What Do You Get For The Coach Of The Year – Easy, Asst. Coach Of The Year!
It was a banner year for MVL ‘Coach Of The Year’ Claude Weyant of Bellows Falls-Hartford; Third place in the states with only seven wrestlers, five wrestlers in the top four in the state, and his first tournament trophy ever in his seventeen year history! How do you top that off? How about with ‘Asst. Coach Of The Year’, Mike Viens. Vermont Wrestler caught up with Mike to ask him a few questions.
Vermont Wrestler; Where did you go to high school and college and what sports did you play?
Mike; I started out high school at Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach Fla. My Sophomore year I moved north with my family and went to Hartford High School. I graduated in 1988. I was part of Coach Stones first football team here at Hartford.
VW; Did you wrestle when you were younger?
MV; I had a number of uncles who wrestled and I would often watch their tournaments, but that was the extent of my wrestling knowledge. I never wrestled. I wish I wrestled because I think it teaches a great number of life skills that push young men into positive growth.
VW; How did you get into wrestling?
MV; I was at a soccer game with my very young sons and Nolan was playing. He has always been very driven and physical and it didn’t really dawn on him that soccer was more about skill than physicality. One of the other parents and his wife who were from Iowa, noticed Nolan’s play and they approached me about wrestling as he had found a good youth program in Randolph, Vermont. Nolan was in third grade, Austin in Second and Cam, Kindergarten. (Cam is currently a freshman at Hartford).
VW; Give me some positives and negatives about your kids wrestling ?
MV; Among the many positives things that we have gotten from wrestling are the shared memories and wonderful moments. The long drive and countless hours have spurred on some deep conversations and funny times. The sport itself was very instrumental in teaching my kids to work hard and focus. They learned that hard work was its own reward. Wrestling showed them that life, like wrestling, requires a GREAT deal of determination in order to succeed. Wrestlers alone are responsible for their results. The boys also learned to deal through loss, it forced them to deal with it through rationalization, and graceful acceptance and eventual thinking/adapting and learning from it. It takes a great deal of character to stand up and shake the hand of an opponent who just bested you.
VW; What’s the farthest you’ve ever traveled to a tournament?
MV: We have traveled by car as far as Virginia Beach.
VW; How did you end up in Bellows Falls?
MV; The Randolph program lost the really quality coach who was working with the boys and the club kind of began to fall apart. I looked around for another program and I found a very strong RAW (Rockingham Area Wrestling) program that was strongly supported by a great group of parents and coaches.
VW; Reflect on how wrestling has affected your life?
MV; The life and family memories in the long run are my favorite things about wrestling. Ive also meet a great deal of strong, passionate and friendly people who I would now call friends through our wrestling travels. The life lessons that we have learned are vital in my and my kids growth. It is also worth mentioning (even though it was never our goal) that wrestling is going to help one or more of my kids pay for college.
VW; How do you feel about the Asst. Coach Of The Year award?
MV; I am completely flattered by the award. There are many more qualified asst. coaches out there that deserve it more than me. It is always truly awesome when others notice your efforts. It doesn’t seem like work to me as I have a really great surrounding cast from other coaches to great wrestlers and their families.
Vermont Wrestling Rankings
Vermont Wrestling Rankings compiled by Chief Jeff Whitesell will now be a regular feature in Vermont Wrestler. Jeff has done the rankings for the last several years with amazing accuracy and the staff at Vermont Wrestler, as well as wrestling enthusiasts, are very excited to have him here as a weekly contributor. Look for his posts and feel free to comment.