phelan

Such an open-ended and simple request. It can trigger so many things, most of them the small things we shouldn’t take for granted, like holding a door for a stranger or giving a friend a hand.
If you were asked to do something nice for somebody, what would you do?
Elias Younes, Logan Benedict and Tre Caudill, three members of the Cony High School wrestling team, had to ask themselves that last weekend.
Younes, Benedict and Caudill spent Saturday volunteering at a junior high wrestling meet. When it was over, they joined some teammates for dinner at a Chinese buffet. As they ate, a couple sitting nearby overheard their conversation, and noticed it revolved around wrestling.
That couple was Robin and Lester Wilkinson. Their son had wrestled for Cony, and they admired the dedication and commitment it takes to participate in the sport. The Wilkinsons listened, and they decided to do something nice for someone.
The Wilkinsons picked up the wrestlers’ check.
“We asked them what we could do to repay them, they said just do something nice for somebody,” Younes said.
Younes, Benedict and Caudill sat in Younes’ car a few minutes, trying to decide what they could do to pass on the Wilkinsons’ kindness. They decided to pool their money and go shopping.
They had about 100 dollars. They bought canned goods and macaroni and cheese. They bought toiletries, body wash, toothpaste and mouthwash. They bought tissues and toilet paper, and playing cards and dice.
Then, they drove across Augusta to the Bread of Life Ministries Shelter, and gave the shelter their purchases.
“We didn’t know what we wanted to do at first, so we just sat there in the parking lot, Then we said, ‘Hey, why don’t we just go in and get all the stuff we can afford,’” Benedict said.
When you’re a teenager, 100 bucks may as well be a million. It’s a lot of money. It’s a pocketful of freedom. The boys could have thanked the Wilkinsons, smiled at the good fortune of a free meal, and go on their way with found money in their pockets.
“Everything started with them paying for our meal. I don’t know how much money it was, but it was a lot. For them just to come up and pay for our meal, it was really nice,” Younes said. “We just didn’t want to leave that day and be like, ‘Hey, we got a free meal’ and just go home.”
Instead, they took the request to heart, and made their response count.
Gerry Clark, the shelter manager, said the donations are appreciated.
“Everything comes in handy,” Clark said.
As they unloaded their donation, the boys were asked by shelter staff what name the donation should go under. Just make it anonymous, Younes said.
“When we brought it in, just to see all the people. They were happy. It felt kind of good,” Younes said.
The wrestlers are still trying to deflect the credit. If you want to thank anybody, Younes said, thank the Wilkinsons.
“Credit should go to them. They didn’t have to do anything,” Younes said. “If they didn’t, we would have spent all the money there, and none of it would have gone (to the shelter).”
A free meal turned into a kindness that will help so many people. Do something nice for somebody. Such a small request that can set off such a wonderful chain reaction.
Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242tlazarczyk@centralmaine.comTwitter: @TLazarczykMTM

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Mixed martial arts a brotherly bond for Winterport’s Tyler siblings

Brothers Jeremy (left) and Jarrod Tyler both work in Winterport and train at Team Irish MMA Fitness Academy in Brewer.Brothers Jeremy (left) and Jarrod Tyler both work in Winterport and train at Team Irish MMA Fitness Academy in Brewer. 
Jeremy Tyler (left) and Jarrod Tyler train at Team Irish MMA Fitness Academy in Brewer.
Gabor Degre | BDN
Jeremy Tyler (left) and Jarrod Tyler train at Team Irish MMA Fitness Academy in Brewer. 
Brothers Jeremy (left) and Jarrod Tyler  have been dedicated to MMA since taking it up two years ago. After losing their first fights on the same night, neither has lost since.
Gabor Degre | BDN
Brothers Jeremy (left) and Jarrod Tyler have been dedicated to MMA since taking it up two years ago. After losing their first fights on the same night, neither has lost since. 
WINTERPORT, Maine — The first six nights of the week training at the Team Irish MMA Fitness Academy often aren’t enough for Jarrod and Jeremy Tyler.
And Sunday mornings, during some down time at Tyler’s Garage and Auto Parts, the brothers work while contemplating moves and countermoves that make for a successful mixed martial arts practitioner.
“We’re open for four hours on Sunday,” said 31-year-old Jarrod Tyler, who runs the family auto shop. “But before Jeremy wakes his wife up, we’re down there for two hours, and it’s pretty much a two-hour slow sparring session.”
It’s also a fairly unique brand of brotherly love the Tylers share as next-door neighbors, contributors to the family businesses and MMA training partners.
Both have been dedicated to the combat sport since taking it up two years ago, and after losing their first fights on the same night, neither has lost since. They are preparing for separate bouts on the New England Fights’ NEF XIII card in Lewiston on May 10.
Jeremy Tyler, 27, will take a streak of four straight victories — all by submission — since the lone loss into his bout with 2-1 Steven Bang of Auburn. Jarrod Tyler (1-1) will face newcomer Jason LaFrance of Bath.
“They’re polar opposites as far as fighting styles, but they’re both athletic; that’s the similarity,” said former Ultimate Fighting Championship contender and Team Irish owner Marcus Davis, the Tylers’ trainer. “They’re both kind of freaky strong, and they have good a work ethic, which I think comes from a strong family values background.
“Jeremy has an eclectic style that has a little of your traditional martial arts and some of the more contemporary stuff, and he likes the ground. And he’s been doing well on the ground. Jarrod will stand right in front of you and bang with you if that’s what you want to do, but now he’s got much better footwork and is concentrating more on the in-and-out game, where he gets in and gets off his big shots.”
Jarrod Tyler, a former all-state football player at Hampden Academy who went on to play in the semiprofessional ranks, discovered mixed martial arts when he needed it most.
“I’ve battled depression since 2007, and off and on I tried different things to shake me out of it but never really found anything specific,” he said. “Then I found out about MMA, and I wanted to try it but was extremely intimidated because I had no martial arts background. I played football my whole life, so the contact didn’t scare me, but being someone with no MMA experience was pretty intimidating.”
He ultimately visited Davis’ MMA club in Brewer, and what began with a few days a week of training became a therapeutic part of his daily life.
“Over the last two years I’ve been telling everyone I lived the first 30 years of my life somewhat happy, but these last two years are the only time I’ve really been able to enjoy everything because every single day is better than the last,” he said.
Jeremy Tyler, a former track standout at Hampden who runs Deb’s Variety store located near Tyler’s Garage, just as quickly became a student of the sport after being introduced to MMA through giving his brother rides to the gym.
“It’s an interesting sport where you can never truly master any one thing, you’re always learning,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who your opponent or your training partner is, they could be 8 years old, and you’d still learn something.”
Both Tylers learned even more the hard way in their amateur debuts, each losing at NEF VII in Lewiston last May 18.
“We actually had drilled the defense for what I got caught in,” said Jeremy Tyler, the victim of a guillotine choke applied by Tollison Lewis late in the first round. “But I got out of there, and it was so motivating that Monday I was right back in the gym going over it and over it, and hopefully I won’t get caught in a guillotine during a fight again.”
He submitted Lewis with a rear-naked choke when they fought again on the Bangor Waterfront last July. Jarrod Tyler was supposed to fight on that card but was sidelined by a shin injury and didn’t return to the cage until September, when he scored a unanimous decision over Windham’s Nate Charles.
“It was humbling to lose that first fight, but you learn so much from that. And then when I got my first win, I was able to appreciate it that much more,” he said.
The brothers have been relentless in their training since then, capitalizing on Davis’ experience and knowledge as well as that of Team Irish professional fighters Jon Lemke and Andrew Hughes.
“You’ve got to be dedicated,” said Jarrod Tyler. It’s all good to take a day or two to relax, but if you truly want to gain in mixed martial arts you have to keep at it. You have to throw your jab a thousand times, and then a thousand times more to perfect it, and then it’s never perfect.”
Often those jabs are thrown at each other during training sessions in that pursuit of perfection. Only once in two years has any anger flared, the brothers said.
“We punch each other in the face, so we’re bound to get angry,” said Jarrod Tyler, “but I have to realize that when he’s hitting me it’s not his fault, my hands have to get better, and if you look at it that way, you don’t get mad at each other.”
The Tyler brothers have plenty of additional family support with a large contingent of relatives routinely on hand to watch their fights.
And Jeremy Tyler has an extra familial voice right at cageside — his wife Sadie Tyler.
“With all the time I spent training, I wanted to show my appreciation, and I wanted her to be right there with me for my first fight,” he said. “With all the noise there, I happened to hear her voice over everyone else’s, so ever since then, we’ve had her relay the messages to me during the matches.”
Sadie Tyler — an insurance agent by day — welcomed the opportunity, not surprising given that she took up karate under her father’s tutelage at age 5. She earned her black belt by age 9.
“It’s brought back part of my past for me, and it’s really become a family thing,” she said. “We have a lot of respect for each other, so Jeremy knows if he hears me yelling something from the corner, he knows we’re saying what’s best for him.”
She also is an active participant in the cage between rounds, helping her husband relax his breathing and providing water while Davis offers instruction.
“I love Jeremy being in the sport, and him being in it shows a side of the sport that needs to be shown,” she said. “The sport already has the crazy, amped-up people, but the respect and the work ethic Jeremy brings to the sport is what it’s all about.”
The Tyler brothers aspire to join the professional ranks some day, and Davis expects both to be able to make that jump, good health permitting.
“When I started, it was just a hobby, but I fell in love with it and now I would love to go to the next level,” said Jeremy Tyler “Honestly that’s a decision where I have the benefit of having a former UFC fighter as a coach, so when he thinks it’s time, I’ll talk to him and my wife about that.
“But right now, when I look across the cage at the amateur level, it’s like my wife says every time before I go in there, ‘Hands up, chin tucked, and remember, nobody’s going to hit you as hard as Marcus or any of the other [Team Irish] guys.’ It’s paid off so far.”

Friday, April 4, 2014

PTWL MS Wrestling

By Bob McPhee

 AUGUSTA-the depth of a team can never be under estimated and Mountain Valley Middle School certainly proved the theory correct en route to winning the Pine Tree Wrestling League championships last Saturday at Cony High School.

Mountain Valley scored 135.50 points led by individual champions Anthony Mazza Jr. (87-pounds) and Ian Brennick (240) to fend off runner-up Troy Howard MS 118. The Hawks who led wire to wire won their first PTWL crown since 2010.

Host Cony (94) came on strong for third to edge out Oxford Hills 86. Dirigo (78) rounded out the top five behind champion Dalton Berry at 195.

''I've said it before that in order to win a tournament like this a team needs consolation wins,” MV coach Anthony Mazza said, who placed eight wrestlers in the top four of each weight class. “We had 11 wrestlers here today compared to other teams with seven or eight, so (depth) was a key. Every one of our wrestlers scored points. We had lost to Cony in a dual meet early in the season and it served as an eye opener for this team. They have been dominate ever since.''
Mazza Jr. breezed in the finals match with a 10-0 major decision against Austin Merrill of Skowhegan. Mazza, fifth grade, had battled back to win  8-6 overtime in quarterfinal match, finished 27-0.

Brennick, started wrestling three weeks ago, executed two escapes in a 2-0 decision to upset previously unbeaten and Avery Bradeen of Dirigo. Breeden set a school record with 24 pins in the first period.

The Hawks Evrit Roy (81), Nate White (99) and Isaac Therrien (155), each were finalists. White lost 4-0 to Samson Sirois of Skowhegan.  ''I'm really proud of these kids," coach Mazza said. ''This is the hardest working team I've ever coached. They weren't the most talented, but they worked and really stepped up.''

Dylan Desroches (110) and Michael Arsenault (170) each placed third and Isaac Voisine (137) was fourth.

Berry, unbeaten seventh grader, pinned Jared Taylor of Oxford Hills, in finals. Cougar teammate' Jon Wainwright lost 3-0 to Russell Damon of Oxford Hills in the 105 finals. Damon fended off a head-pry attempt by Wainwright that was whistled out of bounds.

''We hadn't seen many of the East teams, but we knew they had some (quality) wrestlers,'' Dirigo coach Dana Whittemore said. ''Dalton had his toughest match in the semi-finals (Jared Smith of Hancock. Still, we placed five of six wrestlers and a goal was to score over 70 points.''    Nolan Degroot (155) and Victor Verrill was fourth at 75. Verrill had decisioned Vinny DeRoche of Mountain Valley in the con-SF.

Oxford Hills was competitive with finalists Dylon Cobbett 123 and Dawson Stevens 155. Justin David was fourth at 111.

''We had a strong day,'' Oxford Hills coach Tony Stevens said. ''I can recall six years ago when there was three wrestlers on the entire team. Things are coming slowly and we still have some work to do.''

Cony edged out Oxford Hills with champions Noah Dumas 75 and Aaron Lettre 111. The Rams are coached by Nate Gurney who was on the 1996 Dirigo High School state championship team; the Cougars was then coached by his father Glenn Gurney.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Roots and history of Olympic wrestling

First milestones

The first real traces of the development of wrestling date back to the times of the Sumerians, 5000 years ago. The Epic of Gilgamesh written in cuneiform, the sculptures and the low reliefs, are numerous sources that reveal the first refereed competitions, accompanied by music. There are also many historical and archaeological traces of wrestling in Ancient Egypt. Among them, it is worth mentioning in particular the drawings discovered in the tombs of Beni-Hassan representing 400 couples of wrestlers. These drawings, as well as many other vestiges, witness the existence of corporations of wrestlers in Ancient Egypt, wrestling rules and refereeing codes.

For the Greeks, wrestling was a science and a divine art, and it represented the most important training for young men. Athletes wrestled naked, with their bodies coated with olive oil and covered with a layer of very thin sand to protect the skin from sunlight or from cold during winter. After wrestling, they scraped this layer off with an instrument called strigil and washed themselves with clear water. Fights were similar to those of freestyle wrestling, as shown by drawings and inscriptions from that time. The competitor who first threw his opponent or first brought him down - either on his back, hips, chest, knees or elbows - was proclaimed winner.

During the ancient Olympic Games, from 708 B.C., wrestling was the decisive discipline of the Pentathlon. In fact, it was the last discipline to be held – after the discus, the javelin, the long jump and the foot race – and it designated the winner of the Pentathlon, the only crowned athlete of the Games. The most famous of all wrestlers was Milon of Croton(student of the philosopher Pythagoras), six times Olympic champion (from 540 to 516 B.C.), ten times winner of the Isthmic Games, nine times winner of the Nemean Games, and five times winner of the Pythic Games. Legend has it that when he tried to splinter a tree with his own hands, his fingers got stuck in the split tree-trunk and he was devoured by a lion.

Rupture and restoration

Wrestling in Roman times was developed on the basis of the legacy of the Etruscans and the restoration of the Greek games. Wrestling was the favourite sport of young aristocrats, soldiers and shepherds. According to Classius Dion, the palestra was at the origin of the military success of the Romans. In 393, Emperor Theodosius I prohibited all pagan games and outlawed the Olympic Games. Olympic values sank into the dark Middle Ages, but they were always latent, without ceasing to exist. During Middle Ages and Renaissance, wrestling was practiced by the social elite, in castles and palaces. Numerous painters and writers celebrated wrestling and encouraged its practice: Caravaggio, Poussin, Rembrandt, Courbet, Rabelais, Rousseau, Montaigne, Locke, etc. It is also interesting to mention that the first book to be printed came out in 1500, and that already in 1512 came out the wrestling manual in color by German artist Albrecht Dürer.

The attempts made to restore the Olympic Games were numerous, but it was not until 1896 that they were re-established by Baron Pierre de Coubertin. After the creation of the International Olympic Committee in 1894, the development of new international sport federations and Olympic committees sped up. The first Olympic congress took place in 1894 at « la Sorbonne » and decided of the ten sports that would be part of the Olympic program: athletics, wrestling, rowing, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, weightlifting, swimming, shooting and tennis (see the congress minutes). During the wrestling tournament in Athens, there were no weight categories and all five competitors wrestled under rules similar to those of the professional Greco-Roman wrestling. The matches lasted until one of the competitors won. It was allowed to interrupt and resume the matches on the following day. The first Olympic champion – the German athlete Schumann – who was not a trained wrestler, was also the winner of horse jumping and parallel bars. Schumann succeeded to beat the English weightlifting champion Launceston Elliot, who was heavier than him, by executing a quick and accurate body lock.

In Paris, in 1900, and for this unique occasion in the history of the modern Olympic Games, the Games did not include wrestling in their program, even if at the same time, professional wrestling was at its best shape at the Folies Bergères and the Casino de Paris.

Professional Wrestling

Professional wrestling began in France around 1830. Wrestlers who had no access to the wrestling elite, formed troupes that travelled around France showing their talent. Wrestlers thus frequented wild animals’ exhibitors, tightrope walkers and bearded women. Showmen presented wrestlers under names such as “Edward, the steel eater”, “Gustave d’Avignon, the bone wrecker”, or “Bonnet, the ox of the low Alps” and challenged the public to knock them down for 500 francs. In 1848, French showman Jean Exbroyat created the first modern wrestlers’ circus troupe and established as a rule not to execute holds below the waist. He named this new style « flat hand wrestling ». Upon Mr. Exbroyat’s death in 1872, Mr. Rossignol-Rollin attorney from Lyon assumed the direction of this troupe and was soon noticed for his ability to advertise, to « arrange » matches and to reward wrestlers in the name of the audience.

The French influence extended to the Austrian Hungarian Empire, to Italy, to Denmark and to Russia and the new style circulated under the name of Greco-Roman wrestling, classic wrestling or French wrestling. Professional wrestling matches were thus organized everywhere in Europe with variable programs and competition rules according to the taste of wrestlers, of managers and of the audience. In 1898, the Frenchman Paul Pons, also named “the Colossus”, was the first Professional World Champion just before the Polish Ladislaus Pytlasinski. Some other great champions succeeded him, like the Turkish Kara Ahmed (the eastern Monster), the Bulgarian Nikola Petrov (the lion of the Balkans) or the Russian Ivan Poddoubni (the Champion of Champions).

At the end of the 19th century, professional wrestling was the most in vogue sport in Europe, but it started to degrade from 1900 because of the pre-arranged matches, the announcement of forgery, false victories and false nationalities of the competitors. The rediscovery of Olympic amateurism encouraged the creation of numerous clubs and schools that finished professional wrestling off. However, from a historical point of view, professional wrestling has its indisputable merits. Competitions contributed to making wrestling more popular, the physical aspect of wrestlers served as a model to young men and the training system allowed amateur wrestling clubs to rapidly become more structured.

Modern Olympic Wrestling 

In 1904, freestyle wrestling was first introduced during the St. Louis Games and was only disputed by American wrestlers. It was only during the fourth Olympic Games held in London in 1908 that competitions were organized for both styles. At the Stockholm Olympic Games in 1912, freestyle wrestling was again absent from the program and glima competitions (Icelandic wrestling) were organized. Wrestling matches took place on three mats in the open air. They lasted one hour, but finalists wrestled without limit of time. The match which confronted the Finnish wrestler Alfred Johan Asikainen and the Russian Martin Klein lasted 11 hours and 40 minutes and appears on the Guinness Book of Records. Both wrestlers, having the same score, were separated by two periods of three minutes of ground wrestling. The Russian finally defeated the Finnish who weighed 8 kilos (17.64 lbs) more than he did. Exhausted by this match, Martin Klein could not beat the Swedish Johansson who won the gold medal for the 75 kilos (165.35 lbs).

From this date, and encouraged by the newly created International Federation, wrestling developed in every country. Northern Europe countries maintained during many years the monopoly of Greco-Roman wrestling, whereas freestyle wrestling was largely dominated by the English and the Americans. In Amsterdam in 1908, the Egyptian wrestler Ibrahim Mustafa was the first African wrestler to win an Olympic title. The Japanese Shohachi Ishiiwon the first Asian title at the Olympic Games in Helsinki, in 1952. Numerous legends shaped the history of wrestling around the world and it would be impossible to name them all. However, four wrestlers have deeply changed the history of Modern Olympic Games by winning three Olympic titles: the Swedish Carl Westergren (Greco-roman wrestling in 1920, 1924 and 1932), the Swedish Ivar Johansson (Greco-roman and freestyle wrestling in 1932, and freestyle wrestling in 1936), the Russian Alexandre Medved (freestyle wrestling in 1964, 1968 and in 1972) and the Russian Alexandre Karelin (in 1988, 1992 and 1996). After obtaining his third title, Alexandre Karelin decided to conquer his fourth title at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000, but to the general surprise, he was beaten by the American wrestler Rulon Gardner. In 2002, during the World Championship held in Moscow, FILA awarded the title of Best Wrestler of the Century to both Russians : Alexandre Medved (for freestyle wrestling) and Alexandre Karelin (for Greco-roman wrestling), offering them the FILA Gold necklace, award generally reserved for heads of state.

A hundred years after the introduction of freestyle wrestling in the Olympic program, worldwide wrestling entered a new era with the acknowledgement of female wrestling as an Olympic discipline on the occasion of the Athens Games in 2004. This decision is part of the policy of the IOC that aims at establishing equality in sport, and legitimized the efforts made by FILA to sustain the development of female wrestling since the end of the 80s.

2014 Wrestling Camps

Appalachian State Wrestling Camps- July 6-9, Boone, NC
Army Wrestling Camps- July 6-24, West Point, NY
AWA Askren Wrestling Academy Camps- June 18-July 27, Hartland, WI
Auggie Wrestling Camps- June 13-26, Minneapolis, MN
Azevedo/Hitchcock Wrestling Camps- July 6-13, Olympic Valley, CA
Badger Wrestling Camps- June 22-July 2, Madison, WI
Brand Brothers' Wrestling Camps- July 9-12 (Raleigh, NC), July 27-29 (Orlando, FL)
Brown Wrestling Camps (Brown University)- June 29-July 12, Providence, RI
Bruce Baumgartner and Tim Flynn's World Class Camps- June 22-July 31, Edinboro, PA
Bucknell Bison Style Wrestling Camps- July 6-9, Lewisburg, PA
Bulldog Camps (The Citadel)- July 5-13, Charleston, SC
Camp of Champs (John and Ben Peterson)- June 8-July 13, Westboro & Juneau, WI
Cardinal Wrestling Camps (Stanford University)- June 16-July 2, Stanford, CA
Ken Chertow Gold Medal Camps- Various dates/locations year round
Clarion University Wrestling Camps- June 22-July 15, Clarion, PA
Cobber Wrestling Camps (Concordia College)- June 8-12, Moorhead, MN
Cornell Big Red Wrestling Camps (Bob Koll)- June 29-July 17, Ithaca, NY
Cozart Wrestling Camps- June 9-August 15, Brandon, FL
Roger W. Crebs Warrior Wrestling Camps- June 20-29, Williamsport, PA
Kevin Dresser Wrestling Camps (VA Tech)- June 15-July 25, Blacksburg, VA, GA
Elite Wrestling Camp- June 23-27, Bethlehem, PA
Florida Pride Wrestling Camps- June 15-20, Clearwater, FL
Fullerton Wrestling Camp- July 13-17, Temecula, CA
Get Bonafide Wrestling Camps (Chris Bono)- June 17-26, Brusly, LA and Jacksonville, FL
University of Illinois Wrestling Camps- June 15-24, Urbana, IL
Iowa State Wrestling Camps (Kevin Jackson)- June 22-July 25, Ames, IA
Journeyman Wrestling Camp with OSU's John Smith- June 29-July 1, Niskayuna, NY
Keystone Camp (York College)- June 22-25, York, PA
Lehigh Wrestling Camps- June 7-July 10, Lehigh Valley, PA
Lock Haven University Camps July 13-29, Lock Haven, PA
Luther College Wrestling Camp- June 16-July 23, Decorah, IA
Malecek Wrestling Camp- June 23-26, Wisconsin Dells, WI
Maryland Wrestling Camps (Kerry McCoy)- June 16-July 31, College Park, MD; Lewes, DE
McCallie Wrestling Camps- June 3-27, Chattanooga, TN
Michigan State University Camps- June 15-18, East Lansing, MI
Naval Academy Wrestling Camps- June 22-July 13, Annapolis, MD
University of Nebraska Camps- June 15-July 20, Lincoln, NE
New Jersey Lions Wrestling Camp- June 30-July 3, Ewing, NJ
North Idaho College Wrestling Camps- June 21-July 9, Coeur d'Alene, ID
Northern Illinois University Camps- July 23-27, DeKalb, IL
University of Northern Iowa Camps- July 15-20, Cedar Falls, IA
Northwestern Wildcat Wrestling Camps- June 26-July 10, Evanston, IL
Ohio State Buckeye Camps- June 22-July 17, Columbus, OH
Penn State Wrestling Camps- June 25-July 13, State College, PA
Pin2Win Camps (Gene Mills)- July 13-24, Estrella, PA
Purler Brothers Takedown Machine Camps- June 4-July 6, Troy, MO
Princeton Wrestling Camps- June 27-July 10, Princeton, NJ
J. Robinson (University of MN) Camps- June 5-August 9, various locations
Roehlig Wrestling Clinics and Camps- June 2-August 3, Canton, OH
Cael Sanderson's Wrestling Camp (Berry College)- June 14-17, Mount Berry, GA
Scarlet Knights Wrestling Camps (Rutgers University)- June 30-July 10, New Brunswick, NJ
Randy Simpson's Attack System Camps- June 22-July 8, Pataskala, OH
John Smith's Oklahoma State University Wrestling Camps- June 22-July 1, Stillwater, OK
Springfield Wrestling School- July 27-30, Springfield, MA
University of Tennessee-Chattanooga- June 15-29, Chattanooga, TN
Tigerstyle Wrestling Camps (Univ. of Missouri)- June 8-July 16, Columbia, MO
Utah Valley Wrestling Camps- June 9-13, St. George, UT
West Coast Wrestler Camps- July 28-August 8, Carlsbad and Vallejo, CA
Wildcat Summer Camp- July 21-24, Morgantown, WV
University of Wisconsin- La Crosse Eagle Excellence Camp- July 9-12, Lacrosse, WI
University of Wisconsin- Whitewater Wrestling Camps- June 17-July 12, Whitewater, WI
World Wrestling Camps- June 22-25, Wisconsin Dells, WI
University of Wyoming Wrestling Camps- June 8-15, Laramie, WY
Jim Zalesky Wrestling Camps- July 6-30, OR and WA
Avery Zerkle's Golden Cross Wrestling Camps- June 20-July 12, Springboro, OH

Great season for Del Gallo continues

The Gardiner grappler finished second at NHSCA Nationals in the 113-pound weigh class.

By Evan Crawley 
Staff Writer
Peter Del Gallo had hoped for a better showing at this winter’s New England High School Wrestling Championships.
click image to enlarge
GOOD DAY: Peter Del Gallo, left, wrestles Tyler Craig, of Skowhegan, at a match earlier this season. Del Gallo capped a standout season by finishing third at nationals in the 113-pound weight class last weekend at Virginia Beach.
Contributed photo

A Maine and New England champ in the 106-pound weight class as a freshman, the Gardiner High School sophomore was looking for a similar performance after taking the state title at 113 a few weeks prior. Unfortunately for the Tigers’ sophomore, he came out on the wrong end of a couple close matches and settled for fifth.
For most wrestlers, New Englands marks the end of the wrestling season, but for Del Gallo it served as a springboard towards success — not that he hadn’t enjoyed plenty already in his young high school career.
“It definitely did,” Del Gallo said by phone Tuesday evening of his finish at the Providence Career and Technical Academy in Providence, RI. “It was a motivator.”
This past weekend he traveled to Virginia Beach, VA for the 25th Annual NHSCA High School National Wrestling Championships, and came away with an impressive runner-up performance at 113-pounds in his age group. Del Gallo fell in the finals 4-3 on a last-second reversal against Missouri Class 2 champion Josh McClure, who went 34-0 this season.
Del Gallo was taken down in the opening period to fall behind 2-0, but quickly earned an escape in the second to cut the deficit in half. The Gardiner sophomore continued to push the pace, and managed to get a takedown before the end of the period to take 3-2 lead into the third. McClure chose down looking to get an escape to tie the match, but Del Gallo rode out the Fulton, MO grappler to maintain his lead.
Unfortunately for Del Gallo, the National title was not in the cards, as McClure hit a Peterson Roll with just two seconds remaining in the match to turn a one-point deficit into a one-point lead for the 113-pound championship.
While the result was not what Del Gallo had hoped for, it was nonetheless an impressive turnaround from New Englands as he put on a show in the opening rounds at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Del Gallo opened the tournament by demolishing Sean Watson of Chaminade High (NY) 16-1, trouncing Thomas Worthington High’s (OH) Tyler Norris 9-1 and rolling over Isaiah Whitley of Davie High (NC) 16-0 to make the quarterfinals.
“I was just in the groove,” Del Gallo said. “I felt good. I was on my offense a lot more than usual.”
In the quarters Del Gallo was tested for the first time in the tournament, as he battled Suffolk Division I champ John Arceri of Huntington High (NY) to a standstill through the first period. Arceri chose neutral for the second, but it was Del Gallo that got the upper hand with a takedown. He later doubled his advantage with a reversal in the third for the 4-0 victory. The semifinals proved to be more like the first three rounds for Del Gallo, as he crushed Ozzy Lugo of South Dade High (FL) 16-0 to book his date in the finals.
While the trip didn’t end with a championship, it was an experience both he and Gardiner coach Matt Hansen believe will do wonders for his confidence when he returns to wrestle in Maine.
“It gives you so much confidence when you come back into the state,” Hansen said Tuesday. “He does want to wrestle at the next level at Division I, and it’s such a tough accomplishment to wrestle at that level. This gives him the exposure he needs to maybe open some eyes.”
Only a sophomore, that next level is still a ways away, and for the time being Del Gallo’s focus is on becoming even better. He says he intends to next wrestle at the Empire Nationals Wrestling Festival Saturday, April 12 at the Brockport State Athletic Center in New York, as well as a handful of other tournaments during the spring and summer.
The goal will be to make a similar move in weight class by next season to the one he did this past winter.
“I see him jumping about one a year, but I’m, not worried if he jumps more than one,” Hansen said. “He’s strong, and he’s stronger than he looks. He’ll do the same thing probably next year that he did this year. Start at 126 and eventually work his way down to 120. He might even stay up in 126. He could wrestle [126] next year very easily and do outstanding.”
No matter what weight class he ends up settling in, it seems like the Peter Del Gallo’s best days still lay ahead.