Here we are, Week 3 of #AskNWW Wrestling Q&A. I’m thrilled this little experiment has made it this far.
Thank you all for reading, asking questions and engaging with my content. It has been a blast. Let’s keep it rolling.
Before we move ahead to this week’s questions, I want to remind you that you can join this conversation at any time by using hashtag #AskNWW on Twitter or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alright, let’s get after it:
From Steve Clark (via Twitter)
Do you see the weight classes changing any time soon? If so, how do you think they should break down?
Hi Steve, thanks for the question.
As you know, the atypically high number of forfeits in high school wrestling dual meets in this state is something that has troubled me for several years now.
Honestly, I do not see the number of weight classes or the specific weights of the classes changing any time soon.
I have come to see both sides of this issue a little more vividly since last season. But let me be clear about something: the number of forfeits we see in dual meets in Wisconsin is not a healthy thing for the sport. Even our state’s largest high schools consistently struggle to fill a 14-wrestler lineup during the postseason.
Now, personally, I want there to be as many opportunities for athletes to compete in wrestling at the high school and youth levels as possible. Eliminating weight classes could, in theory, be a detriment in that regard.
However, I cannot help but wonder how many kids are deterred from participating in the sport because their dual meet experiences are/would be miserable. How much fun is it to get on a bus for dual knowing that your team is plenty of points in the hole before they even step on the mat?
To me, it all comes down to how much you value dual meets. If that is something that’s important to you, we need to change up weight classes, whether it be structurally, numerically, or some combination of the two.
If duals don’t matter as much to you, we can probably leave everything as-is.
From Steve Clark (via Twitter):
You have to fill an 8-team tournament this year. Travel and divisions are not an issue, but all three divisions must be represented. What does that tournament look like?
This is a great question. I had a ton of fun thinking through this.
The top -ranked team in each division needs to be in, full stop. So that means Stoughton, Wrightstown and Fennimore are all in.
Out of D1, I definitely want Mukwonago. That team is stacked.
Give me Kaukauna, too. Those athletes are held to such a high standard and always compete hard.
While we’re at it, I have long been bullish on the core Burlington has built over the last two seasons.
So that makes six.
Stratford will wrestle anyone, anywhere. So they’re in.
Let’s round it out with Coleman – a quality program with a proud tradition that consistently produces quality wrestlers.
If we needed alternates (I know, I’m cheating now), Denmark, Hudson, and Ellsworth would be tops on my list.
From Brian Walters (via Twitter)
Are there any high school wrestling venues in Wisconsin you would consider intimidating?
Hi Brian, this is an awesome question. Thanks for sending it in.
Forgive me if this seems like a cop-out but I would pick the Kohl Center over anything else.
Reason being, I’ve seen more incredible wrestlers inexplicably falter there than anywhere else.
I’ve experienced this as a teammate and as a writer.
The Kohl Center has a way of tripping up some very good athletes at the most crucial tournament of the year. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a dual meet scenario in our state that replicates this level of peril for top-level competitors.