AMES — Iowa State wrestling coach Kevin Dresser was a high school coach for 18 years in Virginia before he began coaching in college.
Starting Monday, he said he’s going back to his roots and will start coaching Iowa State like a high school team.
Iowa State lost to No. 8 Oklahoma State 23-9 on Sunday at Hilton Coliseum and Dresser didn’t like what he saw at most weights.
“I read this to them earlier this year, ‘Coaching isn’t about holding people accountable, it’s about teaching them to hold themselves accountable,’” Dresser said. “When you coach high school kids you have to teach them everything. You have to teach them how to put their sweats on and how to take their sweats off, you have to teach them how to measure their food out — you have to micromanage them like crazy. Hopefully by the time they’re seniors you don’t have to micromanage them as much but because of maturity reasons, some of them have to be micromanaged all the way through.
“You shouldn’t have to do that too much in college but this team, starting (Monday) morning at 6:30, is going to be micromanaged. We’re going to put them on the scale like ninth graders every day — multiple times a day.”
Dresser preaches about “the little things” which he considers things like weight management, sleep and doing the right things every day.
“I let them do it their way, and it’s not working,” Dresser said. “I’m saying that as an overall team — obviously we have some individuals that are doing some good things. But we have guys that need to be held accountable. We have guys that want to do it their way and their way isn’t working.
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“It wasn’t that our effort was terrible today but you can’t fake it when you don’t feel good in the third period. It’s not one major thing that’s wrong, it’s a whole bunch of little things that add up in this sport that are getting us right now.”
Dresser pointed to Sam Colbray at 174, who the coach believes is a very talented wrestler, but one who isn’t doing things the right way.
“He’s cutting corners and wants to do it his way,” Dresser said. “He doesn’t want to be honest about where he’s at weight-wise, and it showed up out there.”
Todd Small (133) was another example. He let himself get too heavy after the meet against South Dakota State last week, as an example.
“He had to crash down to get to weight,” Dresser said. “They all have to understand that they have to live at their weight or weight range for weeks in order for them to feel good. And we haven’t done that. That’s on them.”
Dresser is going to get his wrestlers to understand by micromanaging, something he’s not thrilled about.
“It’s exhausting to have to micromanage. It’s exhausting,” Dresser said. “But we have to do it. There comes a point where there has to be honesty — at least a ninth grader will tell you the truth. Twenty-one-year-olds that have a lot of bad habits — you have to get the truth out of them and then you have to micromanage them.
“We have a few guys that need to learn how to tell the truth.”
No. 6 Ian Parker (141) is someone who lives exactly how Dresser wants his guys to live. From the moment Dresser took over as Iowa State’s coach, he has pointed to Parker as the model wrestler for the Cyclones (5-4, 2-1).
No. 3 David Carr is another guy who is doing things the right way.
It’s no surprise that the two highest-rated wrestlers on the team are the two who are doing things the right way.
“Ian Parker really, really gets it. Really gets it,” Dresser said. “You teach him how to do something, and then he can do it — I’m talking about lifestyle, toughness and commitment. Obviously he’s always working at getting better at wrestling, and we have to continue to get him better at wrestling. He has a tough-guy style and he’s hard to score on. He doesn’t score a lot but he gets his hand raised a heck of a lot times. We need more guys on our team to live that lifestyle.
“David Carr did a great job and I told him in the locker room that he’s one minute away — shape-wise — of really making a good run this year. But he has to get one more minute in him. You saw him work really hard to get a major decision and do what he had to do for the team. That was great effort from him.”
Parker doesn’t think the lifestyle he lives is a difficult one.
“It’s just a matter of starting those habits and getting into them and making your lifestyle that kind of routine,” Parker said. “It’s also a matter of, ‘How bad do you want it?’ You have to make decisions on what kind of food you’re going to eat or if you’re going to go out and party. How bad do you want it?
“If you really want it bad, those things don’t mean anything. It’s really not that hard.”
OKLAHOMA STATE 23, IOWA STATE 9
125 — Nick Piccininni (OSU) major dec. Alex Mackall, 10-2
133 — Reece Witcraft (OSU) dec. Todd Small, 9-8
141 — Ian Parker (ISU) dec. Dusty Hone, 5-2
149 — Boo Lewallen (OSU) major dec. Ryan Leisure, 13-1
157 — David Carr (ISU) major dec. Wyatt Sheets, 14-6
165 — Travis Wittlake (OSU) dec. Chase Straw, 9-4
174 — Joe Smith (OSU) dec. Sam Colbray, 5-2
184 — Anthony Montalvo (OSU) dec. Marcus Coleman, 6-2
197 — Dakota Geer (OSU) major dec. Francis Duggan, 21-8
285 — Gannon Gremmel (ISU) dec. Cornelius Putnam, 6-2
*Both teams deducted 1 team point for mat-control violations
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