Coach Claude Weyant and BFH Know
How To Become A Championship Team
Beating the odds, Defying the law of probabilities, Miracle on 34th St., Divine Intervention. From a wrestler’s plea to a coach’s dream. A father and a son, a man and his team, 17 years of blood, sweat and tears; the pieces of the puzzle inexplicably coming together. A year of firsts, expectations of tomorrow, the fulfillment of a son’s promise.
In 1996, Eric Quinney, a senior wrestler at Bellows Falls Union High School laid his heart out on the table to then Sergeant Claude Weyant, confiding that the program was doomed if they couldn’t find a coach. Weyant, who is currently a Captain on the Windsor County Sheriff’s Dept. took it to heart and several days later was named the new head coach. Through thick and thin, over the years, Coach Weyant has persevered. Only a few wrestlers during this stretch have made it to the top of the podium; Dan Walsh in 2004 and Weyant’s own son Cyle, a two time state champion in 2009 and 2011.
But by the Coach’s admission they were few and far between. To have a second and a fourth place at one tournament was an eventful day. The dream of being one of the top three teams in the state championship was as distant as the moon. Weyant’s penchant for community service, his love of the sport, and the echo of his son’s prophecy, kept him focused on the task. “Stay with it dad, it’s going to happen”.
Enter the impossible. In the 2013 season, second year of the Bellows Falls-Hartford cooperative wrestling team, and Weyant’s 17th year as head coach, ‘The Little Engine That Could’ was born and his wildest fantasy started to become a reality. Five out of seven wrestlers made the All Marble Valley League Team and Coach Weyant was named MVL Coach of the Year for guiding his team to third place in the state championship; sending four of his seven…..yes seven wrestlers to compete in the New England’s.
With only half of a team, the BFH wrestlers managed to placed third in the state of Vermont over 21 other teams and only narrowly missing 2nd. “And to think they’ll all be back next year with five accomplished Junior High wrestlers joining the squad. I’ve waited my whole life for a team like this.”
“I couldn’t have done this alone”, states Weyant in his usual humble fashion. “I rely on Mike (Viens), Steve (Cerrone) and Rodney (Record) to fill in the gaps”. “And the addition of Coach Jeff Johnson has been terrific”, he continued.
The 2013 Recap
Vermont State 4th Place
The BFH wrestlers posted over 180 total wins taking 14 individual tournament titles and placed 34th in the New England’s out of over 100 teams. Can you imagine what we’ll do with a full team! Lookout MVL!