published Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Wrestling coaches careful with video

FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- It isn't as big as in football, but some wrestling coaches are beginning to use video to enhance their programs.

"We get highlights from our video, but that's mostly for banquet use," Central coach Marques Dotson said.

He added that assistants Joey Knox and Josh Edmondson are good about pointing out mistakes, "and all three of us come up with things to address in practice."

They don't use it for scouting purposes.

"I haven't used video all season other than seeing the Bradley-Hixson meet back in November," said Dotson, whose Purple Pounders won the 2012 Class A/AA duals championship. "I don't know of a rule. I guess if you pay to come and watch, there's no harm in it, but I frown on it. Some coaches may think differently, but if somebody wants to see us I think they ought to come see us in a tournament or a dual meet. Don't videotape it."

Soddy-Daisy videos often, but coach Steve Henry doesn't look at the tapes often.

"Every wrestler has one or two or three good moves, and everybody in the state knows what they are," he said.

Baylor and McCallie use video more extensively than other local programs.

"Certainly video has added to the work week for a coach if you really watch them, and carefully," said Baylor assistant Schaack Van Deusen, who is widely recognized as one of the best scouts and technicians in the business. "It can be a strong aid to improving techniques and helping a coach to know what areas to work on in practice, and you can further individualize practices."

McCallie's Gordon Connell videoed the national tournament for years for the NCAA, and he has a vast library of some of the nation's best collegiate wrestlers.

"The only rule I know of is that you're supposed to only tape your own wrestlers," he said. "Video has definitely changed the scouting of opponents since it provides clear feedback on tendencies, strengths and weaknesses of the competition, but video also exposes those same qualities for self-assessment so that coach and wrestler can make adjustments to improve performance."

Logsdon spotted

Former Bradley Central coach Steve Logsdon, a mentor to first-year Bears coach Ben Smith and the architect of numerous outstanding seasons, was seen slipping out a side door at the Williamson County Agricultural Expo.

While the Bears were making a fight of it and looked capable of a top-five finish, this is the first year since 2007 that they haven't won the duals championship or the traditional title or both. Bradley still has the longest consecutive streak for traditional titles, 2001-05. The school has 12 duals championships and 10 traditional titles.

Albatross gone

Bradley Central heavyweight Patrick Benson moved into the Division I championship semifinals by wrenching what one of his coaches called "an albatross" from around his neck.

The defending state champ had wrestled Soddy-Daisy's Alex Seeley twice and lost to him twice during the regular season. He finally got by the Trojans' 6-foot-8 "gentle giant" Friday morning in the quarterfinals, 3-2.

In the semis

Of the 56 Division I semifinal slots, 45 were manned by region champions. Each weight class except 120 and 170 pounds had at least three region winners. Among the "surprises" at 120 was Soddy-Daisy's Jacob Stevens, who finished second in Region 4 last week to Notre Dame's Packy Mullin.

Stevens isn't really a surprise. He was the state's 112-pound champion a year ago. Both he and Mullin made the semifinals.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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