Jul 272015

Freshmen-to-be Ben Brancale, Fredy Stroker and Larry Early all capture coveted stop signs as junior national champions

The future of Gopher Wrestling was on display in Fargo, N.D. last week during the ASICS Junior Greco-Roman and Freestyle National Championships, an annual showcase of the nation’s best young wrestling talent. Three incoming Gopher freshmen – Ben Brancale, Fredy Stroker and Larry Early – each claimed an individual national championship by the end of the week-long event. Rylee Streifel, another newcomer to the U of M, placed second to earn All-America honors.

Brancale, the younger brother of current Gopher wrestling Sam Brancale, brought home the 138-pound title in Greco earlier in the week. The first half of Brancale’s six wins in the tournament came by bigger winning margins – a combined score of 35-6 – before a nail-biting 5-4 victory in the quarterfinals. A 5-1 decision over fellow Minnesotan Ty Johnson sealed the championship for Brancale. Continue reading »

Jul 272015

Everyone who’s attended a match or game in youth sports has experienced it—someone directing loud comments at a player, coach, referee, or even another fan. And while cheering on youth athletes has many positive aspects and should be encouraged, it can be a slippery slope from engaging in constructive morale-boosting to dishing out intrusive, verbal abuse.

A good rule of thumb is to ask would yelling be appropriate in a normal situation, says Mike Clayton, Manager of the National Coaches Education Program (NCEP) for USA Wrestling. If a child is doing something that could imminently injure him/herself, for example, that would warrant yelling to keep the athlete safe. But such cases, he notes, are rare.

“Unfortunately, most yelling isn’t designed to help the young athlete as much as it is to allow the adult to vent their frustrations,” Clayton says. “While that isn’t what the adult intends to communicate, the child still feels shame and fear. Kids release that shame and fear by often underperforming or by being angry in matches or practice.” Continue reading at www.teamusa.org

Jul 222015

St. Cloud, Minn. – St. Cloud State head wrestling coach Steve Costanzo and his staff of assistant coaches has announced the newest class of Huskies student-wrestlers. Seven student-wrestlers have signed letters of intent and will join the SCSU wrestling team for 2015-16. This group includes Alexander Jimenez (El Paso, Tex.), Brandon Briggs (Capron, Ill.), Chavez Farris (Ferndale, Mich.), James Pleski (Forest Lake, Minn.), Jordan Aquino (American Canyon, Calif.), Lucas Westrich (Lakeville, Minn.) and Mark Voss (Monticello, Minn.). Continue reading »

Jul 222015

FARGO — The Concordia wrestling team will be adding the 138-pound Junior Greco-Roman national runner-up next season. Future Cobber Ty Johnson of Woodbury, Minn., finished in second place behind fellow Minnesotan Ben Brancale of Eden Prairie at the USA Wrestling ASICS/Vaughan Junior and Cadet National Championships on Tuesday at the Fargodome. Brancale defeated Johnson 5-1 in the final.

A throw in the first period gave Brancale a 5-1 lead. Johnson was not able to overcome the deficit. A flurry of takedown attempts in the final minute of the second period by Johnson were all defensed by Brancale. Continue reading at www.inforum.com

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