By Kevin Eickman
After having served as Milford varsity wrestling coach for 25 years, in 2010 Don Parsley believed he was finished with coaching wrestling. Dan Rigby was appointed the head coach in Parsley’s place and the results were outstanding, resulting in back to back, Division II dual meet titles for the Milford Buccaneers. When it was announced the Rigby was leaving last June, the search for his replacement did have to go very far as Parsley had decided it was time for him to get back into the game.
“I was pretty burnt out after 25 straight years, I really was in need of a break,” Parsley said. “After having been away for a while, I began to get the itch to return to coaching. By the end of last season I knew I was going to be coaching somewhere, the fact that it is Milford is just incredible.”
With the two consecutive State titles, the Buccaneers are a team well equipped to compete at the highest level this season. To be successful however, the Buccaneers are going to have to once again dig down and give it there all. Observing the team on the day before Thanksgiving, it is clear that not much has changed in the practice room. Drill after drill, the Bucs were putting in the effort that is required to achieve there goal.
“Wrestling is not a real big secret, you get out of it what you put into it,” Parsley commented. “These guys are aware of what it takes and I have no doubt that they are going to give it their all.”
Parsley is looking for the team to build on what they have accomplished, to take it to the next level. “Wrestling is a collective effort of a group of individuals, it’s not like football where everyone is moving in unison to accomplish a play,” said Parsley. “It’s about each individual raising there game, improving their skills to better the team score.”
Two returning wrestlers that will be looked to for a big year will be seniors Bart Dalious and Chase Taylor. “These are two wrestlers who have worked extremely hard over their careers, they give a tremendous effort every day and it shows,” Parsley said. “They lead by example and they will definitely be looking to wrestle at the next level after Milford.”
Another wrestler to keep an eye out for is Robbie Rosser, who is just a sophomore. Rosser brings a real energy to the mat and is a joy to watch. “Robbie is very talented and he is one of the younger guys who you envision being a leader now and in the future.”
Some younger wrestlers to keep an eye out for are Anthony Sollie, Steve Hickman and Jordan Passwaters. “These are guys we are going to look to get experience and improve as the season goes forward.”
One of the people helping out at practice this past Wednesday was Matt Groce, a Milford graduate and member of the last two Buccaneer squads. Speaking with Parsley about wrestlers coming back to help out, it was clear that this is a huge part of the wrestling experience. “That’s what wrestling is all about, it’s about passing it down from one person to the next,” stated Parsley. “Once wrestling is in your blood that’s it, you are always a part of it.”