BY BENJAMIN J. GOHS, EDITOR
Boyne’s wrestling program looks to build a small, young squad into a team it can keep.
With just a baker’s dozen of athletes, Boyne City High School Varsity Assistant Coach Bob South thinks he can fill 12 of 14 weight classes this year.
“We’re real young,” South said. “We’ve got four freshmen and then a number of guys rounding out the team are second-year guys, and we’ve only got two seniors on the team.”
According to South, the local wrestling feeder program was in decline for a while, which accounts for the low numbers of kids competing. But, he said, effort is being put into rebuilding that foundation for the future.
South spoke to the Gazette while on his way to a special clinic which gives his team a chance at scrimmages and a joint practice at Sparta High School.
“Because of inexperience, generally what we do is we hang our hat on conditioning, being mentally tough, trying not to make mistakes, and being there until the end of the match—to be the last man standing,” South said. “And, of course, reinforcing fundamentals.”
South said he loves coaching wrestling because he enjoys the fact that it’s a sport that’s based entirely on your own hard work, effort and mental toughness.
“We tell our guys there is no shame in losing if you gave it your all,” he said. “We’re not as interested in wins and losses if our kids give it all their effort.”
South said his team’s lack of depth is always a challenge but he hopes their youth development program will help solve that issue in future seasons.
South, who had been head wrestling coach over the last eight years, stepped down into the assistant position so he could run for a seat on the Boyne City school board.
The head coach this year is Jay Franks.
The varsity wrestling team will compete next at 9 a.m. on Saturday Dec. 10 in St. Ignace.