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home : columns : columns May 24, 2016

7/17/2013 11:22:00 AM
Caretaker, puppet master, scout, winner

Joel Alvstad
Sports Editor

For as long as I've known Brad Schlomann, I've also known that words don't come easily for him.
I've also known that he tends to keep things pretty close to the vest. Perhaps he's superstitious, perhaps he's overly cautious. But he never would give me any quote that would give away too much information, and he'd never give me a quote that could be deemed as "bulletin board material."
Schlomann always saw his head coaching role with the Cobra wrestling program as one of being a caretaker. He wanted to keep the program continuing on the path that his predecessor, Dave Elg, had it on until he could turn the program over to someone younger with new ideas.
A lot of that has to do with the unique nature of coaching wrestling. A wrestling team has a wide range of ages, sizes and skill levels. A successful program is one that caters to each individual's needs, while always keeping in mind the ultimate goal of team success.
In recent years, since taking over the head coaching position from Dave Elg, Schlomann also took over Elg's primary role: puppet master. By delegating authority with the assistants, he was able to meet each kids' needs.
That allowed Schlomann to do something that few coaches in the region in any sport do better: scout. Schlomann scoured websites, newspapers and anything he could find, looking for scores, stats and any nugget of information he could get his hands on.
That allowed him to develop a gameplan for each match, allowing the Cobras to take advantage of favorable matchups and try to minimize unfavorable matchups.
The proof is in the results. A few years ago when the Cobras defeated Dawson-Boyd/Lac Qui Parle Valley in the section tournament, Schlomann had correctly predicted every matchup and had nearly predicted correctly the outcome for each matchup. His prediction of the final score was within a couple of points.
All that preparation helped make the Cobra program a winner - without a doubt, the most successful boys' sports program in Windom in the past decade-plus.
Now, after 11 years with the program, including the last three as head coach, Schlomann is resigning his head coaching position - turning the program over to someone younger with new ideas to help the program continue to succeed.
Actually, the program will be taken over by a couple of someones who are both very familiar names to local sports fans and wrestling fans in particular. Former Cobra greats Nick Kulseth and Travis Elg will be the co-head coaches for the Cobras next winter.
The new coaches have a pedigree of success and have the youthful enthusiasm to help a young Cobra wrestling team contend.
See next week's paper for a full story.

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