The Rich Get Richer: NLOI Day Expected to Favor Traditional Powerhouses

Hey everyone,

I had a few hours to kill before “House”, “Dancing With the Stars” (Yes, I watch that), and the Duke/Georgia Southern basketball game came on, so I thought I’d do a little writing to keep myself entertained.

It is approximately 6pm here in Levittown, which means that we are officially six hours away from the start of one of my favorite days of the year, National Letter of Intent day. For those of you who are not familiar with it, NLOI day is like an early Christmas for college coaches. It is the first day that an athlete is able to sign on the dotted line and formally commit to the college/university of their choice. No more verbals; tomorrow marks the beginning of the real deal.
Continue reading “The Rich Get Richer: NLOI Day Expected to Favor Traditional Powerhouses”

An Interview with Howie Greenblatt (Part I: The Man)

I decided to start by interviewing Howie Greenblatt, the Head Coach of MacArthur High School for the past 24 years. During this time at the head of Nassau County’s current wrestling dynasty, Greenblatt has remained so modest and focused on the objective at hand that hardly have we heard a word about the man or his team first concept outside of the occasional rumor and/or idol forum chatter. For this reason, as well as the fact that the Generals are coming off of their 7th County title, I perceived Howie to an ideal subject to profile.

Because of a lack of sufficient coverage of the sport of wrestling by Newsday and/or other local media outlets, I’ve long wanted to be the one who finally brought the sport into the mainstream through the introduction of home grown coverage …I decided to start by interviewing Howie Greenblatt, the Head Coach of MacArthur High School for the past 24 years.  During this time at the head of Nassau County’s current wrestling dynasty, Greenblatt has remained so modest and focused on the objective at hand that hardly have we heard a word about the man or his team first concept outside of the occasional rumor and/or idol forum chatter.  For this reason, as well as the fact that the Generals are coming off of their 7th County title, I perceived Howie to an ideal subject to profile.

This being my first foray into the art of the interview, I must say, had I know in advance what I was getting myself into, I may have never done it.  The work load is tedious and abundant.  When all was said and done, I must have put a solid 20 hours of effort into this piece.  Continue reading “An Interview with Howie Greenblatt (Part I: The Man)”

The PROGRAM part I

Before we get into the program we have to speak of several issues. As with any work out program or sports activity, you must get the proper MEDICAL CLEARANCE from a doctor. Make sure you lift with the proper supervision, equipment and spotters. Don’t attempt anything if you are unsure on how to do it. First, get instruction from a knowledgeable person.

Before we get into the program we have to speak of several issues. As with any work out program or sports activity, you must get the proper MEDICAL CLEARANCE from a doctor. Make sure you lift with the proper supervision, equipment and spotters. Don’t attempt anything if you are unsure on how to do it. First, get instruction from a knowledgeable person.

Also, make sure your equipment is in good working order and the area is clear and unobstructed. Always remember why you are training. You are training to become a better wrestler and/or other athlete. Stay within your limits and make slow steady weight increases. DO NOT sacrifice good form and proper RANGE OF MOTION(ROM), for heavier weights.

Wear the proper attire when training. We will discuss this a little later in this article. Make sure that you and others are not fooling around when someone is engaged in lifting. In other words, use some common sense and if you don’t have any, find someone who does to help you.

This program is set up for the athlete or team that is training at their school’s work out facility. I have used it for many years with several schools and sports programs. I last used this program in a school setting while working at Plainedge High School. Many have talked about the impact that this program brought to the school.

For example, the year I got there the football team was coming off a poor year, going 1-7 if memory serves me correctly. The wrestling team was also just very average at the time. Within 3 years of implementing this weight training program, combined with the athletes’ commitment and all the coaches hard work, the football team made the county finals and the wrestling team became a perennial power in Nassau County.

What I have done is modify the current program I use to better suit the availability of your average high school weight room. It is a 4 day program that is done on Mon., Tues., Thurs., and Fri. This should make it viable for most schools. It is divided into two lower and two upper body days. Mon. and Thurs. for lower body and Tues. and Fri. for upper.

Let’s talk about what you need to start. You must wear the proper clothes. I understand that shirts to your knees, shorts to your ankles that are 6 sizes too big so your ass is hanging out might be all the rage and you got to look fly. Here though we are not trying to impress the ladies, we are getting ready to work out. The clothes you would wear to wrestling practice should be fine.

The first thing you need is the right shoes. Converse Chuck Taylors(All-Stars) have become a cult favorite amongst Powerlifters. The soles are flat, which is a requirement. They come in the High Top version and this gives plenty of ankle stability. You can find them at most places that sell sneakers for relatively cheap, which is also good. If you have a pair of, dare I say… basketball sneakers that are similar, they will work fine. Some wrestlers will wear their wrestling shoes if they don’t have anything better.

The next thing you need is a notebook to record your work out. I always joke that you can commandeer one of your notebooks from school because this is important. With what’s happening in education these days I am not so sure this is a joke anymore. Just in case, go and buy a MARBLE notebook dedicated to your work out records. You will record the day, date, lifts performed with the weights used and repetitions completed.

This is all you will need to get started, don’t go out and waste money on a bunch of garbage. When it comes time to get a belt I can help you with what you need and where to get it. Absolutely do not buy those funny looking gloves that you see some people wearing. You know right away that they are not serious about training.

Lets get started, Monday is a lower body day and we start right off with the KING. When you Squat you should be doing it in a POWER RACK with the safety bars set at the correct height. This is an important safety issue and can not be over emphasized! The safeties should be set just under the bar height when you are at the lowest part of the squat. This can be the difference between a serious injury or being “saved” as the bars can catch the weight if you have any problems and can’t finish the lift.

You MUST BE TAUGHT THE PROPER WAY TO SQUAT! In the future, I have planed videos on proper lifting techniques. Until they are available I welcome everyone to come down so I can work with you on proper form. I do not know and therefore can not recommend anyone on LI outside of my gym that teaches proper lifting technique. Please, if you feel that you are qualified contact me! I would love to spread the word of your availability to all who visit our site.

Everyone goes through the warm ups listed in TRAIN III. This is your GENERAL WARM UP. We will start here with 10 sit ups on the slant board. 10 is just a starting number! If 10 is real easy, by all means do more. With side bends start light and add weight till you find the right amount that is somewhat challenging for 10 reps on each side. Do reverse hypers in the same general manner, that is add reps or weight as you can.

NOTE: if you do not have a Reverse Hyper Extension machine, do regular hyper extensions. If neither is available you will have to go to other options. please contact me and I will try and help you find the best option in your gym.

You then go to the specific warm ups for the exercise you are going to perform. Everyone warms up with the bar 1st. Young athletes may feel funny about this. I guess they think people will see them and make fun of them? Let me tell you that many big time lifters that I have watched, competed with and against warm up with the bar as do I and everyone who trains with me.

The reasons are simple, you want to warm the muscles and joints that are about to get worked hard. It is the same as wrestling, you don’t go right into live wrestling before warming up. Also, I like to see that the proper technique is being performed with the light weights. For example, and especially with a wrestler, you may have gotten “banged up” a little in practice. Your mentality is to shake it off and keep practicing! That is fine and something I would expect, but if it affects your lifting we want to know early on to prevent any possible injuries.

The amount of warm up sets usually depend on the amount you can lift. The more you lift, the more sets you will need to do before you get to your WORK SETS. Let me list what a warm up may look like for someone who is Squatting 225 for his 1st work set. Bar x 10, 95 x 10, 135 x 10, 185 x 10, then 225. While another person who is Squatting say 115 for his 1st work set might be, bar x 10, 75 x 10, 95 x 10 and then 115.

I am recommending 10 rep.(repetitions) sets. This is not a magical number but a good middle ground to start. By that I mean that you will be able to handle a fair amount of weight and still get plenty of repetitions which is very important. We want to build a strong foundation for future gains to be built on. Once again just like wrestling you want to get in a lot of practice reps. which is like drilling your shots over and over perfecting your technique.

The old saying comes to mind, I am sure you may have heard it. Practice makes; how does that go again? Oh yeah, practice makes perfect, right? Wrong! Practice makes permanent, and only perfect practice will make perfect. you must execute your lifts with proper technique. Whether in the wrestling room or the weight room, don’t just “go through the motions” you’re wasting your time.

After Squats you will move on to some assistance work. Here you will be able or might be able to make several choices. I would recommend Glute/Ham Raises if you have one, if not do Leg Curls. Do 4 sets of 10 repetitions(4 x 10). Then choose 1 of the following Step ups, lunges, 1 legged Squats and do another 4 x 10 with each leg. I would not add weight but rather add repetitions if the set is easy. That is to say, do 15-20 or even more reps.

When you start out take your time. Like all things there will be a learning process that you must go through. Many, if not all athletes who start with me will spend much of there first few work outs mainly doing the squat. We will spend a great deal of time just teaching the proper techniques. I will start out having them squat WITH NO WEIGHT just to make sure they have it down pat.

We then go to squatting with the bar and add weight according to each athletes ability until we find the proper weight for his work sets. THE AMOUNT OF WEIGHT YOU START WITH DOES NOT MATTER!!! Proper technique is all you should worry about. If you stay dedicated to this program you will begin to get strong very fast. Within a few months you will see some great gains.

For example, I had an athlete start with me who was a big kid at over 6 ft. and 330lbs. It was a struggle at first for him do to his size to control the bar and squat 95lbs! In less then 2 years he started develop into his great potential and was squatting between 365-385 for 10. the whole time I would tell him to “just stick with it- it will come”. As DR. KEN LEISTNER would say ” it is not the destination, but the journey.”

I will end part one here, hopefully you will make the commitment to dedicate yourself to becoming the best. Proper weight training will dramatically increase your strength levels, giving you an advantage over your opponent on the mat. Contact me if you need help, GOOD LUCK Coach Ellinger

From On the Mat to A Book Review By Matt: “Wisdom From The Corner”

When I introduced this column, you may remember that I mentioned that I would be throwing in the occasional book review for your entertainment. Since Hofstra does not make their season debut until the weekend and the high school season is still approximately a month a way, I figured that today would be as good a day as any to present my first installment of “From On the Mat to A Book Review By Matt.” Yes, I do realize how long winded this title is. Therefore, in subsequent editions, I will refer to it simply as “FOTMTABRBM.” I am not a master of religions, but to me, my abbreviation looks like something you’d find in an untranslated version of the Tanak.

Hello again everyone.

When I introduced this column, you may remember that I mentioned that I would be throwing in the occasional book review for your entertainment. Since Hofstra does not make their season debut until the weekend and the high school season is still approximately a month a way, I figured that today would be as good a day as any to present my first installment of “From On the Mat to A Book Review By Matt.” Yes, I do realize how long winded this title is. Therefore, in subsequent editions, I will refer to it simply as “FOTMTABRBM.” I am not a master of religions, but to me, my abbreviation looks like something you’d find in an untranslated version of the Tanak.

I am sure at this point, everyone is wondering, Matt, why are you dropping references to Hebrew literature? The answer happens to be that religion, or more specifically, Christianity, is one of the core elements of my choice of books, Wisdom from the Cornerby Jose Campo.
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If the Campo names sounds familiar to a lot of you, it should. Jose is the son of legendary NYS/Brentwood High School Wrestling Coach, Joe “the Gov” Campo. Like his father, Jose is a man who has dedicated his life toward developing and bettering the lives of so many through the utilization wrestling as his tool. Thousands of young boys have grown into successful men because they had Jose in their lives, inspiring them to seek a greater and more fulfilling lifestyle.

If you are looking for a wrestling book, there are many I’d be happy to recommend for you. However, if this is the case, then Wisdom from the Corner is not the book for you. This work of literature is not about wrestling, It’s about life–pressures, struggles, bad decisions, repentance, triumphs, etc…that encompass all of our lives at one time or another.

Part I of this work is a biographical accounting of Campo’s life. His story begins with him talking about how for as long as he can remember, all he ever wanted to do was follow in his father’s footsteps and make him proud. Unfortunately, having been born into a family where perfection was the only acceptable outcome, he spent the majority of his high school and college years feeling like he was a disappointment to his father. While Jose himself did enjoy a modicum of success, both on and off the mat, he was never able to match the resume of his older brother, Mike, a former Suffolk County Wrestling Champion. Whereas Mike was always the best at any activity that he undertook, Jose was the one who seemed to be the perennial runner-up. Hence, due in large part to the fact that he knew his father only valued winners, Jose was tormented by the believe that as an athlete, he would never be able to earn his father’s respect and admiration. Therefore, he set his sights on winning his father’s love the only other way he knew how, by enrolling at the United States Military Academy (West Point), an institution that his father held in such high regard that he served as a recruiter for the school during his time as a high school coach. Little did Jose know that entering ‘Army” would be a decision that would cause his life to fall deeper and deeper into shambles.

From the moment he stepped foot on the Military Academy campus, Jose hated it. To make matters worse, Mike, who Jose idolized as most little brothers do, was a senior at the academy and was permitted certain freedoms that “plebes” were not afforded. Therefore, with his only connection to happiness off on holiday leave, Jose, along with several of his schoolmates, began to dull his misery by indulging in heavy drinking and pot smoking. This was a lifestyle that would consume Jose well after he had been dismissed from West Point in 1976 following the most notorious cheating scandal in Academy history. It was a pattern of behavior that he took with him when he enrolled at Southern Connecticut State College, acting as a student coach, as well a habit he held onto after accepting a position on the Yale University coaching staff, and later the Head Coach position at Martin County High School in Florida.

It was only after moving to California at the urging of a friend, former Iowa State wrestler, Bob Antonacci, that Jose experienced a turning point in his life. While living with Bob and his wife, Campo discovered that he old pal had everything in life that he ever wanted. Thus, it became logical to ask the question, Bob, how have you enjoyed such good fortune? Antonacci’s response, “I just followed my Christian believes and let God do to me as he may.” It was this exchange that ultimately set Jose on his way toward towards welcoming the Lord into his life….The decision to do so, would end up making all of he difference in his life…It is Jose who now has been given everything he ever desired and more!!!

A high school teacher and coach (mostly in the state of California) for close to 30 years, Jose describes himself as having the perfect wife, as well as two lovely daughters. As a family, they live each day as messenger’s from God. They spread the good news and express the importance of living a Christian lifestyle. Jose continues to dedicate a significant portion of his time to acting as a representative for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. His mission is to introduce Christ into the lives of others so that they may enjoy the triumphs that he himself has and will ever enjoy.

In Part II, Coach Campo talks about the four keys to success. They are as follows:

-Dedication

-Education

-Affiliation

-Living a Good Lifestyle.

For each component, Campo provides the reader with a collection of tales from his own life which demonstrates the importance of each. In doing so, the reader is introduced to inspiring individuals such as Mike Champagne, a wrestler who through hard work overcome autism to become a state qualifier in his senior year of high school. Later, Chapagne would go on to enjoy a success career in the United State Marine Corps.

A few of the Other stories that I enjoyed included:

“Biting My Tongue” which talks about how Jose almost lost his tongue in a wrestling match because he refused to listen to his father/coach who repeatedly advised him not to compete with it sticking out of my his mouth. From this story, I learned the importance of giving my mentors/instructors the respect that they deserve. I know enough to know that I don’t know everything. Therefore, it is only in listening to the people who has gone before me that I will be able to capitalize on their experience/knowledge and maximize my level of success.

“Dad’s Heart attack At the State Meet” which is a recounting of when Joe Campo had a heart attack while visiting his son at the California State tournament. This story helped me to remember that while I may love wrestling and do tend to get caught up in it more often then I should, at the end of the day, there are more important things in this world than wrestling…Equally, it demonstrated just how passionate Joe Campo was about wrestling. Despite the ailment, the elder Campo refused much medical assistance so that he could make it back to the arena to watch the semi finals.

“Thifty Drugs”- This story talked about two seniors that Jose coached who did everything correct on the mat, but off the mat, behaved immaturely and set a poor example for their younger teammates. As a result, when it came time to compete at the county tournament, these two wrestlers failed to achieve their goals, while a pair of sophomores who did act accordingly, went on became state qualifiers—This tale was the perfection example of how in order to achieve, all areas of your life have to be in harmony and carried out with only positive intentions. In other words, what you do off the mat will without any doubt, impact your ability to perform well on it.

To close the book, Jose provides the readers with stories of how he has seen the Lord working in his life and he lives of those around him. A select few that resonated with me were:

In “A Return to West Point” Jose talks about how Christ gave him the strength to return to the scene of perhaps his greatest failure. By being afforded the opportunity to stand on those campus grounds, Jose says that he has been able to add a sense of closure to this dark period in his life. He knows that Christ has forgiven him. Now, he was able to say sorry to West Point for not being everything he promised to be. In addition, during his visit to the campus, Coach Campo was given the opportunity to preach to the cadets. In hearing his words, he is hopeful that the cadets will come to realize that even in struggle, they are never alone.

“Johnny Jones” addressed the believe that it does not matter if your opponent knows what you are going to do. As long as you place your faith in the Lord and lead the proper lifestyle, you will be blessed with success. Here, John Jones, an Iowa State wrestler, went to a warm up session a few days prior to the start of the NCAA championship and offered to show anyone who wanted to see it, his prized move. Jones had no problem sharing the move because he believed that the Lord would repay him for all of the loyalty he had shown…Jones finished as an NCAA finalist that year.

What I most enjoyed about this book, was the sense that it could be applied to anyone’s life. While Christianity may have been a central theme, I don’t think it was essential to be a Christian in order to absorb the lessons that Coach Campo is talking about. One does not need to follow a certain religion in order to lead a quality life. As long as they commit themselves to a goal, work hard to accomplish that goal, and remember to seek a higher power in times of defeat, you will be a success.

Overall grade: B+—Above I stated that being a Christian is not prerequisite for reading this book. I stand by those words. However, I must admit, that if I was not already a practicing Roman Catholic, at times this book would come across like too much of an attempt at converting me.

I much would have rather that Coach Campo let the life lessons speak for themselves without always bringing Christ into the equation. Other people (both earthly and beyond) can serve as one’s higher power. For example, to my grandfather, the spirit of my grandmother is the higher power; To a medical doctor, the higher power is the confidence that all of the years of diligent researching will enable them to heal…Put another way, the important thing is to have a higher power, not to have the same superior power as Mr. Campo.

Part 3: The Interview with Neil J. Alton

This is final part of the three part series of Lighthouse Wrestling’s interview Neil Alton a former Long Beach wrestler for Paul Gillespie and father of Dylan and Andrew Alton, two of the top High School wrestlers in the country.

Dylan (Left), Andrew (right)
Dylan (Left), Andrew (right)

This is final part of the three part series of Lighthouse Wrestling’s interview Neil Alton a former Long Beach wrestler for Paul Gillespie and father of Dylan and Andrew Alton, two of the top High School wrestlers in the country.

Note, this article is divided into pages.  Click the page number at the bottom to advance through all the pages.

LHW: Did the boys ever feel like they were missing out on family events- parties, nights out with there friends, etc? Did you leave the choice up to them to miss these events? Continue reading “Part 3: The Interview with Neil J. Alton”

Which NYS Dual Meet Teams Will Finish Top 10 in 2009?

Which NYS teams will finish in the top ten dual meets in 2009? Pick your top ten. If you pick other, please follow up with a comment and identify the team that you recommend to be in the top 10 for NYS in 2009. If you would, order the top 10in the comments after you submit your top 10 selections.

Which NYS teams will finish in the top ten dual meets in 2009?  Pick your top ten.  If you pick other, please follow up with a comment and identify the team that you recommend to be in the top 10 dual meet teams for NYS in 2009.  If you would, order the top 10 in the comments after you submit your top 10 selections. Continue reading “Which NYS Dual Meet Teams Will Finish Top 10 in 2009?”

Part 2: The Interview with Neil J. Alton

Lighthouse Wrestling wanted to interview Neil Alton in order to find out how a former wrestler from Long Island could develop his two children into two of the best wrestlers in the country. This is the second part of three part questions with Mr. Alton.

 

Alton Twins at Manheil Holiday Tournament
Alton Twins at Manheil Holiday Tournament

This is part 2 of Lighthouse Wrestling’s interview Neil Alton a former Long Beach wrestler for Paul Gillespie and father of Dylan and Andrew Alton, two of the top High School wrestlers in the country.

Note, this part is divided into four pages; at the bottom, click the page number to navigate through the pages.

LHW: How did Dylan and Andrew get involved in wrestling?

Mr. Alton:  Being born twins they were always wrestling even in the crib sometimes. Or on their beds at home, and on the living room floor. My wife was always yelling at them to knock it off, especially when they involved their sisters. The boys got started in wrestling when they were six almost Seven years old. I owned a Fitness Center called Fitness Unlimited and I always watched the boys after school while working at the gym. They were constantly fighting behind me at the desk and I was always breaking them apart while dealing with my customers.  

It used to be a real pain in the [butt] sometimes, because when I would break them apart it only lasted a minute or two before they were back at it. I would get so mad sometimes I think my customers probably thought I was an abusive parent. Sometimes my Daughters where there to help me, but then they want to wrestle or fight them too. They just loved the physical contact. I can’t tell you how many Babysitters we went through, who just gave up because it became too much to keep them separated.

Then one day a state trooper who worked out at the gym saw them going at it and said I should get them involved in wrestling. I laughed and thought he was joking, but he wasn’t. I brought them to practice the next week and that’s when they started. In NY kids start wrestling in the Junior High, at least that’s what I thought. When I brought the kids to practice I couldn’t believe what I saw. Kids 6-12 years old hitting High C’s, sit outs, switches, etc… I knew then that my sons would fit right in, and they loved it as soon as they started it.


LHW: How many days per week did your kids train as youths? What kind of regime would you recommend for young wrestlers?

Mr. Alton:  They were always active and have lifted in the weight room since they were seven years old. I followed Wayne Westcott’s theory on youth’s lifting weights. It turned out to be one of the best things I ever did. So an answer to your question is they should train all the time year round, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be in the wrestling room. While in season in the elementary program they would meet Three times a week to practice. Once in a while I would take them to another wrestling room and work with them on some of their weaknesses and strength’s.

They have wrestled Freestyle since they were Seven years old, but they never practiced because of other sports they were involved in. They would learn a lot by just going and watching the older guys wrestle in between their matches. Then they would try to do what they saw while at the tournament. 

A good regime for a youth wrestler I think is three days a week in the wrestling room (during season), then one day or possibly two during freestyle. Also two days doing some type of strength training program (but keep it short and sweet and make it fun when training for strength – somewhere between 15-30 minutes). Competition on the weekends.

An Intervew with Neil J. Alton

Lighthouse Wrestling wanted to interview Neil Alton in order to find out how a former wrestler from Long Island could develop his two children into two of the best wrestlers in the country. Was it the coaching, genes, the water they are drinking in Pennsylvania? …

Dylan (Left), Andrew (right)
Dylan (Left), Andrew (right)
Lighthouse Wrestling wanted to interview Neil Alton in order to find out how a former wrestler from Long Island could develop his two children into two of the best wrestlers in the country. Was it the coaching, genes, the water they are drinking in Pennsylvania? How and why have these wrestlers dominated the sport? This interview will answer these questions and more.

There have been quite a few successful brother teams who have excelled in the high school and collegiate wrestling ranks.  Most notably have been Ben and John Peterson in the mid seventies, Ed, Lou and Steve Banach in the eighties and most recently the Brands (Tom/Terry), Smith (LeRoy/John/Pat/Mark) Scherr (Jim/Bill), Bonomo (Ricky/Anthony “Rocky”), Steiner (Troy/Terry) and Paulson (Travis/Trent) brothers to name a few…Now, we have a new tandem, Andrew and Dylan Alton of Central Mountain High School in Pennsylvania. Continue reading “An Intervew with Neil J. Alton”

TRAIN part III

Moving forward with part three I would like to go back to the beginning, WARM-UPS. I have all the athletes who train with me start by doing the proper warm-ups. The warm-ups we do target the CORE specifically. Now the word core has been thrown around lately in the fitness industry. It is one of those “buzz” words that became real popular, and then gets misinterpreted or misused.

When I refer to the core, I am talking about the body’s midsection. We target the entire abdominal muscles and the lower back. The warm-ups are simple enough that once an athlete is taught, he can move about hitting each exercise on his own. We do these in circuit fashion, which means to move from one exercise to another. This gets the heart rate up and the blood flowing. I usually have them go three times through the circuit. I have a minimum of 3 exercises that they must do.

Many of the veteran kids will do more warm-up sets and/or exercises. The warm-ups accomplish several different things; A) the athletes have an immediate direction and work to get done when they enter the gym, B) it works on the most important aspect of getting extra work-outs in: SELF DISCIPLINE, C) it warms the entire body up, and D) the most important thing it does is strengthen the midsection and prevent injuries!

SIT UPS, are 1st on the list. We use a slant board, but if you don’t have a board available you can do them right on the floor. Please note: I said SIT-UPS, I meant SIT-UPS. It baffles me how when EVERY team that I have seen (and I have seen most on LI), the coach says SIT-UPS, wrestlers do crunches. Some genius somewhere must have read how crunches are better then sit-ups. I love the answers I get when I ask, “Why are they doing crunches?” Coach, “it targets the abs. doesn’t involve the hip flexors, and sit-ups are bad for your back.”

I’m not going to go into how ridiculous this is. What I will say is, the real reason they do them is because they are easy and you let them! Watch the wrestlers doing these crunches! They go from bad, where the shoulders barely come off the mat, to worse. I like to call them “turtles”, because they look like a turtle on his back with his head moving but nothing else. Bottom line, if you train like some lady in spandex in an aerobics class, don’t expect great results on the mat.

The second exercise I would like to discuss is side bends. Hold a dumbbell in 1 hand and bend to that side so the dumbbell goes down the side of your leg to about your knee. Then straighten back up using the oblique muscles on the opposite side of your body. Do 10 reps., switch hands, and repeat. You have now hit the front and side of your midsection (CORE).

Now we need to hit the lower back and this is where a “special” exercise comes into play. We do REVERSE HYPEREXTENSIONS(white machine pictured in this article). We have at our gym a Reverse Hyper Bench, and every gym should have one! It was invented by the legendary strength coach and Powerlifter LOUIE SIMMONS of the monster maker gym WESTSIDE BARBELL.

Mr. Simmons invented The Reverse Hyper in part to rehabilitate his own bad back. In Short, a regular Hyperextension has your feet secured and your upper body moving, in the Reverse Hyper your upper body is stationary and your lower body moves. This has several advantages. Louie says, “the motion creates a slight stretch in the spinal column allowing fluids to enter.” This is good for the spine and they point out that, “since Westside started using it, they have had no back problems.”

Another advantage is the ability to use the machine for strength gains by using weight. The bench has a foot attachment so weight can be added easily. You can work up to quite a bit of weight which will help build a very strong back. As Louie stated in one of his latest articles, “A weak man has a weak back, a strong man has a strong back.” I would make the same statement about a wrestler.

When I was working at a local high school and we did not have a Reverse Hyper, I had the athletes use an adjustable “Jump Table” that the track team had. I raised it all the way up so the kids legs could swing under it, and we had a make shift way of performing the movement. Maybe you have something like this or better yet, maybe you should find a new place to train.

We do several other warm up exercises like T-bar and Russian Twists, straight leg sit ups with spread legs, Ape hangers, among others, but the three listed are a good start. I would add in NECK WORK! If you have a mat available, do your bridging! If not, put a towel or the likes on the floor and get your work in. A neck machine is another option.

Your neck cannot be big or strong enough. The unbelievable 21 inch neck of FARMER BURNS immediately comes to mind. Not only was he an amazing wrestler (holding the world title) and coach (trainer of Frank Gotch), his feats of neck strength seem impossible! I will not list them, but here is a piece of advice…DO NOT TRY THEM! You will get seriously killed!!!

We will now talk about ASSISTANT EXERCISE. As was previously stated in this article, you want to train the body as a “complete system.” You must take into account the relationship between your nervous system and your muscles. This is called NEUROMUSCULAR SPECIFICITY. In other words, the general pattern in which you gain strength must be the same as the way it will be used. Again, this is why we try to avoid most machines, isolated movements, and exercises that have you sitting down.

With this in mind here is what we like to do for leg assistants work; LUNGES, many variations to chose. We have an open area down the middle of our gym where we can perform my favorite, the lunge walk. You can also lunge forward or backward and then push back to the start. When you are strong enough, add weight by holding dumbbells or with a barbell.

ONE LEGGED SQUATS is another good choice. This exercise hits the QUADS (front of thigh) hard. It has the added benefits of working on balance and hitting the stabilizing muscles of the ankle too. Once you are strong enough, again, add weight. This time though I would only recommend holding dumbbells because of how tough it is to balance. This way if you lose your balance, you can drop the weights and not get injured.

We also do STEP UPS onto a box. The box height is set so your thigh is raised to a 90 degree angle to your body when you step. Again, when you become strong enough, add weight by holding a pair of dumbbells. All three of these exercises work the legs and hips, plus bring the calves and balance into play.

The SLED is next up and this piece of equipment has endless uses that I will write about in future articles. Now I am not talking about some wooded toboggan heading recklessly down some snow covered mountain with no direction (like your old work-outs maybe?) hoping you don’t hit the next tree. Admittedly this can be loads of fun, and good conditioning, too, dragging the stupid thing back up that hill. No, I’m talking about a weight sled.

You can drag this thing forwards and backwards, pull it with a rope and if you have the right one you can push it. One can train all parts of the body with the SLED and it brings strength conditioning into the equation.

At the start of this article you see the piece of equipment we use for doing the GLUTE/HAM RAISE. A tremendous exercise for the entire hamstring. You need this bench or one like it to perform them. If one is not available at your gym or if the athlete is not strong enough to do them correctly, a leg curl would be the next option.

For extra Triceps work you can do PUSHUPS with a close hand spacing or dumbbell extensions. I feel that STRAIGHT BARBELL CURLS are an important exercise for athletes. Here I must warn you; don’t do these in Kirt Karwoski’s Power Rack or a 45lb. plate may come flying at your head! The Biceps are the primary movers, but I like the fact that they build the forearms.

This should translate into greater gripping power which cannot be over emphasized. All you have to see is the brutal DAN HODGE (who you all should know) break a pair of pliers with his grip strength, and I am sure you will agree.

In conclusion, the 3 parts of TRAIN have given you all the exercises you will need to start a proper work-out program. Next week’s article will outline how to put that program together. Please ask any questions you may have or better still, make an appointment to come down and train. I thank you all for your support. Coach Ellinger

Hofstra Wrestle-Off Recap

Steve Bonanno wins decisively (10-4 )over Taylor Brown in his college debut match in front of home town crowd at Northport High School this afternoon at 2 PM.

Steve Bonanno wins decisively (10-4 )over Taylor Brown in his college debut match in front of home town crowd at Northport High School this afternoon at 2 PM. In typical style Steve displayed his offensive prowess as he controlled the match from neutral position. Steve seems to have matured quite a bit since last year when we saw him win the NYS finals at 119:  his appearance is more muscular, and he looks to be a lot quicker, and he already was quick.

What I’m always impressed with when I watch a college match is the ability of college wrestlers to defend takedowns, and today, it was no different. There were some beautifully executed takedown attempts that were miraculously defended — at least to me. There is no easy takedown in college. Even when the wrestler is in deep with the opponents hips to the mat, a takedown is not assured. Continue reading “Hofstra Wrestle-Off Recap”

(Not So) Super-32 For Empire State’s Top Grapplers

When the “Battle for the Belt” began at 8 a.m. on November 1st, 2008 from the Greensboro Coliseum, it was a day of hope for some of New York State’s finest wrestlers. It was going to be the day that several of them proved that they were for real. For others, it was going to be a coming out party. The event that introduced them to the nation.

When the “Battle for the Belt” began at 8 a.m. on November 1st, 2008 from the Greensboro Coliseum, it was a day of hope for some of New York State’s finest wrestlers. It was going to be the day that several of them proved that they were for real. For others, it was going to be a coming out party; the event that introduced them to the nation. The 15 hour span that was going to demonstrate once and for all that the Empire State belonged in the the conversation with perennial powerhouses such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New Jersey. Featuring a lineup that consisting of four returning State Champions, New York was primed to have a very special weekend….Unfortunately, the rest of the nation had different plans for the young men from New York.
Continue reading “(Not So) Super-32 For Empire State’s Top Grapplers”

First Annual Strong Island Tournament

On Sunday Strong Island hosted their first annual wrestling tournament at Nassau community college. It was well attended by Suffolk, Nassau, City, and New Jersey wrestlers.

On Sunday, October, 26th Strong Island hosted their first annual wrestling tournament at Nassau community college.  It was well attended by Suffolk, Nassau, City, and New Jersey wrestlers.  Suffolk county had a very strong turnout at the event.   At least half the wrestlers in every bracket were Suffolk county wrestlers.

For the first of a preseason tournament the turnout was great.  Based on the numbers I recorded, the brackets averaged around 20 wrestlers in the High School division with the 122 pound weight class having the most contestants at 26 competitors. Continue reading “First Annual Strong Island Tournament”

Nassau Preseason Dual Meet Team Rankings

Nassau preseason team rankings.

  1. Macarthur
  2. Wantagh
  3. Uniondale
  4. Massapequa
  5. Plainedge
  6. East Meadow
  7. Garden City
  8. Bellmore JFK
  9. Calhoun
  10. Farmingdale

Take the poll, and select your top 5 dual meet teams in Nassau county for 2008-2009.  If you select other, please identify that other team with a comment, and if you like, rank your selections in order from 1 to 10 with a comment.

[poll id=”2″]

Suffolk Preseason Dual Meet Team Rankings

Suffolk Preseason dual meet team rankings.

  1. Hauppauge
  2. Rocky Point
  3. Longwood
  4. John Glenn
  5. Brentwood
  6. Huntington
  7. Islip
  8. Connetquot
  9. Harborfields
  10. Sachem East

Take the poll, and select your top 5 dual meet teams in Suffolk county for 2008-2009.  If you select other, please identify that other team with a comment, and if you like, rank your selections in order from 1 to 10 in a comment.

[poll id=”3″]

Nassau Preseason Rankings 2008 V1.2

Updated Nassau Preseason Rankings 2008 V1.2.

96 lbs division

  1. Will Montgomery (Seaford) — 10th
  2. Joe Barbato (Wantagh) — 10th
  3. Thomas Manning (MacArthur) — 10th

103 Lbs. Class

  1. Vinny Pecora (Baldwin) — 12th
  2. Alex Grant (MacArthur) — 12th
  3. Chris Perez (MacArthur) — 10th
  4. Joe Maher (Bellmore JFK) — 11th
  5. Lanzilotta (Massapequa) — 9th

112 Lbs. Class

  1. Sean Kempf (MacArthur) — 12th
  2. Anthony Fachinni (Seaford) — 12th
  3. Mike Lofrese (Garden City) — 9th
  4. Anthony Locast (Seaford) — 10th

119 Lbs. Class

  1. Ariel Guerrero (MacArthur) — 12th
  2. Luke Alber (Farmingdale) — 12th
  3. Mike Palermo (MacArthur) — 11th
  4. Nick Falco (East Meadow) — 11th
  5. Rich Frank (BJFK) — 12th
  6. Matt Schmelizger (Garden City) — 9th

125 lbs division

  1. Mike Walker (Uniondale) — ??
  2. Danny Lofrese — 9th
  3. Dylan Palacio (Long Beach) — 9th
  4. Christian Toscano (Bethpage)  — 12th
  5. Mike Leonard (Clarke) — 11th
  6. Tiago Pierera (Clarke) — 12th

130 lbs division

  1. Quimes Delacruz (Wantagh) — 12th
  2. Gary Kavarsky (Lawrence) — 12th
  3. Kelly Palmer (Clarke) — 12th
  4. Frank Medeiros (MacArthur) — 11th

135 lbs division

  1. Paul Liguori (Wantagh) — 12th
  2. Mike Tucillo (Jericho) — 11th
  3. Anthony Evangelista (Massapequa) — 12th
  4. Mike Snow (BJFK) — 12th 

140 lbs division

  1. Brian Herold (MacArthur) — 12th
  2. Mack Maldarelli (Calhoun) — 12th
  3. Eric Kaufman (Massapequa) — 12th
  4. Steve Spurgeon (Plainedge) — 12th
  5. Nick Fitzmaurice (Wantagh) — 11th 

145 lbs division

  1. Matt Eberlein (Island Trees) — 12th
  2. Troy Sterling (Uniondale) — 12th
  3. Robert Mancino (East Meadow) — 12th
  4. Tyler Dunne (MacArthur) — 11th
  5. Josh Maddock (Massapequa) — 12th

152 lbs division

  1. John Greisheimer (Wantagh) — 12th
  2. Andre Berry (Uniondale) — 12th
  3. German Meza (Bethpage) — 12th
  4. Robert Grabher (North Shore) — 12th 
  5. James Ondris (Massapequa) — 11th 

160 lbs division

  1. John Daddino (Sewanakha East) — 10th
  2. Brian Mulholland (MacArthur) — 12th
  3. Kyle Cohen (Baldwin) — 12th 
  4. Joe Chamish (Jericho) — 12th

171 lbs division

  1. Joe Kavanagh (Wantagh) — 10th
  2. Nick Camera (Plainedge) 12th
  3. Joe Giametta (MacArthur) — 12th
  4. Guy Macchia (Syosett) — 11th
  5. Nick Isnardi (Massapequa) — 12th

189 lbs division

  1. Matt Loew (Wantagh) — 11th
  2. Sebastian Randazzo (Syosett) — 12th
  3. Steven Graziano (Jericho) — 11th
  4. Anthony Cardenas (Long Beach) — 12th
  5. Conor Wetzel (Massapequa) — 10th

215 lbs division

  1. Thomas Jackson (Farmingdale) — 12th
  2. Dan Nicolino (Island Trees) — 12th
  3. Connor Horl (Garden City) — 11th
  4. Thomas Hall (Wantagh) — 10th
  5. Joe Greci (Plainedge) — ??

285 lbs division

  1. Yseen Madassar (Divison) — ??
  2. Chris Williams (Syosset) — 12th
  3. Joe Devonellis (North Shore) — ??
  4. David Argu (Freeport) — ??
  5. Andrew Rollo (Clarke)— ??

Contact the ranking committee by email at rankings(at)lighthousewrestling(dot)com with any name or grade corrections or significant results you think we may have missed or other pertinent information you may know for any wrestlers. Send results with your first and last name, or better yet, post them to the comments.

You have permission to copy and reproduce this ranking
 as is without modification.  All republication must include  this
copyright notice along with the URL to Lighthouse Wrestling.

http://www.lighthousewrestling.com

Copyright Lighthouse Wrestling – © 2008 Lighthouse Wrestling

Paul Liguori Vs. Jamie Franco

A very skilled and powerful Paul Liguori defeats a very formidable opponent, Jamie Franco, by the score 3-1 in the finals of the Massapequa Holiday Tournament on December 29, 2007.

A very skilled and powerful Paul Liguori defeats a very formidable opponent, Jamie Franco,  by the score of 3-1 in the finals of the Massapequa Holiday Tournament on December 29, 2007.   Paul exhibits tough defense on his feat while demonstrating the temperament of a skilled champion with his patience in neutral postion.  Paul doesn’t take any sloppy shots, and he never allows the pressure of a close match against the accomplished Jamie Franco to disturb his focus.  Watch these two champions battle it out. It’s a treat.

U.S.A Olympian Discusses Goals for Success

Wrestling has been a part of my life since I was 12 years old. At the time, I had no idea that I would eventually wrestle in the Olympics or be a three-time NCAA All-American and Academic All-American. However, these were some of my goals and although I was young, I was determined to achieve them. Ever since then wrestling has been a part of my life.

Wrestling has taught me a lot about life and how to be successful in achieving your goals. I am pleased to be able to give back to the community and help young people set and achieve life goals so they can be successful in life, too. You are the future and we need you to set goals to make sure the future will be bright.

Many aspects that apply to wrestling can be applied to life, too. You cannot wrestle forever but wrestling teaches you “lessons for life”. These include staying motivated no matter how hard things get, setting goals and making a “commitment to excellence”. Excellence can be achieved, but first you must train, learn the right technique and keep your mind and body healthy. Wrestling provides an opportunity for kids to learn these important lessons at a young age so they can apply them later in life.

I left college coaching to focus on teaching and training young wrestlers. I poured all my time and energy into training and motivating my young students while improving and expanding my camps. I now host wrestling training camps throughout the country and have a Home Training Center (HTC) where I conduct year – round training. Our camps have produced many scholarship athletes, as well as hundreds of state and national champions. I made a commitment to wrestling and in return I was able to achieve my goals.

I believed in my ability to achieve my goals. I was armed with a variety of goals and a strategy to achieve them. I applied the same goal setting guidelines that I have outlined below. These guidelines will help you identify and achieve your highest goals now and in the years to come.

  1.  Be Specific: Set technique and training goals, as well as performance goals.
  2. Set a variety of goals: Include short, medium and long-term goals.
  3. Make your goals personal: These are more meaningful because they are what you want for yourself, not what others expect of you.
  4. Make your goals challenging yet realistic.
  5. Post your goals: Write your goals down and refer to them often.
  6. Do not fear failure: If you only set easily obtainable goals, you will never reach your highest levels of achievement.
  7. Evaluate your goals: Refer to your goals regularly. Check them off as you achieve them and set new goals.
  8. Design a strategy: Decide how much and what type of work it will take to achieve your goals.
  9. Make a commitment to your goals and work plan.
  10. Believe in yourself!

If you wish to excel in wrestling or life, you must have meaningful, concrete goals and you must believe deep down inside that you will achieve them. For me, wrestling was something that I loved and through it I was able to achieve my goals. I encourage you to make a commitment to achieving your highest goals today!

We will be in Long Island, New York at Comsewogue High School from November 1 – 2.

For additional information on my Weekend Warrior Camp please visit www.kenchertow.com or call 814-466-3466. For your fitness product needs please visit www.wearandgear.com.

NYS Champ Franco Commits to Wrestle For Pride

It is now being reported by InterMat that 2008 New York State Champion, Jamie Franco, gave a verbal commitment to Hofstra University over the weekend.

Franco, whose DI title last season came at 125 pounds when he defeated fellow junior Shawn Brown 2-0, becomes the second member of the class of 2009 to make Hempstead, NY his home for the next 4-5 years.  He joins Minnesota’s Luke Vaith who committed in early October.

The Monroe-Woodbury product has placed at the state tournament every year since 8th grade.  If he is successful in finishing top-6 again this year, which almost everyone expects him to do, he will join a very exclusive company of wrestlers who have earned all-state honors five times in their career.  Equally impressive is the fact that he has never suffered a loss at the NYS tournament to a wrestler who did not go on and win an eventual state crown.
Continue reading “NYS Champ Franco Commits to Wrestle For Pride”

TRAIN – Part II

This dog is rumored to train with Coach Ellinger

In part one I gave you 3 lifts that should be the foundation of any program. When these lifts are performed correctly, amazing things start to happen. Your strength levels climb through the roof, and you start to see muscles you didn’t know you had.

Wrestlers who have trained with me in the past have said things like, “I’m hitting my moves much better and I’m pounding kids I could never beat before.” Others say, ” My mom is pissed because my clothes don’t fit and I have to buy new ones.” Some even say, ” I have all these girls chasing me. What should I do?”

I am always happy to see that the desired results of the work outs are being realized. Wrestlers start winning more matches. I tell the kid to apologize about the clothes. I know they can be expensive these days. As for the girls, I wish I had the answer. Men everywhere for a 1000 years, I’m sure, have been trying to solve this problem. You will have to figure that one out for yourselves. I wish you luck. The good news is, if you do find the answer you will be a very rich man.

I left off with the Bench Press and would like to start here with another important pressing movement. The MILITARY PRESS, sometimes called the overhead press. We perform them standing with a barbell and we press in the frontal plane not behind the head. Many of the past real big Bench Pressers, would do the Military press behind the head. Some could handle tremendous amounts of weight and it was not uncommon to hear of 400+ for reps.

There is a very important point to be made here. You are probably not a top bencher, benching in excess of 600lbs. You should not be training like one. The athlete’s goal is to become better at his chosen sport. This should dictate how you train. When the time comes for you to set records in strength sports, we will make the necessary adjustments to your training.

So I keep the press in front and feel it does not place unneeded stress on the shoulders, which we are trying to strengthen. While we are talking about the frontal plain, I also like doing PULLUPS(palms facing away from you)/CHINUPS(palms facing you) in front. Again for the same reason, to prevent the shoulders from being over stretched. If an athlete can’t perform this exercise, Pull downs using a high pulley can be substituted. It is not exactly the same but is a good 2nd option.

Lets move on to ROWS. There are several different variations. The two I feel are best are;  1) The LOW CABLE ROW and 2) BARBELL ROWS. Along with Pull Ups and Chin ups, these will help build a very strong upper back.

DIPS are another of my all time favorites. Many, including myself, consider them to be right up there with the pressing movements when it comes to building upper body strength. They are a rather tough exercise to perform even with just body weight. Some gyms may have dip/chin assistance machines. These machines are a good option for athletes who can not perform them without help. In our gym this is one of the many things we use JUMP STRETCH BANDS for.

The Jump Stretch Band can be hooked to a Power Rack or Dip station so the person performing the movement can step his foot or place his knee on the band. It then acts like a giant rubber band and adds a boost to the lifter. The Jump Stretch Bands are a relatively inexpensive item that most anyone could buy if not available at your gym or school. They have many other uses that I will talk about in future articles.

Please take note of ALL the exercises listed so far. They are all COMPOUND, MULTI-JOINT exercises. In short, this means you are moving two or more joints, and working two or more muscles. There is no one arm machine preacher curls here! This is for good reason. The body is not intended to work this way. It prefers and responds much better and faster to real lifting.

Once again, if your current gym or training facility has all machines or if the workout you are now doing has you using mostly machines and doing isolated movements, it is time to make some changes. You will find that these lifts are much more demanding. Like the old wrestling saying, ” If it wasn’t so hard – everyone would do it!”

I will end part 2 here and next week part three will go into some special exercises, proper assistance work, and warm ups. In closing, I want to thank all of you who have helped to get LIGHTHOUSE WRESTLING off to a great start! I appreciate all the positive responses and welcome all feedback. This site is for the wrestler. We want to continue to help promote the greatest sport with the coverage it needs and deserves. Please keep spreading the word to all your family and friends. Thank you, Coach Ellinger

UFC 90 Recap: Maynard Fights Like a Spartan; Alves Upsets Koscheck

Hey all,

I just got finished watching the latest pay per view fight card from the UFC. Since this particular card featured a pair of multiple time NCAA DI All-Americans, I figured I’d pop on here and provide some commentary….I preface all remarks by saying that I have no formal training in MMA and am just your typical 26-year-old wise guy…Hence, you need not agree with anything that follows.

The broadcast began with a lightweight (155lbs) contest between former UFC Champion, Sean Sherk and rising star, Tyson Griffin. Having seen both fighters compete several times during their time in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, I knew that both men were quite adept at getting takedowns and working ground and pound…Therefore, I sat back on my couch and prepared myself what I believed would be a 15 minute battle of who could amass the higher takedown count…You can imagine my surprise when a full out kick boxing match broke out.

While it is true that the “Muscle Shark” did finish a pair of nice takedown attempts in the opening round, it is safe to say that 80-85 percent of the fight took place on the feet with both men connecting on a nice array of punches and leg kicks.

Heading into the third round, I had the fight even on the scorecards, awarding Sherk the opening period and Griffin the middle stanza…Over the course of the next five minutes, I saw Sherk, who appeared to be the fresher fighter, utilize his reach advantage and connect on a higher number of attempted strikes…I did feel that Griffin may have been landing the more solid blows, but unfortunately his output had slowed slightly and he just did not seem to do enough to seize the fight.

In the end, i saw the fight as a 29-28 advantage for Sherk…Two of the official judges concurred with my assessment while the other scored all three rounds to Sherk. In reflecting on the fight, I must say that even in a losing effort, Griffin impressed the heck out of me. With a loss to Frankie Edgar on his record, I was sure the Xtreme Couture fighter, whose record fell to 12-2, would get completely controlled by his more experienced opponent…That simply did not happen….This was by far, my favorite fight of the night.

Next up on the card was the one fight that I knew all along was going to be utterly one-sided and probably not worth watching. Well, I am happy to report that I was correct in predicting a totally lopsided fight….I am equally embarrassed to say that I was dead wrong on the guy I thought would be the one doing the dominating.

I fell prey to putting too much stock in the opinions of the so called experts….All week, every article, forum post, prediction, etc all indicated the same outcome; Fabricio Werdum would take Junior Dos Santos down to the mat and then show everyone the top notch BJJ that helped him win the Abu Dahbi world title in past years….It’s a good thing that the heavy underdog, Dos Santos did not read all of the press clippings. Otherwise, he may never have had the confidence to go out there, throw one solid power punch and send the perceived title shot contender to the showers in only 1:21.

True story, I didn’t even see the actual knockout….I had run to the bathroom to grab a tissue (I hate it when head colds get into the house; I can never avoid catching them), and by the time I got back, Werdum was flat on his back.

Following upset number uno of the night, I got to see the first of the the highly regarded former DI wrestlers, Gray Maynard. For those of you not familiar with Maynard, he was a three-time All-American under Tom Minkel at Michigan State. finishing 8th in 2001, and 7th in 2002 and 2003 (all at 157 pounds)….Before his participation in season 5 of The Ultimate Fighter (Wednesdays 10pm on SpikeTV), the last time I’d seen Maynard was when he beat a very young Mike Patrovich during a dual at Hofstra Arena (now the Mack Sports Complex) between the Pride and the Spartans….If you are experiencing a senior moment, let me jog your memory with three simple words, “Flynn beats Simmons.”…But enough about the past.

Pitted against nine year MMA veteran, Rich Clementi, who entered the bout on a six fight winning streak, the former Spartan great showcased his superior takedown skills and emerged with a workman like, if not somewhat dull, victory….Now normally I am among the first people to dismiss the drunk fans in the crowd who boo anytime the fight goes to the ground. However, in this particular case, I think they had every right to vocally express their disappointment. In the simplest of terms, this fight can be described as such—Maynard with a takedown 1:00 into the period; Clementi with a failed sweep attempt; Maynard unable to pass guard….ding ding ding, round over (X 2).

All three judges scored the fight 30-27 in favor of Gray Maynard.

I take pride in never being negative, so allow me to conclude my sentiments on this bout by saying that despite the less than exciting performance, I am very high on Maynard as a fighter. His victory over Frankie Edgar a few months ago really opened my eyes and made a fan out of me. While he still may be a little raw in terms of his versatility, I truly am of the opinion that given a few more years of training with Randy Couture, “the bully” could be a viable contender for the lightweight belt….Or, in other words, he won’t be another Ed Herman who name drops Randy, but then proceeds to lose the majority of his fights in the UFC.

After grabbing a carbonated beverage to keep my lazy butt awake, I settled back into my nice warm spot on the sofa and prepared to watch wrestler extraordinaire #2, Josh Koscheck (who unbeknownst to me is regarded as the “bad boy’ of the 171-pound division) take another step towards earning himself a rematch with GSP, by dismantling Thiago Alves. And, in a perfect world, that is precisely what I would have liked to have seen….Unfortunately, we don’t live in fantasy land (or Candy land for that matter).

Instead, I was afforded the opportunity to watch a 50 inch, high definition version of the Alves coming out party….For 15 minutes, I watched as the Brazilian born fighter continually landed leg kick after leg kick, as well as the occasional shot to the head in assembling what I deemed to be an equally, if not more dominating victory over Koscheck than the one earned by St. Pierre in August of last year.

The official scorers at cageside saw it 30-27, 29-28, and 29-28 in favor of the underdog, Alves.

Perhaps the most surprising part of this fight was the fact that the former four-time All-American (National Champion in 2001 @ 174 pounds) for Edinboro University was never able to successfully maneuver his opponent to the ground….This is a rarity to see in any fight involving the AKA trained fighter.

Finally, we turn our attention to the main event of the evening, Anderson Silva vs. Patrick Cote….Before getting into the particulars of the fight, allow me to admit that I fully expected this fight to end within 30 seconds of the bell ringing; My logic, as naive as it may be, was that anyone who has a loss to Chris Leben is not going to put up much of a fight against the consensus (I know a lot of people will argue in favor of Fedor) #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world….That having been said, I learned two things tonight—One, I am a jackass for using a fight from three years ago to support my conclusion; two, if I am ever in a position to name the new age Don Cornelius, I am looking no further than “the Spider.”

For two rounds, Anderson Silva did some of the best dancing I’ve seen in a long time. And the ironic thing is that I am fairly certain he did it by choice. It sure seemed to me that whenever the champ wanted to land a knee, kick, or punch, he could do it without little hesitation.

As far as the fight itself, not much can be said. Plus, at 3:07 in the morning, my brain is telling me to shut the hell up and get some sleep before going to the Strong Island Tournament in six hours.

Therefore, I’ll summarize it like this: Cote becomes the first fighter in the UFC to last two rounds with SIlva; Cote suffers a fluke injury to his knee; Both fighters spend the next 24 hours of their lives apologizing.

Non-Televised Fights

-Local boy, Pete Sell (Serra BJJ Black Belt) wins a unanimous decision over Josh Burkman

Hermes Franca wins by unanimous decision over Marcus Aurelio

Dan Miller with the unanimous decision victory against Matt Horwich

Spencer Fisher wins submission of the night, finishing a triangle choke in the final period to get the “w” over Shannon Gugerty

Thales Leites improves his career record to 14-1 with a tapout by RNC against Drew McFedries

Which Suffolk Teams Will Finish in the Top 5 in 2009?

Here’s your chance to select the top five team place finishers for Suffolk county in 2009.

Which Suffolk County teams will finish in the top five in 2009?  Pick your top five.  If you pick other, please follow up with a comment and identify the team that you recommend to be in the top 5 for Suffolk County in 2009.  If you would, order the top 5 or even 10 in the comments after you submit your top 5 selections.



[poll id=”3″]

Which Nassau Teams Will Finish Top 5 in 2009?

Here’s your chance to select the top five team place finishers for Nassau county in 2009.

Which Nassau County teams will finish in the top five in 2009?  Pick your top five.  If you pick other, please follow up with a comment and identify the team that you recommend to be in the top 5 for Nassau County in 2009.  If you would, order the top 5 or even 10 in the comments after you submit your top 5 selections.



[poll id=”2″]

Nassau CC Schedule 2008-2009

Nassau Community College 2008-2009 wrestling schedule.

Sunday November 09, 2008 – College of New Jersey, NJ
Nassau Community College at College of New Jersey 10:00 AM

Saturday November 15, 2008 – Binghamton, NY
Nassau Community College at Binghamton Open 10:00 AM

Continue reading “Nassau CC Schedule 2008-2009”