Thursday, July 6, 2017

Mark Perry and the Changing Arms Race in College Wrestling

It's now been a couple months since Iowa brought Mark Perry back to the school where he wrestled to head up the Hawkeye Wrestling Club. This club is for guys training for international freestyle competition, but its impact already appears as if it will reach far beyond that. The Hawkeye Wrestling Club bringing on Perry may seem like just one extra guy to help out, but it is actually just the first domino in what will help Iowa lead in college wrestling's arms race.

The University of Iowa wrestling team and the Hawkeye Wrestling Club are two distinct entities. They don't even train the same style of wrestling as the Iowa Hawkeyes wrestle folkstyle and the HWC wrestles freestyle. That being said, there is only one wrestling room where these two train, and folkstyle and freestyle isn't that different where the two sides can't help each other out.

Although Perry isn't a coach for the Iowa Hawkeyes, he's still going to be in the room, and he's still going to be helping guys out, even if he isn't on the side of the mat during their matches. Perry was also known as a strong recruiter when coaching college, and even though he can't directly recruit high school wrestlers, he can still be an influential force when they visit campus. He's already helped out in convincing Justin Mejia to commit to Iowa after things fell through with his commitment to Illinois.

The University of Iowa wrestling team is taking full advantage of having another team training for freestyle. The HWC now boasts an impressive collection of talent. They have former Hawkeyes, Nathan Burak, Bobby Telford, Matt McDonough, Dan Dennis, Sammy Brooks, Alex Meyer, and World Team Member, Thomas Gilman. They have also added Nick and Chris Dardanes as well as former NCAA Champion, Jesse Delgado. That last one is the most interesting as it is the earliest benefit of bringing on Perry as Delgado was coached by Perry when he was an assistant at the University of Illinois. With that collection of talent, the lower weights are stacked, the upper weights are in good shape, and the middle weights are solid right now. And speaking of those middle weights, there is a good chance that Isaiah Martinez, a guy who has the chance to be a three-time NCAA Champion this year, comes to the HWC after graduating because of his relationship with Perry. It has the potential to be a ridiculous amount of talent in that wrestling room.

But Iowa isn't alone in this. The elephant in every wrestling room is Penn State, and they're building a formidable group of guys that were formerly coached in college by Cael Sanderson. Ohio State, Oklahoma State, and Nebraska all have brought on a lot of talent with their freestyle wrestling clubs that have benefited the university teams.

In wrestling, there is a limited amount of scholarship money you can hand out to strengthen your team. By having a wrestling club, you are bringing more talent into the room to help your team grow. Iron sharpens iron, and with the Hawkeye Wrestling Club, the University of Iowa has a whole lot more iron at its disposal to help sharpen their wrestling team. 

No comments:

Post a Comment