Welcome to the 2011-12 school year and the new wrestling season as well. I would like to start by thanking our past president, Tom Gruhlke formerly from BOLD, for all his time and contribution, to not only his program, but in representing the MN community very professionally and passionately in his tenure as MWCA President. I was very impressed with Tom’s determination and effort he put into his duties. It’s no wonder his teams were very well prepared when they stepped on the mat. I look forward to working with him again this year.
Our new president elect is Tom Ellison from Alexandria. I know Tom will do a wonderful job as he is very organized and full of great innovative ideas that will evolve over the course of the next two years. Tom’s primary focus this spring has been to organize the MWCA Fall Clinic in Elk River. The date will be Oct. 29th. It will be another exciting and educational clinic.
As you begin your preparation for the up-coming wrestling season I wanted to encourage you to take care of a few items before the season gets too close. It is important to become members of the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association as well as members of the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association. The online registration will walk you through the process in a couple of minutes. By becoming a member of both, you get insurance coverage for the year, a subscription to both the MSHSCA publication and The Guillotine, and coaches and athletes become eligible for state awards.
Also, coaches need to check out the new MSHSL requirements for this season. All Head Coaches will need to complete the CER (Continuing Education Requirement) portion from the state web site. All assistant coaches will need to complete the concussion training module which is embedded in the program as well. To access this information go to www.mshsl.org.
We are all aware of the National Federation of State High School Association’s decision to change the weight classes for the 2011-12 season. Minnesota will be following the federation’s recommendations and implementing the new weights this season. The NFHS decision was based upon the study of over 200,000 wrestler’s weight data. The plan is to more evenly distribute these weight classes throughout the participants involved. Minnesota will follow our previous weight certification process and will be allowing a 2 pound growth allowance after Jan. 1st.
Last spring the MWCA Advisory Committee met with the MSHSL and reviewed the State Wrestling Tournament. The format was changed in 2011 by removing competition on Wednesday, completing the team portion on Thursday, and running the individual tournament on Friday/Saturday. Our task was to review the tournament and look at possible changes; however we were given specific parameters that we had to adhere to. The decision to remain with the same structure of the tournament (with some time and location changes) was the best option at this time.
Finally, I would like to thank all the coaches for their input and suggestions. I would encourage you to become an active member of your wrestling conference, section, and class. Wrestling is a demanding sport and it takes hard working people to continue making it the exceptional sport it is. Remember, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do!”
If you would like to contact me, you can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
John Barlund, MWCA President
Frazee High School