Queen Creek coach Tom Wokasch confirmed that his son, Anthony, will be wrestling for Mesa Mountain View next season rather than the team he coaches.
The family moved into the Mountain View district and the younger Woksach, a two-time state placer, will add more talent to a lineup already expected to be the Division I favorite as the Toros look to repeat as state champions.
It’s an interesting move, not from a wrestling perspective, but from the parenting side.
I’ve coached my daughter the last four years in baseball. When she was 4 it was nothing but a good time, but as she has gotten older – now 7 - it has become harder to coach her the same way I went about handling her teammates.
As much as you want to separate yourself – she can’t call me Daddy when she has her baseball uniform on – from it, you still coach your child differently than anybody else.
Woksach is a coach who expects and demands a lot from his wrestlers. No news flash there. He is one of the best coaches that state has had for years. I’m guessing the wrestling room, especially back in the Mingus days when Anthony was there watching a dynasty being built, is pretty intense.
The mental grind it takes to be a wrestler can be tough, but most athletes go home from practice and can recharge.
When your dad is the coach that’s not always the case as it carries over to the home life. Some handle it just fine. Travis Wokasch, a honorable mention All-America by Wrestling USA as a senior in 2007, was able to separate it.
Anthony, who finished second as a freshman and fourth as a sophomore at the Division II state tournament, has a different makeup.
“He is fine with me being in the chair (during matches), but it is the daily grind,” the elder Wokasch said.
I think it speaks volumes about how well grounded the family must be if they can recognize this move might benefit Anthony’s career.
Two things are clear: he will have better competition in the room daily and in the pool.
Not only is Anthony an accomplished wrestler, but he is a very good swimmer as he helped the Bulldogs to a Division II 200 and 400 medley relay titles last year.
There will be tons of speculation about why or how he ended up at Mountain View. Hey, maybe it was for swimming as the Toros finished fourth in DI last season. Or maybe not.
Sure Anthony ended up a great program with a coaching staff that are probably better people than they are coaches, but it is still takes a lot to admit that your own son might be better off in some regard by being coached elsewhere.
Make of it what you will, but I’m impressed.
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @JSkodaAFN.