AMES, Iowa – The honeymoon is over.
Iowa State wrestling had 12 place winners at the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open on Saturday. But the Cyclones only came away with four finalists and three champions. One of those champions, Chase Straw, only had to wrestle one match due to a bye and a medical forfeit.
Iowa State wrestling coach Kevin Dresser has the ammunition he needs to get his wrestlers where he wants them to be.
“Some good, some bad and some ugly,” Dresser said. “You have one positive one and two negative ones there – you have a bad and an ugly. For us as a coaching staff, this is really a starting point right now because you watch these guys wrestle in the room, but this is different out here.”
Dresser and his coaching staff can show their wrestlers what they’re doing wrong and why they aren’t having the success that they want to have.
“Now we can tell them, now they saw it out here and they felt it out here,” Dresser said. “To me, this is day one. Now we can really get on the horse and go.”
One of the major problems that arose was the conditioning of some of the wrestlers.
By the time they got to the third period of their third match, or sooner, they were gassed. Dresser said there were too many to name, individually.
“We had some guys, it was ugly,” Dresser said. “We have some guys that can wrestle really well. But we have some guys that need to listen. They think they know what they’re doing and have a lot of bad habits. Now, we have ammunition. We have a lot of guys that are just nodding their head but that’s all they’re doing. It’s all lip service and it has to change.”
The lone true star of the day was redshirt freshman Ian Parker (133).
Parker didn’t surrender a takedown over the course of the tournament and outscored his opponents 23-6. He beat Missouri’s Alan Hart 13-5, UNI’s Jack Wagner 4-0 and Northern Illinois’ Allijah Jeffery in the championship match 6-1.
“I know the one guy on the team right now that does everything right and that’s a detail-oriented guy Ian Parker,” Dresser said. “He’s cutting more weight, he’s got more discipline, he’s got a stronger work ethic – he’s the gold standard in our room right now. Is he the best wrestler on our team? No. But you saw what happens when you do things right.”
Dresser said it’s fitting that Parker won the tournament because when he goes into the room he “kills himself” he works so hard. He doesn’t just show up to say he’s there.
“There are always exceptions to the rule but the Ian Parkers of the world are the guys that get on the podiums and win the titles because it’s that important to them,” Dresser said. “He’s killing himself every time he steps foot in the room. And that’s why he gets those results.”
Dresser wants to mold more Ian Parkers.
“They’re going to start doing things our way now,” Dresser said. “The honeymoon’s over starting Monday.”