West York Wrestling


West York Wrestling

by Don Lehman

westyorkwrestlingalumni.com feature

        A Chat with '12-'13 WY Coaches...
         ▪ Brian Gross and Wilmer Pressel
              w/Don Lehman, webmaster of westyorkwrestlingalumni.com

... The first West York Wrestling practice is 11/16/12... and will be here before you know it.
West York Wrestling Senior High Head Coach, Brian Gross, is entering his 6th season at the helm of a
school that has a rich wrestling history.  The upcoming season marks the
"78th Year" that West York has
fielded a varsity wrestling team!  And, Brian Gross is the 13th coach in West York Wrestling history.  Brian
is a West York class of '88 grad, and... also put in a year or two on the mat for
York College!    Brian is currently taking some classes (U. of Phoenix) and working @ York County School of Technology as a Security and Safety Leader.   Brian coached West York's last PIAA State Wrestling Medalist - Billy Randt, 145lbs... in (2010).  I know WY Head Mat Coach Brian Gross... is very excited about the upcoming season.

∙ WYJH Wrestling's Wilmer Pressel.
 West York Junior High Wrestling will have a "new" look and head coach this year as West York grad,
 Wilmer Pressel, will take over this VERY important position.  Wrestling success at the varsity level is
 built at the elementary and junior high levels!  There is no doubt about that fact.  The basics, mental
 approach, conditioning and time/score management skills are taught (and should be!) at that critical
 time in a young wrestler's life.  It is a VERY tough sport, one of the toughest... and, is the world's oldest
 sport.   It takes a special person and athlete to compete in wrestling, but the life lessons learned are
 irreplaceable.  Wilmer Pressel is a West York class of '85 grad, and finished his WY career with a record
 of 64-32-1.  As a senior, Wilmer had a record of 29-8 which included 7 losses to PIAA Top-5 medalists.
 As a senior, Wilmer capped off his career with a YCIAA Sectional 2nd, a District III SC Regional 2nd - both
 2nd's coming to the same wrestler
(South Western's Jay Egloff)... and, a 6th place medal at the 1985
 PIAA State Wrestling Tournament.  Wilmer is in the flooring business and currently is a Labor Services
 Manager for Minnesota-based
Inside Edge CIS... a national flooring company.  A more complete
 background can be found in a previous W. Pressel interview - HERE.

 I asked Brian and Wilmer to complete another interview - and I'm sure both men are looking very much
 forward to the upcoming mat season!  Thanks for checking in...   Don

 Don Lehman
 Webmaster - westyorkwrestlingalumni.com


    ▪ "DL" - Interviewer Don Lehman with... "BG" - Brian Gross & "WP" - Wilmer Pressel.

DL - Thanks, gentlemen... for agreeing to do this westyorkwrestlingalumni.com joint interview!
Before you know it, it will be "wrestling season."  How did the off-season go... and, can you tell us about
some camps and off-season tourney mat successes per your athletes?
BG -
I think the off-season went well.  We had some kids go to camp, wrestle in tournaments... and, practice Freestyle and Greco-Roman.  We (WY) attended the Lock Haven Wrestling Camp this summer and had 11 kids attend.  We teamed up with Hanover and went 5-4 in the team portion of the camp... wrestling the better teams in the top bracket.  In the individual portion of the camp, we had Noah Townsley and Jacob Gemmill win their weight classes.  Also - Kyle Narber and Ryan Narber took 3rd place.  Hunter Scheivert
represented our school at the Fargo Nationals this summer.  Also, we wrestled in a few team tournaments (in the spring) with Dallastown, Spring Grove and Red Lion. 
That was a great experience for our kids.  They wrestled with competitors who want and know how to win!  We did win the Swing-Away Duals in Lancaster during Memorial Day Weekend, going 5-0.  As for the fall season, we are just getting started and are looking forward to the wrestling season!

WP - After talking with Brian, some of the WY Junior High kids went to Lock Haven's Wrestling Camp and wrestled in the Senior High Division... which was a great experience for them.  Many of the kids wrestled Freestyle and Greco-Roman in the club and gained a lot of experience there, also.  A few of the kids wrestled in the PAWF qualifiers, as well.  Just coming in this year, Brian and I are talking about getting more of the kids in a camp next year... as well as more active in summer tournaments.
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DL - What kind of strength program and conditioning process did you put in place during the off-season
and will it carry over into the regular mat season?  Are there any other SH or JH staff additions/changes?
BG - As for the strength program, I leave that to Coach Mike Mountz.  He does an outstanding job with our kids.  When the kids buy into what he is doing... you see a big difference from year to year.  We had about 15-20 kids this past summer lifting.  That is our biggest group to-date.  Just to let you know how great of a program it is, we had kids that don't wrestle ask if they could join the program.  Some of this does carry over into the season.  In the preseason and during the regular season, we focus more on conditioning.  Running, Kettle Bells, Ropes, and any other Cardio that I can add in.  We are going to be adding a few new faces to our coaching staff.  At the Senior High, we will be adding Brandon Fuhrman, a former wrestler of mine at Dover and a past Dover Coach.  Brandon was a District III runner-up for Dover.  Also, we will be adding PIAA State runner-up, Chad Gentzler from Dover HS.  Chad had been on Dover HS's staff.
  Helping new Junior High Coach, Wilmer Pressel... will be Central York's Greg Whitecomb.  I am looking forward to working with these gentlemen this season!  I know that all of the new additions to the WY Coaching Staff are excited to be part of the WY Wrestling Family!
WP - I know Coach Mike Mountz '07 has been instrumental in the summer lifting program and it is a great success.  During "open mat"... we are focusing on getting the kids in shape from a Cardio standpoint, so we can hit the ground running on November 16.
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DL - Are there any new rule changes coming our way?  If so, what are they and have you reviewed
with the wrestlers?  And, did you have to do any scheduling shifts to accommodate the "points" deal?
BG -
Yes, I think the major change is that wrestlers get an early Christmas present in the form of a 2lb. weight allowance on December 25, 2012, instead of January 15, 2013.  Also, High School Wrestlers who are called for a third stalling violation will receive a stiffer penalty beginning with the 2012-13 season.  In addition to the tow-point penalty, the opponent will now have his/her choice of position on the next restart.  As far as I read on the points, nothing has changed for us.  We have 19 points right now, so I am looking to add 3 points at some time.
WP - In addition to what Brian is saying... the league interpretation meeting is October, 16 2012... so, we'll find out then what's in store.  If I understand your "points" question, we currently have 3 points left in which I intend to use by going back to the Cedar Cliff Tournament.
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DL - Brian, I know you are excited about your returning class of athletes and also about some freshmen
additions... talk about your upcoming team, goals and expectations.  Wilmer, I know this is your first year
as a head coach at the Junior High level - how does your team look and what are your expectations and
goals for the 2012-13 season?  Did you both choose your season captains yet?
BG -
Yes, Don... I am very excited about this year's team.  We are still going to be a young team, but will
also have a little experience sprinkled in. We return
*four District III SC Regional qualifiers from last year's team.  From 125lbs. to 285lbs. - we should be solid.  We are going to have some depth this year... which means not as many guaranteed spots open!  I am setting the bar high this year!  The expectations for this year's team are to win and win often.  As per my goals, I am going to save them until I meet with the team.
I have not picked my Captains yet, but I have a few in mind.
*note (4 District III SC Regional Qualifiers - Jacob Gemmill, Noah Townsley, Kyle Narber, Garrett Stauffer)

WP - My initial feeling about my team is that we are solid throughout with the kids we have.  We are in need of some lightweights, though... and the search continues.  So, if you know anyone - let me know.  I'm not sure what to say about an expectation except that I will expect 100% effort all of the time and the rest will fall into place.  For me... to be a captain - it is earned and it is too early for me to predict who that will be in the Junior High ranks.  I will have two captains and one "hustle" captain chosen weekly.  That way, anyone can step up into a leadership role by example.
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DL - I understand the facility at Martin is closed... where will each of you practice - and, are there any
time constraints per your change of plans?  (11/16/12 start)
BG - The Senior High will again be back in the WY Auxiliary Gum, where we always have been.  We will be moving our practice times back to accommodate my work schedule and Coach Pressel's work schedule.  This does cause a problem with the WY Elementary program.  As of right now, we are without a place for them to practice.  We have been looking and will continue to do so.  So, if anyone knows of a place in West York for the Elementary kids... please let me know!

WP - We will practice in the WY Auxiliary Gym at the High School.  The "time constraint" works out for me because of my work obligations... so we will practice right after high school.  I did hear that we may be using Wallace Elementary for the Youth Program, but it's still up in the air.  (now approved - it's Wallace)
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DL - Let's talk about the very important mental approach of folkstyle wrestling.  Are you planning
to implement practice time to teach and review mat management, time management, winning attitudes,
team camaraderie, weight-loss planning, where you are on the mat, etc.?  Why is this important?
BG -
Don, the mental approach of wrestling is HUGE.  Everyone is always caught up in a "name."  We do talk about the mental approach quite often.  We also go over time management, knowing where you are on the mat... and, about believing in yourself.  Weight management is always the most difficult for the kids to understand.  I talk about this on a daily basis to the guys... what they should be eating and not eating, how much they should be drinking, etc.  The team camaraderie seems to be good.  The guys are always hanging out with each other off the mat and are holding each other accountable.  I think all of these things are as important as is the drilling and "live" wrestling!  You need to have everything going for you to be successful!
WP - Absolutely - all of that, Don.  I think I have a bit more of an opportunity in this category because Middle School kids are so influential.  We are going to try and bring confidence to their minds and hearts by making them believe that they are all winners just by walking into the room.  It's a tough sport... and they will hear that from me the very first day.  There is no sugar-coating that aspect.  All of the things you mentioned will be a work in progress throughout the season.
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DL - I'm guessing that you, Brian, will work with Wilmer on a plan for improving his wrestlers per taking
that next important step up to the senior high level.  What is that plan, and does it involve the youth-
elementary program, also?  Are you both having success recruiting our youth to this, the most grueling,
yet... the best sport for fostering discipline and improving physical/mental fitness - wrestling?
BG -
Yes, Don... I will be working with Wilmer, along with our Elementary coaches and make sure we are all on the same page.  I think it is important that we are teaching the right things to all skill levels.  As far as recruiting our youth... we are holding a "free clinic" for all Elementary kids.  This gives them a chance to try the sport without making a full commitment.  Most kids try it once and can't wait to come back the next week.  We are holding the clinic this year in the High School gym from 9-11am on October 20th and 27th, November 3rd and 10th.  We also set up a table @ Lincolnway and Trimmer Schools during open house.  I think we are having success in getting kids out for this great sport.  Our numbers seem to be going up every year.
WP - Brian and I, as well as the rest of the coaching staff, have worked together for the last four years... and the program we have in place right now is a culmination of that group effort... and, seems to be working so far.  We will continue to work together for the betterment of the program as a whole, so we can continue to have strong teams in the future.
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DL - What has wrestling done for you and what do you tell the kids about your experiences as you work
with them daily?  Is the current day-to-day leaning towards a (one) year-round sport, or are there still
those kids that like to participate in multiple sports?
BG - WRESTLING has done so much for me.  I think the mental part learned still plays a big role in my life.

The sport makes me who I am today.  Wrestling is still teaching me life lessons, even as a coach.  I think the big thing that I try to get through to my kids is... to never give up!  To keeping working hard, even when you have set backs.  We have half of our team, if not more... playing football.  I always thought the two sports went hand-in-hand.  We have kids that participate in other sports as well.

WP - I think an easier question to answer would be what didn't wrestling teach me?!  I will bring up work ethic, though... because I think it's important.  The harder one works, the bigger the reward.  Mental toughness, stamina, confidence, will to succeed... you name it - this sport of wrestling brings it all.  If you are asking what we think of participation in multiple sports - I think it's good.  Participation in wrestling is a positive influence in any other sport.  You are only in Middle/High School once, make the most of it.
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DL - West York has had, in its 78 year-old history... 608 dual meet victories against 403 losses and 14 ties.
In that time, we have had some excellent wrestling coaches.  If you could pick "one" coach in your
time at WY that taught you the most about wrestling, how to win... and also taught you some valuable life
lessons along the way, who would that be and why did you choose that particular coach?  It could also be
a coach that you had after graduation, or, as a co-staff colleague in the coaching ranks.
BG - I don't think I can pick just one!  There were so many coaches that taught me not only about wrestling, but important life lessons as well.  That being said, I am always looking to learn wrestling rules and new techniques.  Wrestling is always changing, and you need to keep up with the rules and times.
note: Brian Gross had John T. Toggas as a head coach during his WY tenure - @ York College, Tom Kessler.

WP - Wrestling is similar to "life"... you really don't learn everything from just one person.  I would love to say my mom and dad taught me everything I know, but as much as I love and respect them, what I now know is a culmination of all of my experiences in life.  The same goes for this great sport of wrestling!  ALL of my coaches have had a positive influence in my wrestling and in my life.
note: Wilmer Pressel had both John T. Toggas and Kevin McCleary as head coaches @ West York HS.
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DL - What are the toughest duties that you have as a wrestling coach these days and why?
BG - The toughest duty I have is making sure I am getting the right gear put into my budget year to year.  The school does a nice job in taking care of us.  Last year, we received new warm-ups... and, a few years back - we needed a new mat and we got one!

WP - This is a work of love... so, I don't look at this as a "duty."  I'm just passing along what was freely given to me.
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DL - What kind of extra-curricular support is needed in these tough economic times?  You have a pretty
good Booster Club - how does their support and work play into your everyday coaching duties?  Are there
any uniform changes this year for either program?  And, any special home nights planned?
BG - Fundraising is a huge thing that is needed for us to continue our program!  I have to say that I have the BEST Booster Club!!!  They make my life so much better.  I can coach and they take care of the everyday activities needed to supplement our funding needs.  They always ask me if I need anything.  The Junior High is getting new warm-ups!  We have some special things on slate for this season... we have an ALUMNI NIGHT planned for January 3, 2013... an Elementary Night planned for December 12, 2012... a Senior Night planned for January 22, 2013... and a "PIN CANCER" Night planned for January 9, 2013.  Details to follow.

WP - Our West York Wrestling Booster Club is second to none.  We have outstanding community support
that seems to be growing.  I know the Junior High is getting new warm-ups this year per the Booster Club,
but I haven't seen them yet.  They apparently are modeled after the WY Senior High warm-ups.

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DL - How is the support from the Alumni... and, how can you get more Alumni involved and enthused
about the West York Wrestling program?  If you have something to say to the Alumni... this is one
way to communicate your thoughts and views!
BG -
I have to say that the support we have received from the Alumni is AWESOME!!  It starts right here with this great website!!!  We also have received great support from Randy Blasdell '78 with his annual Bulldog Open Golf Outing.  There are many more Alumni that are involved in some way or another.  Coaching, donating time, or, coming to matches and events are some other support areas.  One thing we have done is to recognize the ALUMNI at an Alumni Night.  Another thing I want to day is if you like wrestling... please come to an event and check us out!  The more people we can pack into the gym, the louder it gets and the tougher it is on our opponents.  Please, Alumni... take a minute and come up to me and introduce yourself!
WP - I'm glad you brought this up, Don.  I have noticed increased support from our Alumni over the last couple of years and it's been really great!  I can't say enough about the financial contribution made to our program by Randy Blasdell '78 and his Bulldog Open Golf Outing @ Briarwood this year.  I think the golf
outing brings the Alumni together with the current kids and I will be pushing hard for more participation from my team to help out and be totally involved next year!  It just shows what West York Wrestling is all about... when our Alumni of all ages are involved with the programs... and they have really helped pave the way in bringing West York Wrestling BACK, with their support!  Finally, how could there be better support then from your Alumni Website.  I think the work you have done on this website, Don, has helped bring us all together - not to mention showing us where we are going... so, thank you for all you do.

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DL - What do you see around the YAIAA and District this year for both programs?  Talk a little about your
first contest or two - and, do you have any scrimmages planned that we can attend as spectators?
BG -
The YAIAA is going to be much tougher this year than last!  A ton of kids that went to the District III SC Regional Tournament are back for another run at the PIAA's.  Our AAA Section has gotten much tougher with the addition of Eastern York.  Our Section now has 14 AAA Teams.  As far as District III AAA, it will again be the toughest in the state!  We (DIII) return 4 PIAA State Champions and numerous state-placewinner's.  Our first contest this year will be the Milton Hershey Team Duals (6 teams).  This will be the first weekend of competition - (December 8, 2012).  We then come back with 3 YAIAA Division meets against New Oxford, Northeastern and Central York.  We do have our annual home scrimmage on November 24th (@ WY Gym) with Oley Valley, Dover, Littlestown and Kennard Dale.  The following weekend, we travel to Hanover HS w/Northern York for our 2nd scrimmage.  Both scrimmages start @ 9:00am.
WP - Actually, I am just getting into this.  I've been busy trying to figure out what WE (Junior High) have,
and then I can align with the competition.

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DL - Is coaching and teaching Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling a priority for you in the off-season
and if so, why?  Are there any plans for a new club? 
BG -
Yes, Don... Freestyle and Greco-Roman styles are a PRIORITY in the off-season.  It is all about getting mat time, so we also mix in some folkstyle, also.  It is a nice change of pace for the kids.  Even though there are different rules and styles... the moves compliment each other.  We do a ton of drilling during the
season.  As for the club, we are still going to be Modern Day Gladiators... we just need to find a new home!

WP - I think Greco-Roman and Freestyle Wrestling is GREAT... and it is a focus in the off-season.  The perspective I try to give to the younger kids is how FUN it is, and we love to explain the differences between the F/S - G/R and Folkstyle.  But, I think it is very important to be wrestling in the off-season, no matter what style it is.
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DL - Do you gentlemen have a favorite NCAA college wrestling team that you follow?
BG -
Yes, Don... I follow Lock Haven University and Penn State in Division One.  Lock Haven has one of my former wrestlers (Billy Randt) along with some other York County kids.  Penn State has a ton of PA boys wrestling for them - and I have followed PSU for years.  I also follow "our" York College in Division Three.
WP - I like watching the NCAA Division One Teams... and I root for Penn State University and Coach Cael Sanderson.  I'm keeping a "keen eye" on Lock Haven University's Billy Randt this year, also.
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DL - Thanks - Coach Gross and Coach Pressel for taking the time to chat with me.  The best of luck in
your upcoming wrestling season!
BG -
Don - Thank You!!!  I always enjoy doing these interviews.  I think it is a great way for Alumni and anyone else... to follow West York Wrestling.  Thanks again for all you do for our program!!!
WP - Thank you Don, for keeping focus on the greatest sport in the world!  Keep up the great work.

                West York Wrestling Coaching - History
                West York Wrestling Hall Of Fame
                West York Wrestling Alumni Page
                          The 2012 Bulldog Open @ Briarwood Page

The Alumni Interview Page



westyorkwrestlingalumni.com Records

Coaching Interview
Q&A with...
West York Wrestling's
Brian Gross - WY '88

West York Head Wrestling Coach

▪ West York Head Coach Brian Gross (left) with 2010
PIAA State AAA 6th Place Medalist... Billy Randt.
▪ At the right is former Lower Dauphin HS and University of Maryland wrestler...
Randy Umberger - District III Sports Wrestling Chairman.

Photo by Jim Townsley

West York Wrestling Alumnus '88 - Brian Gross Q & A.
West York's PIAA State Qualifiers Coaching History

Coach Brian Gross Bio

Brian Gross Photo by Kevin Drawbaugh of JK Images

  ▪ West York Wrestling's Brian Gross - graduated from West York in 1988...
where he participated in football, baseball and wrestling.  Brian Gross also wrestled for
York College (two years) from 1991 to 1993.  While at York College, Brian placed 2nd at the YCP Spartan Invitational and was 5th at the NCAA DIII Regionals.  Brian posted a 17-9 record for DIII York College in 1993.  In 1995, Brian started his coaching career at Dover High School.  Brian was a volunteer assistant until 1997 when he became an assistant coach under Bob Linker (West York Wrestling Alumnus) - who is still the head varsity coach at Dover.  In 2007, Brian was named the head wrestling coach at West York High School.  In 2008, Brian and Wade Ginter started a mat club at West York known as the Broken Cage Wrestling Club.  The club started with just 10 wrestlers and has grown to over 30 athletes with the help of Brad Brosius and Justin Wilkins.

  Brian Gross lives in West York with his wife Rebecca and they have been married for 8 years.  Rebecca works within the West York Area School District and also coaches West York Senior High track and West York Junior High wrestling cheerleading.  Brian and Rebecca have 3 fantastic daughters - Claudia (9), Carly (8) and Chloe (7).  All 3 daughters attend West York Schools and are involved in West York Boys Club cheerleading.

Brian Gross spends his spare time hunting, fishing, enjoying all Philadelphia sports teams and riding his 2003 Harley-Davidson Sportster.  Brian also enjoys spending time with family and friends... and trips to Chincoteague Island, VA.

  I asked West York Varsity Head Wrestling Coach, Brian Gross... to complete an interview for the West York Wrestling Alumni website and fans.  (10-07-10)

Don Lehman
Don Lehman
Webmaster, Archivist & Owner of westyorkwrestlingalumni.com


Coach Brian Gross Interview...
by Don Lehman

 Brian Gross

DL - Brian, before you know it... the 2010-11 wrestling season will be here!  I know you have had sign-ups for both the Junior High and Senior High athletes.  How do the "numbers" look and what are the timelines for practice and parent-coach-booster club greet & meet?
BG -
We had 24 kids sign up for Senior High program and more than 40 (including 9th graders) kids sign up for the Junior High program.  We have already started an "open mat" with more than 20 kids attending!  The PIAA official practice starts on November 19th.  We are planning on having a parent meeting October 26th @ 6:30pm in the high school cafeteria, followed by a booster club meeting geared to try to get more parents involved in our wrestling program.
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DL - I believe you are still practicing in the West York Senior High School back-gym area after school.  But, I believe the Junior High Boys program is switching practice venues this year to Wallace Elementary.  What is the current "chat" of getting both programs (and, also elementary) together in one practice area in the future?
BG -
Yes, the Senior High Varsity will still practice at the High School.  The Junior High will be switching practice venues and moving to Wallace Elementary School, along with the Elementary Mat Program.  There was talk of having all practices together at one building, but it is just not possible this season.  West York did purchase the Lincolnway Fitness Center and hopefully in the future, we can all practice there together.
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DL - This will be your 4th year at the helm of West York Varsity Wrestling.  What changes have you made in your practice and match preparation throughout your three-year learning curve?  Are there any new strategies that you are adding to this year's practice regimen?
BG -
Some of the changes I have made in my practices are running the old course that Coach John T. Toggas used to make us run back in the day... in addition to more weight-lifting, drilling and "live" wrestling.  Our match preparation has changed in my three years.  I now have my kids warm up as to have gone through a six minute match - "before" hitting the mat for their actual match.  Some new strategies that I have incorporated this year are kettle bells and metabolic workouts.  Another facet we are focusing on this year is getting back to basic wrestling.
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DL - Brian, pick a couple high's and low's when looking back to your first three years with the West York Wrestling Boys program.  If you could change something, what would it be?
BG -
I would have to say a low over the last three years was not winning matches that I knew we were capable of winning... or, the kids experiencing personal losses that should have been victories.  Another low is not being able to fill a complete team over the years.  It really hurts when you have to forfeit 12 to 18 points per match!  One of my high's over the last three years has been watching kids grow and become better wrestlers.  Another high was watching Billy Randt place 6th at the 2010 PIAA State Championships!  It was a great accomplishment for him and for our program.
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DL - Which do you find more challenging - the coaching or the administrative portion of being a director and leader of three mat programs at West York?
BG -
I find the coaching portion more challenging because I am always trying to find ways to make the kids better and give them an edge on the mat.  I really enjoy the challenge of improving the whole West York program... and, there are a lot of coaches and people behind the scenes that are working to make this wrestling program a success.
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- Are there any new things to look for this season... i.e. - new mat, uniforms, pre-match programs, booster club promotions, etc. - to try and boost match attendance and support?
BG -
Yes!  Last spring, the school purchased the program a "new" 42 x 42 wrestling mat.  You will be able to see it this year at our home matches.  We will also be holding a Breast Cancer Awareness Night on December 16th against New Oxford.  The boys will be sporting singlets for this event and the booster club will be selling t-shirts benefitting this great cause.  The Junior High will also be sporting new singlets this season.  The customary pre-match programs that we will be having are Elementary Wrestler Recognition Night and Senior Night.  Last year, our attendance was up and I hope it continues to rise so we can pull the "back bleachers" out again!  Another new program that we are offering this year is a FREE Elementary Wrestling Clinic in November for all West York kids - Kindergarten through 6th grade!
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DL - Speaking of boosting support - I believe in the adage (and quote from Winston Churchill) that "the farther backward you can look - the farther forward you are likely to see!"  West York Wrestling has had a great history tracing back to 1934.  I also believe that alumni and fan support is an essential piece to the fabric of a successful athletic program.  What are your thoughts on garnering more alumni and fan excitement - and, do you have any plans to get some of the old grapplers together this season?
BG -
I agree completely with you Don, on this one.  We had an alumni reunion (1978 Championship Team) two years ago and it was a great time meeting new wrestlers and catching up with the ones I already knew.  I would love to gather the alumni this year. Maybe you and I could arrange another reunion if there is interest.  This website is an essential tool... with the goal of keeping alumni and current wrestlers excited and involved.
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DL - Brian, you are a graduate of West York High School - and, you wrestled back in the mid to late eighties.  What kind of experience was that for you and who were your early mentors and coaches?  Take us through the "good" and "not so good" match bouts that you can remember as an athlete at West York.
BG -
My experience at West York High School was a great one.  I still have a lot of the same friends that I wrestled with "back in the day."  We had a winning program and great coaches. My biggest mentor was Sam Toggas (former owner & pharmacist of West York Pharmacy).  I grew up three houses from Sam and he introduced me to wrestling.  I spent many summers working for him and listening to his many speeches.  John Chiappy and Jeff Meckley made wrestling "fun" and they taught me all the basics at West York Junior High School.  A few other mentors that I learned so much from were Coach John T. Toggas and Barry/Larry Gay.  A few "good" matches that I can recollect were winning my competitions against Dover and Dallastown.  The "not so good" match that sticks in my mind was against Chip Fissel from Spring Grove (and former head wrestling coach at West York).  He ended up beating me by 2 points and it was a very tough loss for me.  Another tough loss for me was losing to John Klingaman from Dallastown in the first round of YCIAA Sectionals - by decision, 3 to 2.
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DL - You also wrestled at York College under YCP Coaches Rich Achtzehn and Tom Kessler after graduating from West York High School.  That had to be a great learning experience!  What was the biggest difference between high school and college wrestling?
BG -
York College was a great experience!  The biggest difference was that everybody was good in college.  Another difference was that most of the wrestling was done on your feet.  You also had to get used to riding time, if you used it for a point.  That point at the end made a huge difference in many college matches!
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DL - I always ask this question... if you could change some things as you look back on your athletic career, both at West York HS and York College - what would you do differently?
BG -
I would have trained more during the off-season and also... wrestled more off-season tourneys.  I do not think the off-season training was as big then... as it is today.
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DL - Which type of wrestling do you prefer - folkstyle, freestyle or greco-roman and why?
BG -
I prefer greco-roman and freestyle because the matches are more laid back (from a coaches point of view) and, there are more ways to score.  I also like the scoring and the high amplitude moves in greco and freestyle.  I have even considered competing in the veterans division.  I just haven't done it, yet!
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DL - As you look to the future of West York Wrestling... and finances were not a major obstacle, what would you like to have that would help build the program at the AAA level?
BG -
I would love for the wrestling program to have a place we could call "home".  I would love for the wrestling program to have a new single training facility where all of our wrestlers could practice.  No more rolling and transporting mats "to and from" the schools would be nice!
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DL - The 2010-11 schedule has the likes of New Oxford, Central York, Red Lion, South Western, Spring Grove, Dallastown and Dover as dual meet opponents... in addition to the Carlisle and Governor Mifflin Holiday Tourneys before heading to the post-season at the AAA level.  Who will you look to this year for leadership and what names can we look for as the future stars of West York Wrestling?
BG -
I think the leaders on this year's (2010-2011) team will be Joe Weaver, Josh Kukorlo and Tanner Landes.  All three grapplers are seniors and have wrestled under me for three years.  I also look to Ryan Randolph, a junior on our team, to add a lot of leadership as well.  Ryan Randolph has done a lot of work in the off-season.  As for future stars, you will have to wait and see... there are way too many potential stars and we are excited about the season.
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DL - You also added the David Constabile Memorial Duals in middle January as a new competition this season.  Why did you add this challenge and who are the teams that will be competing?
BG -
One of the main reasons I added this challenge was because the kids get 5 matches in one day... and it is close to home for the parents per travel.  I apologize for not knowing as of right now what teams will be attending.
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DL - I think the West York Junior High mat program has the athletes that could provide an outstanding base for success at the Senior High level very soon.  That has to make you extremely happy!  Are there any plans for a ninth grader or two making the early jump to your Senior High team this year?
BG -
I am extremely happy about the success of our West York Junior High program.  Brad Brosius and his staff have done a terrific job with those kids.  There is talk of moving a few kids up as 9th graders, but we have not yet made any final decisions this early in the season.
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DL - For you to be pleased with your overall program this year... what needs to happen?
BG -
The first thing that needs to happen for me to be pleased... is to have numbers in the room where my kids are competing against each other.  I would also like to be able to fill all weight classes in both Junior and Senior High matches.  And, as per our Elementary Program, I am hoping the free November Clinic takes off and some kids join the program and get our numbers above 50.  (FREE to all kids - Kindergarten through 6th grade in November)
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DL - Brian, I want to thank you for sharing some great memories and insight with me and the westyorkwrestlingalumni.com website readers!
BG -
Thanks for taking the time to interview me, Don.  And, thank you for maintaining this website and supporting West York Wrestling.  I will keep you updated as the season goes on so you can share exciting and factual information with the great fans and proud alumni.

You can e-mail Brian Gross HERE! & Don Lehman HERE!

1987-88 West York Area
Wrestling Varsity Team

▪ Front (L-R) Skip Yost, Steve Whorley, John Eller, Brian Taft, Ken Klindenst,
Jim Feeser, Brady Luckenbaugh.
▪ Middle (L-R) Dan Feeser, Jeff Wolf, Mike Blouse, Brian Gross, Mark Strine,
Dain Hursh, Bob Myers.
▪ Back (L-R) Vince Sutton, Dennis Hummel, Bob Hildebrand, Ken Aldinger,
Mike Smith, Doug Lynch, David Godfrey, Robert Linker.


∙ 1987-88 - West York's 138lb. Brian Gross tries to reverse his Dover opponent.


∙ 1987-88 - West York's 138lb. Brian Gross (top)... controls his Dover High School mat
opponent in a West York/Dover dual meet.
note: (Referee
* Ralph Hartlaub is on left and Dover Coach Randy March is in back)
* Ralph Hartlaub was a 1954 District III Wrestling Champion @ 95lbs. for Hanover!


∙ York College's Brian Gross (4th from right - standing) at York College Invitational.


∙ 2010 - West York Coach
Brian Gross (left) chats with his friend, Coach Bob Linker of Dover
High School after a dual meet.
by Kevin Drawbaugh of JK Images

Other Archived Q & A Interviews by Don Lehman:
Billy Randt, Rod Stough, Jeff Wolfe, Keith "KRW" Warehime, Randy Blasdell,
David Maday & Jason Abel Turnbull, Mary Jane & John T. Toggas, Jon Trenge,
Wilmer Pressel, Dr. Bill Welker, Mike Stambaugh, Todd Reynolds, Gary Narber,
Fred & Matt Callahan, K.C. McCleary
, Brian Kuntz, Dr. Perry Tallman, Charlie Jacobs.

WY's PIAA State Wrestling Tourney Qualifiers


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