Posted on May 6th, 2013 No comments
A great time was had by all at the RiNO facility in Denver on Friday night. Their club was gracious enough to host a couple of duals between us and them and had a BBQ and Fire Pit going out back with some great food and opportunities to meet parents and coaches from both teams. I thought both coaches did an excellent job of peppering their lineups with experienced and brand new wrestlers to Freestyle and Greco competition so that it would remain close throughout the duals and that lots of different faces would see time in the lineup. For those of our wrestlers who could not make it on Friday night, you missed a great opportunity for mat time when that is the most important thing this time of year as we are getting our kids ready for KS and UT in June. We utilized the current rules and a scorer’s table as well as certified senior USAW Officials to referee the matches.
SOT won the Greco portion of the dual and then the mat was split into 4 matches going simultaneously in 2 minute rounds for exhibitions for several iterations so that even if you were not on the dual team for that round you got a chance to go live against someone from the opposite team’s roster. RiNO won the Freestyle portion of the dual (great job by the coaches at RiNO in setting up their lineup for sure) and then the same thing happened after for Freestyle exhibitions. This was especially beneficial for the kids that are new to this style and/or this was their first year wrestling at all this past season with us.
This should be a continued event for years to come and could be something to look at during the off-season in July and August in getting tournament ready for the fall doing a folkstyle dual format instead. A recurrent dual team set of competitions would do nothing but enhance the level of talent inside the state in the international styles. The biggest complaint that you get from parents is that their son or daughter doesn’t get many matches when they go to the local CUSAW events. Duals take that part out of the equation as you can be matched up against someone of similar size but they may be in a different age division at a normal tournament event. Great job to everyone that was involved and kudos to RiNO for being the new kids on the block this year in Freestyle and Greco and bringing in some kids into Freestyle and Greco to give us some solid competition at the local tournaments and state this year. We look forward to them staying a fixture in the Colorado circuit. Iron sharpens iron.
It was only a few short years ago that we started the grassroots movement to rebuild Colorado to a state of national prominence in Freestyle and Greco under Coach Jeff’s leadership and we’ve been seeing the fruit of our labors in placements and champions at the Kid’s Nationals the last 2 years. Summer champions turn into winter champions if they put the time and effort into it. It’s been documented at every level that wrestling is not just a Nov-Feb sport if you want to be good at it and that is from the youth level all the way up into college and world competition. Participation in Freestyle and Greco helps a wrestler to be quicker and more deliberate on their feet and enables them to practice superior hip position that can come into play in every match in Folkstyle. With another club catching the vision (along with a couple of others throughout the state), as one of our officials, Mo Babi, said toward the end of the night on Friday at RiNO “I think Colorado is going to be a national power in these styles for the next decade thanks to you guys at SOT”.
Now, time for Coronado this weekend!
Posted on April 29th, 2013 No comments
This is an excellent clip and well worth watching. It sums up our journey as parents and wrestlers so well and the implications of the IOC trying to remove wrestling from the 2020 Summer Program. Please take a few minutes to watch and you will enjoy the video immensely. Jay Mohr is a well known comedian, talk show host, sports fanatic and was a wrestler in high school and so he has a special connection to the subject and is very passionate about rounding up support for the movement to keep wrestling in the Olympics.
8 SOT Academy Wrestlers Make Final 2012-2013 National Youth Folkstyle Rankings and Six Make the World All-Star TeamPosted on April 28th, 2013 No comments
The final rankings for World of Wrestling and Wrestling USA Magazine’s National Youth Folkstyle Rankings were just released and SOT Academy was represented quite well at year’s end! We had 8 wrestlers make the final rankings for their respective age and weight divisions this year. Those were:
David Estrada 6U 40lbs #4
Ty Eise 6U 55lbs #1
Jett Strickenberer 10U 52lbs #2
Braeden Baller 10U 67lbs #2
Drew Eller 10U 70lbs #1
Mosha Schwartz 12U 67lbs #1
Theorius Robison 12U 88lbs #2
Tate Samuelson 12U 100lbs #5
The link above is to the 2013 World All-Star Team Roster. 2012-2013 World All-Star Team Members for SOT Academy were:
Ty Eise 6U 55lbs #1
Jett Strickenberer 10U 52lbs #2
Braeden Baller 10U 67lbs #2
Drew Eller 10U 70lbs #1
Mosha Schwartz 12U 67lbs #1
Theorius Robison 12U 88lbs #2
It’s been quite the year for the program with tons of Team Trophies, Outstanding Wrestler Awards, Trinity Award Winners, a National Wrestler of the Year Finalist, RMN Ring/RMN Belt/Golden Gear/Triple Crown and RMN Tri-State Belt Champions and All-Americans in all 3 styles in every major series in the nation. With the reality TV show still actively in the works just waiting to get sponsored by one of the networks and with Southern Plains Regionals, AAU Grand Nationals and USA Kid’s FS/GR Nationals still to go, we will have even more things to celebrate by the end of June as a program.
Thank you to all that helped these kids get to the events and poured their time and support into them every day at school and at practice. They have their outstanding teammates that push them everyday in the room to thank as much as anyone else so these rankings are indicative of a total team concept inside of our program. Congratulations to these amazing young wrestlers!
Posted on April 21st, 2013 No comments
SOT Academy had 3 wrestlers make the trip to Farmington, NM for the Aztec Warrior Championships this season. Caden Moster, Kris Kramer and Andrew Kramer participated in this Rocky Mountain event and performed well. Here are the results:
Andrew Kramer – 10U 57lbs – 3rd in Folkstyle; 2nd in Freestyle
Kris Kramer – 12U 66lbs – Champion in Freestyle; 4th in Greco (combined bracket of 66 and 74lbs) and 2nd in Folkstyle
Caden Moster – 12U 74lbs – Champion in Greco; 2nd in Folkstyle and 3rd in Freestyle
Posted on April 18th, 2013 No comments
Coach Ben represented the team very well tonight at the U.S. Open in Las Vegas, NV. He was the #2 seed in the 74kg division and the U.S. representative this past summer at the London Olympics at that weight. The #1 seed lost a close 3 round match in the semifinals and Ben handled business on his side of the bracket en route to the finals tonight vs. Jacob Fischer of the Minnesota Storm. Ben won the first period when Fischer failed to turn him when they went to Par Terre tied 0-0. Heading to the end of the second period tied 0-0 again it was Ben’s turn to try and turn his opponent. He got a good trap arm gut locked in and managed one turn for two to win the period 2-0 and take home the title of U.S. Open 74kg Greco National Champion! Making things even cooler for the program was the fact that Ben wore this year’s SOT Academy Blue Freestyle/Greco singlet in the finals and Jeff and Luke were his coaches in the corner. What great press for our program! Congratulations to Ben on his victory and we’re very lucky to have he and Leigh to be part of the dynasty that we are building at SOT Academy.
Posted on April 16th, 2013 3 comments
There were lots of teams with way more kids than we took to Reno, NV this year for the World of Wrestling’s Reno World Championships. This tournament is the final leg in the Trinity Award each year and was the last piece of Mosha and Ty’s pursuit of this prestigious accomplishment this season. Both boys dominated their brackets in outstanding fashion not even surrendering a point between the two of them en route to claiming their first Trinity Awards and Ty brought home the Outstanding Wrestler award for 6 & Unders as well! This is considered one of the toughest things to do as a wrestler in winning the Trinity Award and there were a lot of kids that were up for it in Reno this weekend that fell way short and several didn’t even place by the time the tournament ended.
Drew kept up the pace in the 10 & Under division manhandling his bracket and all opponents again not surrendering even a single point to his competitors as he won the 70lb bracket handily. Drew has placed at every one of the 13 WOW events for the past 3 years winning 9 and taking 2nd at two of them. Our other 10U competitor this weekend, Braeden Baller, came up short of his goals at Reno but wrestled really well and will be a great addition to the SOT Academy team as they move from TX next month and start coming full-time to SOT and to the school. We anticipate big things from this young man down the road.
All 3 of these young SOT Academy athletes (Mosha, Drew and Ty) will finish the year ranked #1 in the Wrestling USA Magazine National Youth Folkstyle Rankings for their age/weight divisions and will be first team members of the World of Wrestling World All-Star Team for this year. Ty will also be in the hunt for the WOW Wrestler of the Year Award which will be announced later this year. This will be Drew’s second time of finishing in this position of #1 in the end of year standings. They all 3 will be honored for this achievement by being featured on the poster for next season and in the WOW magazine as well as receiving a framed certificate from Danny Hodge at Tulsa Kickoff in November and the World All-Star Team singlet to wear next year.
In 12U’s, Theorius Robison battled hard through a couple of close, solid wins including an OT thriller in the semifinals to win his division in the 12U 92lb bracket. Theory had a lot of studs in his bracket for this tournament and he represented himself and the club really well bringing home this eagle trophy. Parker Benekas put in some work over the 3 days of the tournament as he lost in the first round but fought back to claim 6th place in a very tough bracket and his only losses were to the kids above him on the podium. That takes a lot of guts in a 64 man bracket to wrestle back that many matches to even place.
Overall, for only having 6 kids at the tournament, we had 4 in the finals and all 4 won. We brought home 2 Trinity Awards and an OW in that group of hardware as well. We finished in 3rd place for the 12U Team trophy but that was to teams with 15 kids on their rosters where we only had 3. We narrowly missed bringing home the OW for 10 & Unders as well. That said, we were small in numbers but we dominated from start to finish in the biggest little city in the world as we put a big bow on the 2012-2013 Folkstyle season with SOT Academy stenciled all over it!
Posted on April 16th, 2013 No comments
Malik was a key member of the AAU Middle School Nationals Colorado Red Dual Team this past weekend in Iowa. He represented CO in the 75lb division and came out of the competition with a perfect 8-0 record. His team finished 2nd in the Silver Bracket on Sunday and their team went 6-2 for the entire weekend. This is the highest placement that a CO Dual Team has secured at this competition. Great job representing SOT Academy and your state, Malik!
Posted on April 3rd, 2013 No comments
As we are getting ready to start freestyle and greco season at a full speed sprint, we have a few changes for SOT Academy that we need to tell you about so that your child is better equipped to become an All-American. We are starting up a Tuesday and Thursday night class from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. for all wrestlers that are not yet at All-American status. With as many wrestlers as we still have in the room now, it is hard for the coaches to work with both the advanced and non-advanced athletes at the same time.
We are asking that you come to the Tuesday and Thursday evening practices if:
1) You were not an all- american in either freestyle or greco during the past 2 seasons (it didn’t have to necessarily be in both)
2) You are new to the club this year
3) You have not competed in freestyle and greco for at least 2 full years previously (this meaning that this is the beginning of your 3rd year of freestyle and greco practice and tournament competition)
4) You were in 6 and unders this season
5) You are not planning on doing USA Wrestling Kid’s Freestyle and Greco Nationals in Utah this June.
This is a great opportunity for your kids to get one-on-one instruction with Coach Jeff and Coach Luke in a smaller setting during those 2 nights a week. You still are encouraged to come to Monday and Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m. with the rest of the group so it gives the newer kids a chance to go hard and attempt to utilize what they are learning during the Tues/Thurs smaller group sessions. The All-American kids will get Tuesday and Thursday afternoon practice sessions to go full-bore at a very deliberate pace as they are attempting to peak by June in hopes of winning National Titles for themselves and the team. This separate practice schedule over the next few months will be vital and key to our success in Freestyle and Greco this season for all levels. A lot of the newer kids really need these styles to be broken down to the fundamental stages so they can master skills like pummeling, foot work, positioning, etc.
We realize some families live far away so this may not work for you, so please talk to Jeff or Luke so arrangements can be worked out. These should be the exceptions and not the rule, so for those of you that it does work please take advantage of this smaller group setting. We have always been successful because we have ran a few different groups according to skill levels and the phrase “no wrestler left behind” is our spring/summer motto. The 2nd session group of kids will be much like our first year when we introduced Freestyle and Greco to the Parker area and it was a very small tight-knit group of kids learning together regardless of their age and size and look what that has produced in the past 4 years for the program. We have gone up exponentially every season with more and more All-Americans and Regional and National Champions in Freestyle and Greco each year. We would like to bring home no less than 30 All-Americans in each style this season and this is possible if Jeff and Luke have more time with smaller groups to maximize instruction.
The summer schedule will stay primarily the same as this when school is out and we expect everyone to still be with their proper groups then. Adjustments can and may be made to move wrestlers around between the sessions dependent on the coach’s judgement on where they are at in their development. This will be the coach’s decision and not anyone else’s choice to make.
Below is a list of our 2012 All-Americans. There are a few special cases of wrestlers with the program who were not SOT Academy All-Americans that will stay at the 4:00 practice times all week and we will talk with each of those families individually. This is at the coach’s discretion based on their criteria. Even All-Americans who were pre-Bantam or Bantams this past year will be going to the Tuesday and Thursday classes due to lack of understanding of the styles and a need for more fundamental instruction.
SOT Academy 2012 ALL-AMERICANS:
Jett Strickenberger (National Champion)
Jackson Eller (National Champion)
Drew Eller (National Champion)
Theorius Robison (National Champion, USA Triple Crown Winner)
If you are new to the club or have been considering joining SOT Academy for our Freestyle and Greco Season, here is the information that you will need as we kick off the new schedule this next week:
Starting April 9th, Tuesday and Thursday sign-ups will happen at 6:00 p.m. along with a parent meeting at that time. This parent meeting and sign-up session is for new wrestlers and first year club parents only. For those seasoned freestyle and greco wrestlers listed above, their parents will not be expected to attend this meeting. If you did not start Sept 1st with us this past year and wrestled folkstyle the whole year with our program, then this is for you as well. Please be at the Academy ontime and either Luke or Jeff will run the meeting full of great info about your child’s future with SOT ACADEMY! Tuition fees will be discussed at this meeting if you are new to the program or unsure of the payment amounts or schedule for tuition payments each month.
If you have any questions prior to this meeting next week on April 9th at 6:00 p.m., please call:
Posted on March 31st, 2013 No comments
Theorius Robison led a charge by the SOT Academy group that participated in this year’s CO Middle School State Championships that included 4 placers with 2 champions. Malik Heinselman led off the championship round festivities with a pin to take the 70lb division rounding out a great month of March for this young man. Parker Benekas put on a great rally against a kid that he never has historically made it out of the first round with in the past to lose in the finals at 85lbs 15-10 but had his opponent on his back late in the 3rd and had a great chance to win. Theorius was victorious over Tyler Johnson in the 95lb division championship match and also brought home the OW for the tournament! And, last but not least, Gerimie Meier had another strong showing this month and took 5th in the 100lb division. These young men represented the program proudly this season. We will have a full-on tidal wave for middle school next year and can unseat the team champions just as we have at CO Youth State and Rocky Mountain Nationals this year. Out with the old and in with the newer better kids from SOT Academy!
Posted on March 19th, 2013 No comments
At Rocky Mountain Nationals this year, we had set an attainable goal of taking home the 6-12 yr old team title and for us to compete in the all-star division standings as well by the end of the weekend with a 2nd roster of wrestlers. We met our primary goal as a team and exceeded all expectations with the team score that we produced for our 6-12 yr old roster. We won the 6-12 yr old division by a landslide with no one even close to us in that division as many of our primary teams that would have tried to challenge us for the title opted to submit their rosters as All-Star teams and avoid facing us completely. As our 6-12 yr old score was only 2nd overall for team scoring in both categories by 14 points to an all-star high school squad from KS comprised of 18 & Under wrestlers, I would say we “announced our presence with authority!”
The 6-12 yr old trophy win for our team means that we successfully swept the team championships in every event in the Rocky Mountain Nationals series this season. This was our first outright Team Title at RMN’s and it was long overdue for us as we’ve come up short the last 2 years. We won the Team Triple Crown in essence for their events as we not only won the events in Colorado but the 3 in other states as well and all 3 of the out of state team titles were won with either short rosters or mainly wrestlers from our B Team lineup. Very tall praise for the depth in our room now at all age divisions.
We had 8 wrestlers that attended the event this weekend with hopes of winning at least a Triple Crown for themselves. There were kids all over the arena that fell short on this goal from all the teams in attendance as the brackets were deep with experienced and talented athletes. We had 4 wrestlers that emerged at the end of the day on the winning side of their championship bouts and were recognized for their significant accomplishments in winning the biggest prizes that RMN gives out each season. Award winners were:
David Estrada – 6 & Under 43lbs won the Triple Crown, Golden Gear and RMN Championship Belt
Jackson Eller – 10 & Under 61lbs won the Triple Crown, Golden Gear and RMN Championship Belt
Antonio Segura – 10 & Under 73lbs won the Triple Crown, Golden Gear, RMN Championship Belt and Ring of Fame
Drew Eller – 12 & Under 70lbs won the Triple Crown, Golden Gear and RMN Championship Belt
Additionally, we had 4 champions who were not in the running for the end of season awards but walked out of the arena on Sunday as Champions in their division at Rocky Mountain Nationals. Champions were:
Jett Strickenberger – 10 & Under 53lbs Champion
Braeden Baller – 10 & Under 77lbs Champion
Theorius Robison – 12 & Under 98lbs Champion
Malik Heinselman – 15 & Under 78lbs Champion
And, here are the other placers that contributed to the team scores that we put up in both divisions and showed people why we are the team to beat any time we are in an event.
6 & Under 49 – Avery Baller’s place is 4th
6 & Under 49 – Alexis Segura’s place is 5th
6 & Under 52 – Shayla Gallegos’s place is 2nd
6 & Under 55 – Vinnie Abbey’s place is 4th
6 & Under 61 – Westen Hoffschneider’s place is 2nd
8 & Under 46 – Zao Estrada’s place is 5th
10 & Under 53 – Andrew Kramer’s place is 3rd
10 & Under 57 – Angelo Lozado’s place is 5th
10 & Under 73 – Ivan Morris’s place is 4th
10 & Under 73 – Nicholas Gallegos’s place is 2nd
10 & Under 77 – Isaias Estrada’s place is 4th
12 & Under 66 – Patrick Allis’s place is 3rd
12 & Under 74 – Lorenzo Villegas’s place is 6th
12 & Under 90 – Parker Benekas’s place is 4th
12 & Under 98 – Jerzie Estrada’s place is 6th
12 & Under 106 – Marissa Gallegos’s place is 5th
Thank you for all of those parents who helped out this weekend and kept their kids heading to their mats when they were supposed to be getting ready for their matches. This was a great help to the coaching staff and I as we were trying to keep it straight with who was up next in each round. We never had to hunt a kid down or react to a table calling for one of our athletes so we did a great job of policing ourselves for the event
Now is the time for Greco and Freestyle training to get geared up full force as we prepare for Southern Plains Regionals, AAU Grand Nationals and USAW Kids Freestyle and Greco Nationals all in June. If your wrestler has never competed in Freestyle and Greco or only sparingly in the past, this is the best time of year to get them really good on their feet with takedowns and with defending shots and countering them. Should be a great 2nd season for us starting in April. All eyes will be focused on what we are going to accomplish next as our reputation continues to grow on the national landscape. Oh yeah!