My brother Justin, helped coach the Iowa City West wrestling program at varying levels for at least 5 years. With that said, Justin used to keep me consistently informed as to how the guys he was coaching at the time were faring. One kid that he raved about from the moment he began coaching him was a kid named Dylan Carew. He had a lot of fun watching him because along with being elite on the mat, he was, according to Justin, a leader, coachable, respectful, funny and an overall good presence to have in the room. I ended up watching him just dominate for the next few years. Kid was a lot of fun to watch. My brother was right on about him.
On a sidenote, to the North Liberty area kids, if you are contemplating checking out Dylan’s club, Big Game WC, I’d say stop contemplating and do it! Wrestling in general has very good potential to prosper in that area and Carew, for sure, is a great wrestling mind to have in your kids’ corner. Sounds like the facilities are top-notch as well! Not trying to advocate for any club over the others. Iowa is fortunate to have several top-notch options for club wrestling. I’m just stating what I know, that Dylan Carew is a great guy to have polishing your kids’ skills.
Who or what encouraged you to give wrestling a try?
My father introduced me to wrestling when I was 4 years old and I have been hooked since.
Do you have any family who wrestled or wrestles currently? Parents, children, brothers, etc.? How did they do?
Everyone in my family wrestles or did including my sister. I have had state place winners in my family that includes; my brother, cousin and uncles. The sport is definitely a part of our family on both sides.
What were your youth results? Any rivals there?
As a youth, I was very competitive and won quite a bit. I was lucky enough to be a part of one of the best clubs in the country which produced tons of great wrestlers. We chased competition all over the country. No real rivals, so to speak, but had some scraps over the years.
What was your record in HS?
How did you do at state?
1st, 7th, 3rd, 1st
What do you like better, coaching or wrestling? You began a youth club not long ago, correct? How has that gone?
That’s a loaded question. I love to compete and don’t mind a good fight so I’d love to be out there myself, but I look at coaching the same way. When one of my guys is out there that’s a part of me out there because I’m competing from the corner to help them anyway I can. The club started 7 years ago and we are in Montana and Iowa. I was gone from the state for several years coaching in Montana, so we are in our 3rd season back here in Iowa. Things are going well we just built a 12,000 sq. ft. facility in North Liberty and are growing all the time. We look forward to what the future has for our athletes.
What were some of the most notable adverse challenges or moments you experienced in wrestling and how did it turn out?
Injuries. I dealt with them from my sophomore year of high school until the end of my career at Iowa. I had 4 ACL tears and countless other scopes and such. It was a set back every time and the more it happens, the harder it gets to deal with physically and mentally. Things turned out ok though and I have a different perspective because of the injuries. It taught me a lot. I realize that if the worst thing that happens to me is the injuries stopping my career, things are gonna be good for a long time.
Who was your most influential coach?
Jeff Carew, Mark Reiland, Pablo Ubasa. Without a doubt, all those guys from the start have been there for me.
Was your team competitive in HS/college?
In high school we won 2 state titles and had two runner up finishes, we were ranked in the top 10 in the country 3 years for sure, maybe even all 4 of my years there. In college as a true freshman when I was at Iowa, we won the big tens and NCAA tournaments, as well as had high finishes the rest of the time.
Who was your most influential wrestler that you looked up to growing up?
Mark Ironside, TJ Williams, Doug Schwab, Jessie Whitmer. Basically all the great Hawkeyes.
Who are your favorite current wrestlers?
Anyone I coached/coach currently I love watching my college guys compete.
What was the most upset you ever felt after a loss?
My sophomore year of HS and the Fargo finals. Those ones stick out, but honestly every loss since I was kid are the same to me. I’ve never been big on losing.
What was your best wrestling memory/accomplishment?
Helping my little brother achieve his goal of attaining a state medal in HS and sharing that moment with him and my older brother. As well watching Jarrett Degen become a Div. 1 All-American. Those are what I’m most proud of.
After winning state as a Freshman and then falling short as a Sophomore and Junior, how did it feel to secure another state championship as a Senior?
Honestly, it was good because I needed to finish the job. It was a tough season for me I wrestled almost the whole year with a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus. I had to fight through some tough times, but I’m lucky I had great coaches and family around me.
Who were some of your most notable competitors in high school? College?
Tony Ramos, Pat Smith, Ellis Coleman, Alton’s, Matt McDonough. I had good fights with all those guys over the years.
Who was the fiercest competitor you ever faced?
The fiercest guys I competed against were always in the practice room. I have to say the guys I grew up with were all tough and didn’t like to give anything up, but in college at Iowa, guys like Mike Zadick, Doug Schwab, Brent Metcalf, Daniel Dennis are probably the fiercest.
Were there any IC West guys you grew up watching?
Yes, we watched all wrestlers in the Iowa City area and were fans of a bunch of guys from the area. West high had some tough guys back then in the Richardson brothers, Edwards boys and more.
Did you wrestle all year or was it seasonal for you?
I wrestled all year, taking a small break at the end of the freestyle and greco season. Since I was young it’s been a consistent, all the time.
Did you wrestle after high school?
Yes, I attended the University of Iowa, which eventually ended from injury.
How would you describe your wrestling style?
Unorthodox, trying to score, competing to win, I tried to wrestle every position.
What other sports did you play?
I played baseball and football as a kid, but realized I needed to wrestle all the time in junior high to get to where I wanted.
Did you have good practice partners to help push you in the room?
Yes tons, but the main ones since I was young stayed the same. Derek St. John, Nate Moore, Nick Moore, Grant Gambrall, Tyler Carew and some others. These guys were and still are instrumental in my life.
What are your favorite sports teams?
All our state colleges. As well all the places my buddies coach wrestling.
What are your hobbies other than wrestling?
Hunting and racing, but hunting is pretty big in my life. I go all over the country and spend a lot of time in Montana hunting.
How has wrestling shaped you as a person to this day?
It’s taught me everything. Life lesson after life lesson. More then anything it has taught me to work hard, learn to persevere and fight for what you want in the world.
What do you do now?
I’m very lucky to work alongside with my family in a business my dad started 31 years ago in Carew Landscaping. Also, I run Big Game WC with my family as well.
Are you still involved with wrestling?
Everyday, I coach and travel to tournaments all over. I’m as involved as I ever have been.
Any advice for upcoming wrestlers?
Know your goals from a young age and chase them to the end of the earth. If you are lucky enough to achieve them, be someone you would have looked up to as a kid. Be exciting, personable and accountable in all aspects of life and sport.
Any chance we see you wtorestle again at an Old Timer’s tournament?
That’s a solid no, for my body is pretty beat up. I save my limited goes for my HS guys and the college guys when they are back in town and wanna whip me.
Would you like to give a shout out to anyone you wrestled with, against, coached, etc.?
Everyone that I have met along the way in wrestling, good and bad. I feel lucky to have friends all over the country because of this sport.
Do you have anything add? Funny/interesting stories? Trivia? Etc.
Anyone that knows me, knows I have tons of stories, but they are better told in person!