Kyle Szewczyk had a big decision to make and he knew who to ask about it.
Szewczyk was just offered the head wrestling coach’s job at Waynesburg High School and he had reservations, mostly about taking the position his friend of nearly two decades, Joe Throckmorton, had until a month ago.
“It’s a position I didn’t think I’d find myself in,” he said. “But hey, that’s life. I wanted to talk to Joe first. I wanted his blessing before I put in for it. After coaching with him for 19 years, I didn’t want there to be any animosity between the two of us.”
Throckmorton submitted his letter of resignation to the Central Greene School Board and they voted 9-0 to accept it at the Sept. 21 meeting.
Throckmorton, 59, was charged with conspiracy to commit theft by unlawful taking, criminal mischief and receiving stolen property at the Greene Cove Yacht Club by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
“Joe and I went up and down the East Coast together many times,” Szewczyk said, “I have a lot of great memories with him. I’m not from here so the first time I walked into the wrestling room in the summer of 2003, he welcomed me and my family with open arms.”
Szewczyk said his expectations for the season was simple.
“Hopefully, repeat (as state team champions),” said Szewczyk. “I’ve told the guys many times, the only thing harder than winning a state team title is defending it. Our expectations are that high. That’s what we expect to do.”
One thing that will change a bit is the time Szewczyk has to spend with his son, Ky, in the practice room.
“He’s OK with it,” said Kyle Szewczyk. “I told him I would have more duties so I won’t be working out quite as much time as I used to. As a head coach, you have many more duties. My son is OK with it.”
One of the Waynesburg wrestlers who will take up some of Kyle Szewczyk’s time is Cole Homet, who was severely injured in a car accident this past summer that left him with a mangled arm.
“Cole is coming along. He works out with us every day,” Szewczyk said of the returning state runner-up last year. “He’s been running and lifting weights with his good arm. He does wind sprints to keep his cardio up. I can tell you without a doubt he is the best one-arm wrestler in the state.”
Szewczyk is looking for Homet’s return on the backside of the season.
“He can move his arm and he can bend it,” said Szewczyk. “Right now, it’s the feeling in the hand. The furthest part of the arterie takes the longest to get the feeling from the nerve. It’s a slow process but he’s determined to get back on the mat.”
Szewczyk hired Scott Rhodes as a paid assistant. Jim Howard and Luke Lohr return as volunteer assistants.
“With everything that happened with Cole and Joe, it’s been a tumultuous time,” said Szewczyk. “Right now, it’s righting the ship and hit the ground running.”