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Rhyan wants to take wresting program to next level

By: Matt Long
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Over the past five years, Oak Ridge High’s wrestling team has developed into one of the top programs in the area. Interest in the sport has grown and the Trojans annually have a good number of wrestlers out for the team and have had their fair number of individuals do well in the postseason, most notably in recent years, Kyle West and Vinny Waldhauser. Head coach Casey Rhyan, however, wants the program to take the next step and with that in mind, has created a Fall Season Complete Wrestler Prep Program, which is for anyone interested in wrestling from fifth through 12th grades. Rhyan said the program has been specifically designed to develop the complete wrestler. It’s a multi-faceted program developed for all wrestlers whether it’s their first introduction to the sport or if they’re an advanced wrestler trying to improve. “The main reason we put this together is because I want to take this program to the next level,” Rhyan said. “I want us to take the next step and be able to consistently compete for a section title. We’ve had some great individuals who have done well in the postseason, but I want to bring that up a level.” The other reason for the program, Rhyan said, is to get everyone together, from the fifth-graders to the seniors in high school, and have them doing the same thing. During the program, which runs from Aug. 22 to Oct. 27, wrestlers will be trained in wrestling-specific strength, conditioning and agility training twice a week by Dan Pierce from Full Throttle Fitness and the other two days they will be in the wrestling room working out. Wrestlers will also learn about sports nutrition from a certified nutritionist, brush up on some sports psychology, be introduced to basic and advanced wrestling techniques taught by various coaches and guest clinicians and participate in live wrestling competitions. Life skills such as work ethic, integrity, good sportsmanship, leadership, teamwork and perseverance will also be taught. “With the sports psychology, I’m talking about things like how to approach a season, setting goals, how to prepare for a tournament when you’ve got several matches, how to prepare for a dual meet when you’ve only got one match, how to deal with adversity and the overall mindset of a wrestler. We want to teach them everything it takes to be successful.” Ideally, Rhyan would have every wrestler from fifth to 12th grade in the program, but he knows that won’t happen. First of all, those athletes participating in other fall sports will likely not be able to participate, while others might not want to pay the $250 that the program costs. “I know we won’t have everybody participate, but those who do will get a good foundation to build from and will be way ahead of everyone else when the season starts,” Rhyan said. Oak Ridge junior wrestler Keaton Subjeck, who placed eighth in the state last year at 145 pounds, is excited about the fall program. “I think it will help us a lot,” Subjeck said. “In past years we’ve had some slow starts to the season, but this will get us in better condition and also bring our team together earlier so our team chemistry is better. The custom-made wrestling workouts will help develop our bodies before the season starts. I think it will be great. It will help us win some more dual meets.”