LIFE LESSON

April 16, 2015

Joe Wells makes a difference in wrestling and life

By Steve Fraser

I write this article today with tears in my eyes and a heavy, heavy heart – in honor of one of my most beloved coaches of all time, Joe Wells. Joe recently was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Thinking his recent pain was due to the possible need for a hip replacement, Joe had no clue of the seriousness of his illness. In just a couple short weeks from being diagnosed; today – April 16, 2015 – as I was en route to catch a flight to Portland, Oregon to visit my former coach and friend, I received word from his wife, Cindia that Joe had passed. How can life change in such a short time?

Joe Wells, 67, was head coach of Oregon State University for 14 years. He influenced and/or coached many greats, such as Randy Couture (wrestling and MMA star) and Les Gutches (world champ). Joe led the Beavers to a Pacific-10 championship and guided them to four top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including a runner-up finish in 1995.

Joe, who has coached numerous World Teams for the United States, was a 1972 Iowa graduate. He was a two-time place winner in the Big Ten and was the 1976 U.S. Wrestling Federation freestyle champ.

Before Joe’s tenure at OSU he was assistant coach at the University of Michigan for many years. This is where I met him. Joe was my coach and training partner (at times) while I was in my senior year at Michigan, and while I trained for the Olympics and international competition in my post-college career.

This strong, tough, genuine, honest and extremely knowledgeable man influenced not only my life, but many other young wrestlers lives as well. He was a great coach that knew the game from top to bottom. He was extremely tough and had an ornery side to him that taught wrestlers how to be tough.

I can remember a training incident when Joe and I were wrestling, and as we were aggressively grappling and fighting for position Joe’s head bashed into mine. Now Joe was kind of known for his physical roughness, and in this particular practice session Joe came away with a one inch gash right above his left eye. Gushing a bit with blood, Joe said, “DANG IT (okay, not the exact words)!” With that, we wrapped his head with a bandage and continued to wrestle, until we were done, and it was time to go get about 10 stitches.

I owe Joe Wells much gratitude in helping me make the U.S. Olympic Team. In the 1984 Final Olympic Trials, Joe inspired and coached me in a very difficult situation. It was just prior to my final rubber match against Mike Houck, of the Minnesota Wrestling Club. Houck and I had had many, many very tough physical bouts throughout the years. We were close to 50/50 as far as who won those bouts. Needless to say, the Greco-Roman Olympic Team spot at 90 kilos could go either way in most people’s minds.

The moment of truth was upon us!

I won the first of the best-of-three matches.  Needless to say I was ecstatic! Then Houck won the second match. All of a sudden I found myself very depressed and down in the dumps. The pressure was getting to me. I started feeling sorry for myself and began to let myself have a defeatist attitude. And with only one hour away from the third and final bout that would determine the United States Olympic Team member, I was not in a good place!

Joe saw that my attitude was not right. He sat me down and talked me through this. He calmed my nerves and reassured me that I could win this thing. We chatted about how I had prepared, how I had sacrificed and what I needed to do right now! He even got me to laugh a bit. And it worked, I was back!

The sport of wrestling is so much more than just a simple sport. Wrestling is a lifestyle. Wrestling is a family. Wrestling is an activity that molds people into greatness. No matter the titles won or lost, wrestling develops a physical, emotional and mental strength that creates our human spirit and establishes a oneness among all the brave souls that dare to try it. Wrestling people are the true essence of what is good in this world! My hat goes off to this wonderful family we call “wrestling” and many heartfelt thank yous and farewells to this wonderful man – Joe Wells – for a lifetime of friendship, dedication and commitment to the children of our wrestling family. Joe Wells will be missed!

OFF SEASON FREESTYLE / GRECO

On Saturday April 18, 2015, eight Wantagh wrestlers made their way over to Clarke High School for a qualifier for the states. There are a few of these tournaments around Nassau County leading up the state competition. Of course if you place at the states you qualify for the Nationals in Fargo, North Dakota during the summer. The age groups are Cadet for 9th and 10th graders while the 11th and 12th graders are in the Junior Division. The younger wrestlers can wrestle at the School Boy Division.

The following wrestlers showed up: Mike Killard, Charlie Maier, Jonathan Loew, Kyle Schairer, Pat Smith, Larry Baker, Robert Marshall and Joe Russo.

There is another tournament this weekend at Cardozo HS in Queens as well as the Journeymen Dual’s near Albany. The weekend of May 1, 2015 is the Northeast Regionals in Strousberg, PA. That has wrestling starting Friday evening and going through until Sunday. The wrestlers in this competition compete in Freestyle and Greco and come from NJ, PA, Ct, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and a few other states.

WANTAGH’S TOM RYAN FINISHES ON TOP

As a former resident of Wantagh it was a great source of pride to see a local boy make good. Wantagh graduate Tom Ryan made good on his promise to bring an NCAA team title to Ohio State. After coming close – finishing 2nd on two occasions – the Buckeyes won comfortably with 3 finalists and 2 NCAA champions….one winning his 4th title!

Tom was a 3X Nassau County champ for Wantagh finishing 4,3,6 at states; (as a senior and ranked #1, he went down with an injury and med fft to 6th.) Off to Syracuse where he won an EIWA title at 150 before transferring to Iowa. After a deferred year, Tom was NCAA runner-up to 4X titlist Pat Smith of Oklahoma State and then finished his career placing 3rd both times at 158.

As a young coach, he built Hofstra into a powerhouse finishing 7th at the NCAAs before Ohio State came calling. A few weeks ago history was made as Tom became the first Nassau County wrestler/coach to coach a Division 1 NCAA team champion. That’s a big deal.

There are many folks from Wantagh who are beaming with pride over this tremendous accomplishment. Tom’s dad, Frank Sr, is genuinely one of the best guys there is. A tribute to the family for sure, but just for a moment lets’ recognize Tom Ryan for what he has accomplished in the sport of wrestling….it’s not something he would ever ask for but it is richly deserved.

On April 24th Tom Ryan will be the featured speaker at the Friends of LI Hall of Fame Dinner. One of the inductees will be Ron Russo, formerly of Seaford HS. My brother and I grew up with Ron and consider him family. Does it get any better than this? To honor our life-long friend and get to congratulate a Wantagh Boy made good? I don’t think so.

( WRITTEN BY FORMER WANTAGH GREAT  AND WRESTLER JOHN HENNING )

OTHER NEWS:

SORRY IT HAS BEEN A VERY BUSY TIME WITH THE SCHOOL BREAK AND THE HOLIDAYS. A RE-CAP ON THE STATES WAS OVERDUE. KYLE QUINN FINISHED HIS GREAT CAREER BY CAPTURING THIRD PLACE. KLYE LOST A CLOSE MATCH BY ONE POINT BUT CAME BACK AND FINISHED AS ONLY A WARRIOR COULD BY TAKING THIRD PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE. KYLE FINISHED HIS JOURNEY AT WANTAGH AS A SENIOR CAPTAIN, A STATE PLACER THREE TIMES IN A ROW INCLUDING A FIRST, SECOND AND A THIRD. HE WAS AN ALL AMERICAN AT THE NATIONALS FOUR YEARS IN A ROW.

A NUMBER OF WRESTLERS MADE THE TRIP TO VIRGINIA BEACH FOR THE NATIONALS. IT WAS NICE TO SEE NINE WRESTLERS COMPETITING: PAT SMITH, LARRY BAKER, NICK COPPOLA, KYLE QUINN, JONATHAN LOEW, MIKE KILLARD, NICK ROGERS, CHARLES MAIER AND KYLE SCHAIRER. OTHER WRESTLERS WRESTLED AT BALDWIN HS AND DID VERY WELL.

THERE ARE MANY OFF SEASON TOURNAMENTS UNDERWAY INCLUDING FREESTYLE AND GRECO AS WELL AS CLINICS, CAMPS AND OTHER EVENTS. THE TEAM IS LIFTING SEVERAL DAYS PER WEEK AND THERE ARE OPEN MATS. TAKE ADVANATAGE TO BE A CHAMP..

 

LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT BY STEVE FRASER OLYMPIC GRECO CHAMPION

Do You Love Wrestling?

By Steve Fraser

October – 2014

Do you really enjoy wrestling? Do you look forward to the fight? Do you long for the moment when you can get into a battle with that other wrestler?

Recently, I visited the University of Michigan’s wrestling room and practice. Michigan is where I got my college education and where I wrestled back in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. What a fantastic wrestling room they have now, named the Bahna Wrestling Center. This five-year-old facility is state of the art, from top to bottom.

After watching the practice, head coach Joe McFarland asked me to say a few words to the team. I could not help thinking how jealous I was to see all of these young guys soaking wet from sweat that was produced from this tough work out.

I had a “flash back” of when I was wrestling at Michigan. I remembered how much I loved to wrestle; how much I loved to mix it up with people like Mark Churella, a three-time NCAA champion and my teammate. Churella and I wrestled almost every single day. Talk about a tough training partner, Churella was the toughest!

Churella was also someone who loved the sport. He absolutely loved the act of wrestling. He loved learning new skills. He loved conditioning his body in a way that would crush his opponents. He loved the mental game. Churella loved all of it! And of course he taught me to love it as well.

Having fun with the sport of wrestling is very important in being successful at it. We must constantly remind ourselves to “Love the Battle.” We must love the process, love the fight and love the struggle as well as the breakthroughs. Loving success is easy. Loving the whole process of achieving success is what helps one to advance to a new level of competitive skill.

So have some fun this month. Think humorously to create those positive emotions. When you think goofy off the wall thoughts, your nervousness and fear will disappear. When your emotions start getting the better of you, internal laughter will put you back on track. Life is too short to be stressed out.

At first, Churella used to beat the living tar out of me. But because I stayed in there with him, coming back for more every day, I began to improve. Slowly, I started to give him a better fight and then eventually I improved enough to get him back, even with some of his own stuff.

For example, I was not a leg wrestler in high school, but before I knew it I was throwing legs in and successfully turning him (on occasion) and my opponents. To this very day, I know I shock many people (especially because most look at me as a Greco guy only) when I throw the legs in and turn them. Churella, as most know, was awesome with leg wrestling. Learning these new skills for me was fun.

Practice using your mental focus in the present time. Operate in the here and now, especially during competition. This will enhance your “ideal competitive state” and your talent and skill will come alive. During the battle, if you are thinking about the past or future it will hamper your ability to really open up and go for it. Enjoy the present moment and your performance will flourish.

Think energy, which is everything. Generating a high level of positive energy will create that “dynamic fight.” It will help you to heighten those positive emotions that will make you strong with confidence. Think “fun” and more positive energy will start flowing immediately. Say to yourself, “I love it! Isn’t this great! Show me the pressure!”

Churella always seemed to thrive on the pressure, the more the better.

When you get in that close match, remind yourself how you love it. You love the pressure, you love the excitement and you love putting it all on the line. For you, life would be too boring if you did it any other way. No holding back, no excuses, you are going for it. Do the best you possibly can. Wrestle to win it at all costs and then, win or lose, be proud because you gave it every ounce of everything you had.

 

WANTAGH WRESTLING ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER

OK THE SEASON IS OFFICALLY HERE. PRACTICE IS HERE. PLEASE NOTE THE SCHEDULE HAS BEEN CHANGED. 11/30/2013 IS A SATURDAY NOT A WEDNESDAY. MY BAD.

DONATIONS: WE HAVE RECEIVED SOME RECENTLY AND WE WANTED TO SAY THANK-YOU. IF ANYONE WANTS TO MAKE A TAX FREE DONATION TO THE WANTAGH WRESTLING CLUB WE ARE ALWAYS READY. DURING THE COURSE OF THE YEAR: WE FUND TWO TEAMS, RUN PRACTICES AND LIFTING ALL YEAR LONG, HAVE PURCHASED SIX WRESTLING MATS, PURCHASE CLEANING MATERIALS, UNIFORMS, HOTEL, TRAVEL, DISCOUNTED EQUIPMENT, TEE SHIRTS, ETC. WE ARE ALL ABOUT THE KIDS.  THANKS AGAIN IN ADVANCE.
RAY HANLEY, CELL 516-526-8632, MAILING ADDRESS PO BOX 7095 WANTAGH, NEW YORK, 11793.

SCHOOL WORK AND A TUTOR: ( GIVE YOUR CHILD THE BOOST HE OR SHE NEEDS. A FORMER TEACHER, SAT, ACT, STATE TESTING, WHATEVER YOU NEED )
HORIZON ENTERPRISES, WWW.COACH-2-ACHIEVE.COM
DR. MONA MARSHALL
2897 NOEL COURT, WANTAGH, NEW YORK, 11893
516-322-8675

ALUMUNI NIGHT IS BEING RE-DONE. WE WILL LET EVERYONE KNOW WHAT DATE, TIME, ETC WHEN WE SECURE THE NEW INFORMATION.

I AM DOING ALL THE POSTING ON THE WEB SITE. PLEASE MAKE SURE I HAVE THE NAMES SPELLED CORRECT. IF I LEAVE SOMETHING OUT CALL ME. I WILL ALSO POST SCORES AND KEEP THE RECORDS FOR THE TEAM. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK QUESTIONS. I WILL POST SCHEDULE, PRACTICES AND ANY OTHER CHANGES. PUT YOUR NAME ON THE E-MAIL LIST. 

Wantagh Wrestling is now on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/wantaghwarriorwrestling and follow us on Twitter  www.twitter.com/wantaghwrestle for up to date news and photos.

NCAA BANNED SUBSTANES

ANABOL AGENTS ( STERIODS )
ANDROSTENEDIONE
DHEA
NANDROLNE
TESTOSTERONE
THG ( TETRAHYDROGESTRINONE )
19-NORANDROSTENEDIONE AND RELATED COMPOUNDS

STIMULANTS
COCAINE
EPHEDRINE
METHAMPHETAMINE
SYNEPHRINE ( CITRUS AURANTIUM, ZHI SHI, BITTER ORANGE )
AND RELATED COMPOUNDS

STREET DRUGS
HEROIN
MARIJUANA
THC ( TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL )

DIURETICS AND URINE MANIPULATORS
BUMETANIDE
PROBENICD
FINASTERIDE ( PROPECIA ) AND OTHER COMPOUNDS

PEPTIDE HORMONES AND ANALOGUES
ERYTHROPOIETIN ( EPO )
HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE ( HGH ) AND RELATED COMPOUNDS

ANTI-ESTROGENS
CLOMIPHENE ( CLOMID )
TAMOXIFEN AND RELATED COMPOUNDS

BETA-2 AGONISTS
( PERMITTED BY INHALATION )
FORMOTEROL
SALMETROL

PRESCRIPTION MEDICINES*
ADDERALL, ANADROL, ANDROGEL, CYLERT, DEXEDRINE, EPOGEN, LASIX, OXANDRIN, RITALIN, TESTODERM
*MEDICAL PRESCRIPTION MAY BE GRANTED FOR REQUIRED USE WITH PROPER PRESCRIPTION.

NON-PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS
BRONKAID ( EPHEDRINE )
PRIMATENE TABLETS ( EPHEDRINE )

BANNED SUBSTANCES FOUND IN NUTRITIONAL / DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS
ANDROSTENEDIOL
ANDROSTENEDIONE
CAFFEINE
CITRUS AURANTIUM
DHEA
EPHEDRINE ( MA HUANG )
NORANDROSTENEDIOL
NORANDROSTENEDIONE
SYNEPHRINE

CHECK WITH YOUR ATHLETIC STAFF BEFORE USING ANY SUBSTANCES.. WWW.NCAA.ORG/HEALTH-SAFETY OR CALL TOLL FREE 877-202-0769

OTHER FEATURE ARTICLES: ALCOHOL AND THE EFFECTS ON THE ATHLETES BODY, CASINO NIGHT AT THE WANTAGH INN, 09/16/2011 AT 7:00 P.M. RESERVE YOUR SPOT.

ALCOHOL AND AFFECTS WITH SPORTS

Alcohol use cancels out gains from your workout: Everyone knows that working out while under the influence of alcohol is dangerous because of the likelihood of injury. However, few athletes realize that consuming alcohol after a workout, practice, or competition can cancel out any physiological gains you may have received from such activities. Not only does long-term alcohol use diminish protein synthesis resulting in a decrease in muscle build-up, but even short-term alcohol use can impede muscle growth.

FACT:  Alcohol causes dehydration and slows down the body’s ability to heal. Alcohol is a toxin that travels through your bloodstream to every organ and tissue in your body slowing your body’s ability to heal itself.

FACT: Alcohol use prevents muscle recovery. In order to build bigger and stronger muscles, your body needs sleep to repair it self after a workout. Because of alcohols effect on sleep, however, your body is robbed of a precious chemical called human growth hormone or HGH. HGH is part of the normal muscle-building and repair process. Alcohol can decrease the secretion of HGH by as much as 70%. Also drinking can trigger the production of a substance in your liver that is directly toxic to testosterone. Testosterone is essential for the development and recovery of your muscles.

FACT: Alcohol use depletes your source of energy. Once alcohol is absorbed through your stomach and small intestine and finally into your cells, it can disrupt the water balance in muscle cells, thus altering their ability to produce adenosine triphosphate ( ATP ) which is your muscles source of energy. ATP provides the fuel necessary for your muscles to contract. Alcohol also reduces energy sources by inhibiting a process known as gluconeogenesis in which glucose is formed from substances other than glucose. When alcohol is oxidized by alcohol dehydrogenate ( an enzyme ) it produces an elevation of NADH, which reduces the amount of co enzyme that is essential in the production of ATP. The loss of ATP results in a lack of energy and endurance.

WANT TO BE A CHAMPION ? DON’T DRINK…

NEXT UP: NCAA BANNED SUBSTANCES.

Written by Gina Fifth, MA., LMHC., NCC
Director: Alcohol and Drug Education and Luis G. Manzo PHD., Staff Psychologist and Coordinator of Alcohol and other Drug Treatment Services,
University Counseling Center

WINNING

OK HERE IS MY FORUMLA SINCE I HAVE BEEN WRESTLING. MAYBE NOT MY WORDS BUT AGAIN THE MESSAGE IS THE SAME. IT COMES FROM THE HEART.

KEYS TO WINNING…

1.         Be a Fanatic Trainer: Some guys are strong. Some are quick. They good ones  always train all year round and hard. Never stop.

 2.         The only moves that matter are the ones you actually do and do well at high speeds.

 3.         Defense wins: If you score you may win.. If he never scores you won’t lose.  Defense wins…

 4.         One Move: You should always have one move that you do well enough at high  speeds that you can do once on anyone.

 5.         Conditioning is career long: Never let yourself get out of shape. Do some type  of workout three times per week, all year long.

 6.         Every workout is important:  Wrestle the best you can every time. Wrestle like  a Champion Today.

 7.         Seek out the best competition: Work out with the best training partner you can find. Go to the toughest tournaments you can find. STEEL SHARPENS  STEEL.

 8.         Training Schedule: Running ( 3 miles or more, 3 times per week with some sprints ) weight lifting, hard and correct drilling of technique, situation wrestling, good diet and proper rest.

 9.         Goal: You must have a goal and a detailed plan to attain your goal. Then work your plan. Never compromise on your goals and it will happen.

  10.       Be loyal to your parents, teammates, Coach and most of all yourself.

WORDS OF WISDOM..

 “Through wrestling, through the hard work and the
sweat, through the victories and the defeats, we
learn a great deal about ourselves. Wrestling shows
you your limits, your weaknesses, your strengths
and, ultimately, you grow because of what
it shows you.” – J Robinson

“2011 Off-Season Match Count has Begun!!!”