Interview with Club Coach Cody Buchanan
By Chad Otterness
Southeastern Minnesota has a club on the rise, Guerilla Wrestling Club.
Q: What styles of wrestling are you developing, and what age groups does your club represent? Any specific areas of development you are focused on for the athletes?
We focus on mostly middle and high school athletes in folkstyle, freestyle, and Greco-Roman wrestling. Our training is more auxiliary. The athletes bring their strengths and preferences in, and we try to find ways to maximize those strengths, while also addressing positions and areas where those in the program need extra work.
Q: How many wrestlers are involved in GWC, and what communities do they represent?
This session (Fall/In-Season), we’re at about 20 or so members. Our Spring/Summer session tends to have larger crowds, as a lot of our athletes are involved in other HS sports, in addition to club wrestling. This fall, Chatfield, Dover-Eyota, Fillmore Central-Lanesboro-Mabel/Canton, Grand Meadow-Leroy-Ostrander-Southland, Lake City, Pine Island, Plainview-Elgin-Millville, and Stewartville are all represented on a regular basis.
Q: Where has GWC been practicing during the COVID period?
We got lucky. A former alumni and friend had garage space that he was interested in converting into a wrestling space. After finding materials (through other alumni and purchasing), we were able to move some mats and wall mats in. It’s really taking the whole village to make it our own spot, but it’s been a fun, new adventure. With a smaller space, we have to structure the training session differently, which many have liked the more individualized instruction.
Q: Do you anticipate any upcoming tournaments for the wrestlers to participate in in the near future?
We’ll probably have athletes at USA’s Preseason National tournament. I assume we’ll have a few at Track’s Preseason tournament in La Crosse. We focus more on the training aspect, but I let our athletes take the lead on where and when they compete before the season. They’ll know how many matches they want, balancing with their other activities.
Q: Do you see your athletes competing at regional and/or national levels?
During our average Spring/Summer Session, we’ll have a decent-sized group that usually competes at Northern Plains. We’ve tried to organize groups to other Regionals in previous years. From there, we normally take a quick, short break, and then we get back to training for Fargo with a smaller group. Between jobs and other activities, our Fargo numbers are typically a bit smaller.
Q: Do you have any special clinicians that work with the wrestlers?
We try to keep it in the family. Right after getting our new spot up and running, we had a lot of collegiate guys and our high schoolers mixing in to get workouts in late summer before the older athletes moved back to campus. They try to stop in during breaks in their schedule. Every once-in-a-while, one of their collegiate coaches will come in. I’ve been coaching for a long enough period of time to make a lot of great connections, so when they come near Rochester, I try to get them in to add to our program. Jamie Gehling has been back home from Upper Iowa and helping out with our upper-weight group quite a bit. Brett Stolarzyk has been in the area, so I’ve tapped into his brain quite a bit, too. We don’t necessarily “advertise” clinicians, but you never know when a guest might be by to help us out.
To learn more about Guerilla Wrestling Club, visit guerrillawrestling.club