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Brock Landon Talks Changes to Tiger-Grizz
Skyline wrestling Head Coach Brock Landon discusses the rapid expansion of the Tiger-Grizz tournament
Published: 1/30/2020 10:16:57 AM
Robert Reeve
Staff Writer

When Brock Landon took over the Skyline wrestling program two years ago, one of the many responsibilities that came with the job was organizing one of the largest and most storied wrestling tournaments in the state.

Not many are as steeped in the history of Tiger-Grizz as Landon. He grew up hearing stories about it from his father, who placed first in the tournament during his high school career. 

Landon earned the opportunity to participate himself when he was in high school. Now as the wrestling coach of Skyline, he keeps the tournament alive and well, providing opportunities for other athletes to wrestle in the Tiger-Grizz and make their own memories. 

"It means a lot being able to host this tournament. You get to form bonds and rub shoulders with other coaches and learn about their programs," Landon said. "There are a lot of great teams here and it makes for tough competition. That is kind of what this tournament is known for and it’s great to be able to keep it going. It’s a great way to help kids prepare for the state tournament. They face tough competition and it helps them get mentally tough and know what they are going to have to do to make it through to state."

The tournament has grown to include 38 schools from four different states. This year, participation in Tiger-Grizz reached more than 3,000 athletes. 

"Three years ago, I think there were 28 teams. This year, we had 38, so it’s hard year to year to anticipate how to prepare because we are never quite sure how many people will show up,” Landon said. "It takes a lot of organization and planning and setting up logistics, where mats are going to go and where and when each match is taking place. I get a lot of help from my AD Gregg Baczuk, and from many volunteers. It all takes a lot of work and we get a lot of help to make it all run." 

But with growth comes change, and Landon said Tiger-Grizz operations have had to evolve with the rapid expansion of the tournament. One notable change was adjusting to a pod-based system over a traditional bracket tournament. 

"I really enjoy this change, it gives the kids more mat time, and with pods we were able to set up a second-chance tournament,” Landon said. “Each kid can get up to three or four more matches."

Another change that has been added to the tournament is the addition of a girls division. 

"It adds a lot to the sport and it’s exciting,” Landon said. "It’s a great thing to add in. For them to be a part of the sport and have them be able to grow within the sport, it’s just exciting to see."

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