It’s my third season with the Tar Heels and I started this season with one main goal - to make these students-athletes better wrestlers and better men. One point I wanted to emphasize this season was serving others and the community. I took an initiative, with the help of our student athlete development resources, to get involved with organizations in Chapel Hill and the surrounding areas. This is something I wish I would have done more when I was a student-athlete at Iowa because as I have learned: your presence can have a huge impact!
I am very proud to say that we did a great job this season! I hope to continue to push our community engagement initiative going forward. A few of the things we have started to implement are reading at schools, discussions with parent/kid groups with All Pro Dads, volunteering at support groups like widowed support groups, and our biggest project was teaming up with the UNC Children’s Hospital.
Our partnership with the Children’s hospital hits close to home for me. When I was 4 years old, I was struck by a car in the city of Chicago. I spent a few weeks at the Children’s Hospital in the city while recovering. My memories from that time are very limited, but I do remember spending time in the play atrium and how I felt when my siblings would come hang out with me. As part of our partnership with the UNC, the team and coaching staff went in small groups to spend the day in the play atrium before each home dual meet. We got to hang out and play with anyone who wanted to or just needed to see a smiling face. It was amazing for us to see how the strength of the children and families. They go to battle every single day just as our men do in the wrestling room. These children are faced with tough and life threatening situations and are so admirably resilient! This also meant even more to me because two weeks into our partnership a very special 2 year old in my extended family was diagnosed with cancer. I love watching videos of her playing around the children’s hospital or being escorted in a wagon around like the VIP she is!
We also implemented a Kid’s Captain in our home dual meets. Which is an idea I got from the Hawkeye football team where we would invite a child associated with the hospital and their family to get a behind the scenes look before the meet and have them walk out with the team prior to the dual. They would then join our captains and the center mat for the coin flip. You could see the joy! With the help of the Tar Heel fans, we raised 5k for the hospital to use to improve the experience for the families and children. Thank you to everyone who donated!
This has been a great season for the Tar Heels on and off the mat, and we look forwarding in improving on our efforts in both areas each year!
Coaches, athletes, parents - here are some easy ways to give back.
- Donate! One of my favorite organizations is UNC Children's Hospital. Here is the direct links! (UNC Children's Hospital) Another fun one on my list is to call a local elementary and pay off past due lunch fees.
- Call a local elementary school or after school program and see if you can share your story about wrestling and why it has made you a better person or have your team spend some 1-on-1 times with the kids!
Two things to leave you with:
1. Always remember to give back to the community that helps build you!
2. Your donated time is just as valuable as your treasure!
One topic that is brought up every year in the wrestling world is the SAUNA. It was banned by the NCAA and still is to this day. Each year the topic gets brought up about how using the sauna correctly can only help our athletes and not hinder them. Saunas are used all over the world by many people. In many countries the sauna house or spa is a daily routine. When I spent weeks over in Russian training, every Sunday we would go to the sauna house and spend all afternoon cleansing our mind, body, and soul. Saunas have many benefits not just for athletes but for everybody.
Sweating has been used as a therapy for thousands of years. Mayans used sweat house 3,000 years ago for religious ceremonies and to promote good health, according to Harvard Health Publications. There are many different types of saunas but regardless of which one you use they all have similar health benefits. They ease pain, improve stress, and increase your heart health. When a person sits in a sauna your heart rate increases and blood vessels widen. It is very similar to doing moderate exercise with low impact on the body. The increased blood circulation and decrease of inflammation in the body helps reduce muscle soreness, improve joint movement, and ease pain.
In Finland they did a study following 2,315 men from the age range of 42-60 over 20 years. The participants who sauna two to three times a week were 22 percent less likely to have sudden cardiac deaths to those who used it once a week. Those who used it four to seven times a week were 63 percent less likely to sudden cardiac death and 50 percent less to die from cardiovascular diseases than those who sauna once a week. There are a few assumptions of to why this may be. One is the reduced stress level that are caused from the relaxation of using a sauna and the association of lower blood pressure from an enhanced functioning heart. Another is that saunas are often done communally and help you bond with others.
For me personally I use a sauna after workouts to help reduce the soreness and inflammation from a workout. I feel it helps me recover faster and allows me to put multiple hard training sessions together without beating up my body. On an off day from my training I use the sauna as a workout tool to increase my heart rate and get a good sweat in while not having high impact on my body and joints. I also use it to help relax my mind and flush the toxins from my body. When used right and for the right reason daily use of a sauna can only increase your health.
Russian Sauna (Off Day or Recovery Workout)
16-18min relax and reflect (quiet time)
5min break (hot/cold contrast shower)
10-12min (sit/relax/hang with friends)
5min break (hot cold contrast shower and drink hot tea)
8-10min (sit/relax/hang with friends)
5min break (hot/cold contrast shower and drink hot tea)
6min (sit/relax/hang with friends)
Finish up with drinking a lot of water throughout the day and eating lots of fresh fruit!
*Do not drink any fluids until after the second sauna sit.
Ramos was drafted 6th overall last Saturday night in the first ever American Wrestling League inaugural draft. The event will take place November 30th at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, IA.
American Wrestling League has released the list of eligible contestants for Saturday night's inaugural draft.
By: Andy Hamilton of Track Wrestling
UPDATE: The American Wrestling League on Saturday announced some changes to its draft list. James Green and Zain Retherford have been added to the list and Thomas Gilman has been removed from consideration for tonight's draft.
Here's Friday's story:
The American Wrestling League has released the list of eligible contestants for Saturday night’s inaugural AWL Draft.
Captains Kyle Dake and David Taylor will have a 67-wrestler pool to select from as they form their teams for the league’s inaugural event, which will be held November 30 at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Saturday night's draft will be streamed live for free on Trackwrestling at 7 p.m. ET from the Airliner in Iowa City.
The two newly minted World champions will have an opportunity to build their squads from a list of draft-eligibles that includes World silver medalist Thomas Gilman, U23 World champion Richie Lewis, U23 bronze medalist Ty Walz and 11 Division I NCAA champions: Darian Cruz, Cory Clark, Nico Megaludis, Tony Ramos, Dean Heil, Jordan Oliver, Frank Molinaro, Isaiah Martinez, Alex Dieringer, Mike Macchiavello and Kyven Gadson. Greco-Roman Olympians Ben Provisor and Robby Smith and Greco Junior World champion Kamal Bey are also on the list.
Dake and Taylor will each select 20 wrestlers — one starter and one alternate at all 10 international weight classes — to compete in the league's first dual, dubbed AWL I: The Beginning. Tickets are on sale AmericanWrestling.org. The inaugural event will also be streamed live on Trackwrestling.
“This is the beginning of the brand new American Wrestling League in the United States of America," AWL executive director Jonny Ruggiano said. "The wrestlers are excited. We are ecstatic to see the level and the amount of participation and interest people have in the draft. Those who are competing and those who are coaching are very motivated to see this happen and see the next step of freestyle wrestling in the United States and we are excited to bring the greatest show on earth to the fans. We know it’s going to be the fans who are going to make this dream a reality.”
Here’s the full list of wrestlers who are eligible for the draft:
57 kilograms Darian Cruz
61 kilograms Cory Clark
65 kilogramsNick Dardanes
70 kilogramsAnthony Collica
74 kilograms Nick Becker
79 kilograms Josh Asper
Kyle Dake (captain)
86 kilogramsSam Brooks
David Taylor (captain)
92 kilograms Mike Macchiavello
97 kilograms Micah Burak
125 kilograms Dom Bradley