What coach said...this week in wrestling

RBHS and Fenwick's head coaches reflect on season

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By James Kay

Sports Editor

We are introducing a new weekly section of the paper called, "What Coach Said." The section covers a different sport each week and includes interviews with varsity-level coaches in the area. This week, we're highlighting wrestling. RBHS' and Fenwick's varsity coaches sat down to discuss the direction of each of their respective programs. *Note: LTHS' program will be highlighted next week. 

RBHS head coach Nick Curby has watched his inexperienced team blossom as the season has progressed. Here is what he had to say about the season up to this point:

On how the team has improved throughout the season…

"I have been very happy with how our seniors have been leading and how the underclassmen have been progressing. When you have underclassmen in the lineup, you might start off to a slow start as they get experience, which was why the first couple dual [meets] were rough; but [they] got their feet wet pretty fast. Ever since our first tournament, the inexperienced guys have stepped up and have really focused at practice. You can tell that they are eager to get better and be prepared for February."

On sophomore Brock Hoyd's year two adjustments…

"When you are a freshman, everything is new. Heading into year two, you know what to expect. You actually have an offseason to get ready and the lights aren't as bright when you step out onto the mat at the varsity level. Of course, then there is the pressure that he puts on himself since he knows what it's like and he sets the bar a little bit higher, having been a state qualifier as a freshman. He doesn't want to qualify this year…he wants to place [at state] so all of that has really built up in his second year. To this point, he has met that bar he has set for himself."

On peaking right before regionals…

"I would say the theme for this year is, 'improvement.' Not only throughout the season, but throughout the years that [the team] has been wrestling for me. We have really put ourselves in a position where we can, as a team, make a run at the regional title in a couple of weeks. That is something we have really been talking about a lot in that we need every guy to get better because they might be able to score a few points for us at the regional tournament which could make all the difference. We have a lot of goals not only as individuals, but as a team. We want to make a run at the regional title."  

 

After serving as an assistant coach the past few years, Friars' Seth Gamino is in his first year as Fenwick's head coach. Here is what he had to say about the season so far:

On how injuries derailed the beginning of the season…

"The year started off a little staggering, since we were dealing with injuries. Our star, Matt Zuber, who is a four-year wrestler and state qualifier, had a tear in his knee. We didn't get him back until mid-December. That is always going to hurt you, but when he got healthy, David Capron started dealing with a shoulder injury. So, we got one guy back and lost another guy. But we are getting healthier day by day."

On state goals for the end of the season…

"We have four real promising kids in senior Matt Zuber, junior David Capron, heavy weight sophomore Jimmy Liston, and senior Max Daley. One of our big goals to start the year was to have the most state qualifiers we have had in the last ten years. We haven't had more than three since 2008 so we are shooting for four this year so we can get Fenwick wrestling back on the map. It's a very exciting time."

On being a first-year head coach and taking the reins of the wrestling program…

"You know, it was a lot more nerve-wracking than I expected. In my business, I deal with a million and one things and can go to sleep at night but since I've become the wrestling coach I find myself waking up in the middle of the night thinking, 'oh my god what are we going to do from 4:50 a.m. to 5:10 a.m.?' You have to really plan. Twenty minutes of wrestling feels like two hours. It's been stressful, but you want what's best for the boys and if they don't meet their goals, it feels like it falls on you, because you didn't get them there. I find that wonderful and stressful at the same time. To have their eyes looking at me, knowing that I am their head coach, is a joy that I didn't know I would love as much as I do now."

Preparing for regionals and taking advantage of being able to host…

"The boys are doing such a great job preparing every day and getting ready for regionals. It's great, because we get to host [regionals] and I want them to get excited about potentially getting to win at home. I am not saying we are going to win the regional, but I think we have a sneaky good chance of winning and being able to do it at home."

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