Monday, March 24, 2008

First annual View from Section GG Awards

First annual View from Section GG college wrestling awards

The college wrestling season is over and much has happened. All of the traditional awards have been handed out except the Hodge Trophy (Tervel Dlagnev?). This week I begin what I hope will become a tradition (if anyone keeps reading that long).

The, “Well, I guess he really is that good”, award

After almost three years of anticipation and message board hype we all learned that Brent Metcalf is a special athlete. His NCAA finals performance was dominating and he was named this year’s tournament Outstanding Wrestler. If you still think he is over rated you must really hate the Hawkeyes.

Doug Brown Renaissance Man of the Year

Named for the late, great IPTV College Wrestling announcer, this award goes to Bill Roths of New Hampton, IA. I have watched Bill officiate dozens of wrestling matches over the years. However, this is the first year I ever heard him sing. Bill sang the National Anthem at one session each for the NCAA Division II and Division III championships – and did so quite stirringly.

Randy Lewis “Warrior Trophy”

Olympic gold medallist, Randy Lewis, wrestled the NCAA tournament his senior year essentially with one arm and finished 6th. His elbow had been dislocated just a few weeks earlier in a match with Iowa State. Minnesota’s Roger Kish battled injury all year and had to injury default from the Big Ten tournament. Much like Lewis, he wrestled with little more than one arm in the NCAAs. Sadly, he didn’t make it to the medal stand, but he fought hard and scored points for his team

Best time at a party

The UW La Crosse fans were by far the most boisterous at the Division III championships this year. I encountered several of them at the team hotel after finals and those folks know how to have fun.

The Ed Gallagher Pioneer Citation

Oklahoma State’s Ed Gallagher practically invented college wrestling. Our first innovation award goes to the National Collegiate Wrestling Association for holding their initial women’s championship tournament.

Best effort in the service of wrestling

Since I have started writing this blog I have “met” many people who work tirelessly for the advancement of the sport – some are well known – some are relatively obscure. I considered many nominees for this award and decided on Lee Roy Smith and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum for recognizing the contributions to collegiate wrestling made by African American athletes and coaches. Their effort spawned positive press coverage and spread awareness. I was personally thrilled to see Simon Roberts, the first African-American NCAA wrestling champion, interviewed by ESPN during the Division I finals broadcast.
Best performance at a college wrestling press conference

Pick any Tom Brands effort this year.

The swimming upstream award

For bucking the trend we give our hearty support to Grand View College and California State Baptist University for adding men’s wrestling teams and to Jamestown College for adding a women’s program. May we have many candidates for this award in 2009.

WARNING: if you are a “Hawk hater” you may want to stop here.

Best team entrance music

Best post-meet music

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