The new Smith-Cotton wrestling coach is getting settled into his new role.
Charlie McFail had several of his Tiger wrestlers in for an open mat on Thursday. Next week, the wrestling team will host its camp. For open mats, the focus is to get guys who haven’t been wrestling since the end of last season back on the mats and back working on moves and techniques, but it also gives them a chance to be back around their teammates.
“The biggest thing is just getting back together and talking,” McFail said. “I think that’s a big part of being a team is you need to feel like you belong to something and the more you’re together, the more you feel like you belong to it.”
Open mat sessions are not very intense but there will be more intensity in the camp next week.
McFail was an assistant coach under Joel Sherman for three years and both his familiarity with the program and the wrestlers’ familiarity with him is easing the transition. He said Sherman is also helping the transition, handing off some things he had been working on that McFail can continue with.
McFail inherits a program which sent four wrestlers to the state meet in 2015, including Logan Parham, Blake Pomajzl and Kris Houk who will be back in the Tigers’ wrestling room next season.
“Coach Sherman did a great job with this program in the last four or five years,” McFail said. “We’re a pretty strong program with some good kids. We go to tournaments and we wrestle hard. When we’re in duals, we’re always in them. He got our program rolling and we want to continue that.”
McFail knows that a big key to success is getting participation numbers and hopes to build on what Sherman accomplished in recent years. Sherman also focused on getting kids involved in wrestling at younger ages, something McFail, who used to coach the eighth-grade intramural team, hopes to continue.
“Our youth program has been going quite a while and our youth program does a good job,” McFail said. “Some of the kids here wrestled in that youth program. Some of the kids in our program came all the way through the youth program.”
The Smith-Cotton wrestling camp will be 10 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday in the Smith-Cotton gym.