Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Coach Sid Huitema: Founding Father of West Michigan Wrestling (And You’ve Never Heard of Him)

By Ryan Lancaster, MWR Founder

I think tradition and history are important for our sport. When I took over at West Ottawa a few backs, I spent the first year digging through all the old yearbooks and school newspaper (The aptly named West Ottawan) to see what past I could dig up. After 50 years, its easy to see which coaches cared about the program and which didn’t by the records they left. I stumbled upon an old article simply titled “Wrestling” from a guy named Sidney Huitema. In it, details why everyone should try wrestling (and why it isn’t for everyone). I dug a little deeper and realized he was the founder of the program at the school. I wanted to see what I could find so I pulled on the string a little more. The following is what unraveled:

Friday, April 17, 2020

MHSAA Should Finally Follow National Weight Classes

Back in 2011 the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFS) approved weight class changes for high school wrestling. The MHSAA (Michigan High School Athletic Association) for some reason decided not to make this change and retain the weight classes from before the change which are: 103, 112, 119, 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 152, 160, 171, 189, 215, and 285. 

Fast forward, it is nine years later, and the MHSAA is one of the only remaining states that are still not using the NFHS weight classes established back in 2011. The weight classes used by the NFHS are 106 pounds, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285 which you can see give more wrestling opportunity’s to the larger wrestlers without as big of jumps between weights. There are still 14 weight classes, the weight differences in the smaller classes are only increased by 1-2 pounds than previous.

FCA Michigan Wrestling Coaches Huddle with Tim Lambert

Michigan Wrestling Resource is ramping things up to provide more information and resources to our wonderful wrestling community.  I started this off by reaching out to the community to anyone who has something to share.  One of my favorite people (yes, I have favorites *shrugs*), Timothy Lambert reached back with this:
"I will be starting a weekly FCA Coaches Huddle for Michigan Wrestling Coaches next week beginning Monday. We will be going through 3Dimensional Coaching videos, discussion questions, have panelists, share wisdom, and learn on how to coach the heart behind the athlete and sharpen our skills as coaches. I'll send the link and information if anyone is interested once it's out!"

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Technique: Interview with James Tietema-Wrestling, Handfighting, & Life

Photo Credit:
Michigan Wrestling Resource recently caught up with James Tietema for a short interview.  James Tietema is a former college coach and wrestler. He was an All-American (NCAA D2) at the University of Findley, and National Finalist (NJCAA) wrestling at Muskegon CC.  He won a state title for West Ottawa HS in Holland, MI and amassed over 100 falls in his prep career. In other words, he's good so listen up.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Resource: Individual Wrestling Tournament Score Sheet

Sure, everyone is going away from paper and using Trackwrestling for stats these days. I'm very supportive of the idea as it cuts down on the amount of work involved in compiling and tracking statistics. I also like that we are using less paper products to run tournaments.

That said, a lot of coaches still prefer keeping stats on paper and it's always good to have paper on hand as a backup if Trackwrestling goes down or the wireless goes out.

One of my assistant coaches from early in my career was an awesome man who had been around wrestling a long time. His name was Vince Trzinski and he knew everyone everywhere we went.

He gave me this awesome document to keep track of stats at individual tournaments. Each wrestler had their own sheet and sheets could be traded off by coaches and statisticians when multiple wrestlers were going at a time. Impossible to do with a scorebook, and difficult with tablets unless you have several.  Anyway... Without further ado, here's the download link...