LHW: How are you attracting those numbers of wrestlers to your program? Is it because MacArthur is such a big school? Or is it tradition? What’s the reason?
HOWIE: MacArthur was the first “B” school to win the county title in 2001. We’re not a big school. We’re in the middle of conference II. We actually grew a lot. We were even smaller. We were in the B division until 2002.
Somebody had said of course they’re good. Just look at the numbers. As a coach my number one objective is to get the kids out for the wrestling team. The coaching staff and I work hard to get the kids to buy into the program. Getting the kids to buy into the goals and the program is my top priority as head coach.
Now to get the kids, that’s the difficult part. You need to have the personality. You gotta coach. You gotta be able to get kids to respect you, respect the program, and wanna be part of it. It’s not easy to do. It’s a challenge.
The second thing you have to do is get the kids to stay on the team. That’s very hard. It’s never easy juggling a line up with 13 while keeping an additional 50 plus kids happy. That to me is right up there with getting the kids on the team. For me to achieve that. I have to keep these kids fired up, hungry and on a path of progression.
My priorities as coach are as follows: 1 – Get the right kids out for the team. 2 – Keep the kids on the team. 3 – Instill discipline and work ethic. 4 – Keep kids focused. 5 – Teach technique.
Having a large roster is something I work very hard at. It’s not something that happens just because anyone is the coach of MacArthur wrestling. Our numbers are a credit to our coaching staff and the program that we created.