Whitfield coach Shereretz aims to keep wrestling Warriors on top
By: Warren Mayes
Whitfield stayed on top of the Class 1 heap and Warriors coach Charlie Sherertz likes the view.
The Warriors claimed their second consecutive championship and fourth in sixth years during the recent meet at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
Whitfield finished with 126 points. Brookfield was a distant second with 109.5.
“Oh yeah, it’s sunk in,” Sherertz about the championship. “It doesn’t get old. I’ve been coaching a long time. We’re in the middle of a good run. I don’t forget where I started.”
Sherertz is in his 21st year of high school and 17th year at Whitfield. It’s taken time to build the program to where it is now.
“We’ve put this program in the place that it is,” Sherertz said. “It took years to get there. I have not intention of backsliding.”
He loses two seniors from this year’s team. However, despite the success Whitfield has enjoyed on the mats, Sherertz still has to work hard to replenish the ranks.
“You would think kids would be beating down the door to be a part of it,” Sherertz said. “Surprisingly, we always seem to have to regroup. The kids at Whitfield knows the commitment level and the expectations there are here.
“Wrestling is not for everybody. There’s only 140 boys to choose from on Day 1. Filling a lineup is 10 percent of the number of boys in school. The hard part is getting them out.”
This year’s team will leave a lasting memory.
Junior Rodney Hahn (49-2) became a three-time champion at 152 pounds. Senior Chris Wilkes (52-2) won his second state title at 138 and graduated as a four-time medalist at state.
Other Warriors also contributed to the championship. Senior Will Hahn (51-7) earned a third-place finish at 160. There were two finishes in fourth place by Connor Broyles (40-14) at 106 and Derrick Swaney (5-3) at 132. Kurtis Hahn (39-16) and Andrew McLaughlin (42-14) each finished fifth at 126 and 170 respectively.
Rodney Hahn won his earlier state titles at 135 and 145.
This year, Rodney Hahn won his third title with a 12-4 decision over Trenton’s Mason Mounce.
“It’s quite an accomplishment,” Sherertz said. “There’s a lot of ways not to get it done. Rodney gets it done. I’ve never a four-time champ. He’s got a chance to do something nobody else had done at Whitfield.
“Rodney is the toughest kid I’ve ever coached. He’s just a nice kid off the mat but he’s mean as hell in those six minutes or less he’s out there.”
He may stay at 152 next season and try for that fourth championship. The last wrestler in the area to do that was Parkway Central’s Scott Schatzman, who accomplished his feat from 1992 to 1995.
I don’t think he was a particular big 152-pounder. I think he was small,” Sherertz said. “We’ll have to wait and see.”
At 138, Wilkes won with a 7-2 decision over Logan Mudd of Blair Oaks. Wilkes will wrestle for North Carolina State.
“He’s going to be in good hands,” Sherertz said. “The coaching staff at N.C. State will help him make the transition. I think he’ll be fine.”
Will Hahn took third with an 8-0 major decision victory over Jalen Skaggs of Sweneca.
“He just got beat in the semifinal,” Sherertz said. “It wasn’t his finest match. He lost to a solid kid. Very much like Rodney’s and Chris’ situation, the championship match was in the semifinals. He was down in the dumps a little bit but I told him we needed him and he rebounded. I was round of way he came back.”
Will Hahn will be going to Duke.
“I think he’s got to step up his game,” Sherertz said. “He needs to do more offseason training. He has to improve. I know what the kid needs to do and I’ll offer advice. Even bad guys are good in Division 1 wrestling.”
Now, it’s time to rest before beginning the offseason program.
“Our offseason will determine where we’ll be at next year,” Sherertz said. “Will we rest of our laurels and polish the trophy or will we get out there and wrestle? It’s always a challenge. I know this, we’re not going to back of on our schedule or training. I’m not a believer in using the phrase ‘rebuilding year.’ We don’t rebuild here.
“We do things the right way. No way do we cut corners. We train like Spartans.”