Nov. 22, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- What is the message University of Iowa head wrestling coach Tom Brands is preaching to his team heading into their first dual competition this Friday at the Iowa City Duals?
"Things don't automatically happen," said Brands. "Your past results don't entitle you to wide margins. What I am doing today and tomorrow to get ready for the next event is the most important thing, and there has to be urgency.
"If you're laissez-faire, lazy or too patient, then you're probably going to get passed by. There are some guys that can maybe train that way and approach their matches that way, but not very many."
In last weekend's opening tournament -- the Joe Parisi Open -- seven Hawkeyes were crowned champions. Among the winners were redshirt freshmen Mike Evans and Bobby Telford. Both wrestlers won wrestle-off rematches to grab hold of the spots in the UI lineup.
"Things don't automatically happen. Your past results don't entitle you to wide margins. What I am doing today and tomorrow to get ready for the next event is the most important thing, and there has to be urgency.
UI head coach Tom Brands
"They have solidified their spot," said Brands. "But, the other guy has to be ready to step in, regardless. They have to continue to train with the mindset they are national champion at their weight class. The motivation still has to be at a high level.
"Those two guys (Telford/Evans) certainly put a stamp on their weight class."
Sophomore Tony Ramos turned the tide on his wrestle-off result with a victory over senior Tyler Clark in the 133 pounds final, claiming a 4-1 decision. Clark had previously won the first meeting on Nov. 12, 4-2.
Brands isn't tipping his cap as to who will be in the lineup come Friday.
"We'll see what happens the next couple of days," he said. "Right now I probably have a way I am leaning, but we'll see how it goes."
Brands was pleased with the way his freshmen -- specifically Brody Grothus at 149 pounds -- competed in the opening tournament, but he wants to see more. The Davenport, Iowa, native had three pins, including one in his finals match over Missouri's Kellen Nounous, en route to the individual title.
"Let's see it again," said Brands. "The UNI Open is coming up and after that there are tournaments in Dubuque and around the Midwest. Let's see what happens with him."
In preparation for the intensity level increasing, Brands keeps coming back to urgency.
"There has to be a lot of effort, a lot more happening in the seven minute matches," said Brands. "Grab the spot and don't think it's yours eternally because there is a lot of competition underneath you and there's a lot of competition out there. Don't give your opponent hope.
"We're going to compete this weekend, and then the stakes get higher."
The Hawkeyes host the Iowa City Duals on Friday inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa will put its 77-match unbeaten streak on the line against Baker (3 p.m.), Cornell College (5 p.m.) and Iowa Central (7 p.m.).