Wrestling continues winning traditions


Before we know it, football season and fall sports will be coming to an end. Then on comes Thanksgiving and Christmas season with the colder months that follow. Most people like to take a break and relax during this period, but what they do not know is that the Elder wrestling team will be grinding and working as hard as ever in the wrestling/volleyball gym.

Practices consist of hard drilling and intense live matches each and every day after school, along with an all day tournament on Saturday’s just to top it off. Most of us would have to agree, wrestling is probably the most grueling sport at Elder High School but that won’t stop our outstanding young talent and senior leaders from losing sight of their ultimate goal- winning a State Title.

Elder triathlete Mark Adams is one of the senior veterans on this year’s squad. Along with Adams, senior Gage Brock is ranked in the top ten in the state right now. Adams is positioned at about ninth right now in many polls. Both wrestlers plan on being captain and going on to the State Tournament where they will give all they have left in their gas tanks from over the past four years to claim a spot on the state placers board.

“We are going to be an unstoppable force,” said Adams “We have senior leaders and new freshman and good returning underclassmen.”

Adams hopes to be captain and has set sight on wrestling in the 170 pound weight class while sitting in football shape at around 190 pounds right now. This will be Adams’ third season on varsity and he hopes it will be his best ever.

Having high hopes he told me, “I want to make it up state and hopefully place. I have beaten the kid ranked fourth in my weight class and I was also beating Joe Heyob but got disqualified.”

Joe Heyob was Saint Xavier’s elite wrestler who went on to win state his senior year. Adams had Heyob flat on his back multiple times before the referee called the match when Heyob was gasping for air. Adams will likely use his bread and butter this year to pin most of his opposing wrestlers, strength and athleticism. He is excited for this wrestling season and can’t wait to see the outcome of not only his own efforts but also those of his fellow senior brothers.

Elder wrestling has had a long history of success. In the past ten years, Elder wrestling has stacked up three state titles and four runner ups. Elder’s coach, Jason Roush, is entering his second year as head coach and would like to carry on the greatness.

Reflecting on his first year of coaching, he said, “Taking over for a coach who has ran a program for over 30 years is never an easy task, but following a legend like Dick McCoy was something that I was both excited and nervous about. Fortunately, everyone involved with the program made it a very smooth transition.”

He then went onto explain, “Most importantly, the upperclassmen bought into the changes and they deserve the credit for making the transition so successful.”

Coach Roush is an All American wrestler out of the college of Mount Saint Joe and was a two time state placer back in high school. He went on to coach Glenn Este where he set their program on the right track. Then, hearing about a head wrestling coach opportunity in a school with a tradition of excellence, he couldn’t pass it up. He was hired on staff as a math teacher and took over the head wrestling position. He has utmost respect for former head coach Dick McCoy, and plans to carry on the Elder wrestling legacy as coach McCoy once did.

After being asked about the results about his first season as head coach, Roush told me, “From a results standpoint the 2013-2014 season went pretty well. Our varsity team finished the year 11-5 in duals with wins over rivals Oak Hills and St. Xavier, finished 2nd in the GCL, qualified nine wrestlers to the district tournament, had two individual District Champions, and a State Placer (28th in Elder History).”

This year the wrestling team hopes to be good as ever and with young talent flashing across the varsity line up we could fulfill this task (especially in the years to come). Although we graduated 13 seniors last year, Roush is optimistic about the group of guys we have and said, “The 2014-2015 squad will be a good mix of guys who’ve seen substantial varsity time with a talented group of underclassmen. We’ve had a very good off-season with guys wrestling in our spring Freestyle & Greco club, attending summer camps and tournaments, and getting an entire season’s worth of competition in during the off-season. As a coach, my goal will always be get my athletes to reach their fullest potential both as an athlete and as a young man.”

And that he has done so far, he has quickly filled in the head coaching role and really motivates his wrestlers to get out there and put in the work. The wrestlers (including myself) respect the way he goes about things and know that he is very passionate and knowledgeable about this sport. But when asked about what the ultimate goal was to instill in the wrestlers, he said, “The most important thing to me, my staff, and Elder High School, will always be to equip our student-athletes with tools and qualities that will help them be successful for the rest of their lives. With that said, our expectations are to win GCL, Sectional, District and State titles every year. This year’s squad is no exception. We expect great things from this group and are excited about the future of Elder Wrestling!”

Elder wrestling will continue to work hard and outdo the surrounding schools in the city of Cincinnati. Why? Because we are willing to forget about today’s defeat’s and prepare for tomorrow’s. When we look up and see the state placers board, we do not just see a board, we see a tradition of hard work and dedication from the decades before us. Not until we are gone from Elder and living our lives in the future will we sincerely understand what has been instilled in us. Living out the phrase on the wall, “What I had, I gave. What I saved, I lost.”