PHS Coach Rieck named 4A Wrestling Coach of the Year
By Brock Sisney
The Morning Sun
Pittsburg High School honored wrestling coach Scott Rieck after school Thursday afternoon with an informal cake and punch celebration of his winning Kansas Class 4A Wrestling Coach of the Year last weekend.
“Honestly, I’m a very private person,” Rieck said, “so I was very taken by it. I was really honored but at the same time, we’re there for the wrestling tournament and the kids and I wanted to redirect all the attention to our two state finalists because it was right before the state finals.
“The last five years, the quality of our program has grown. It keeps growing and improving and the award is a reflection of the kids over the last handful of years.”
What a year it was for PHS wrestling.
Aaron Seybold became the first wrestler in the 32-year history of the high school wrestling program to win two state titles and Broc Bennett won his first state title, joining his older brother Beau as state heavyweight champs. Broc and Beau are the first PHS brothers to win state titles.
As a team, Pittsburg finished in fourth at the Class 4A tournament in Salina, its highest team finish and one place removed from a team plaque.
“We took fifth (at state) last year,” Rieck said. “It’s baby steps. Our goal the whole time was to win it. A match here, a match there and we come home with a plaque.
“Everything happens for a reason, I believe that. For us to go up one more notch and not two or three is for a reason. I was bummed out for the kids that they didn’t get a team plaque and get to put it in the trophy case but next year we’re going to have to work harder and every year since I’ve been here, we’ve worked harder to obtain something that we haven’t yet.”
Pittsburg won its first regional title in school history and dominated eight Southeast Kansas League duals to complete a second consecutive undefeated run through league competition.
Senior wrestlers Seybold, Bennett, Brent Koehn, Parker Fields, Jacob Wools, Brendan Maxwell and Jake Cloninger left the PHS wrestling program in better shape than before their arrival four years ago.
“It’s not how you start the race but how you finish it,” Rieck said. “For those seniors, their race started the first time they walked in the wrestling room as freshmen. It wasn’t in November of this year. It was four years ago when their race started and how they finished it was incredible for those guys.
“I mean, we ended up with seven state medals, three first-place medals, four final appearances. Plus, they contributed to two SEK championships, one regional championship, a regional runner-up, two top 5 finishes in the state. They finished the race real well and in the big picture, that’s how you’ve got to look at it. I just can’t focus in on this last weekend.”
With four state qualifiers (Gershom Avalos, Brett Cobb, Jeremiah Jones and Levi Kester) slated to return next year and several young wrestlers moving up the ranks, Pittsburg wrestling should have a bright future ahead.
“We have a good stable,” Rieck said. “What we have coming back is outstanding. We’re going to have another quality year next year.
“(Reloading) is exciting as a coach and we have the program to the point now where we are reloading. We won’t drop too much. There’s kids on that senior class we will miss and some of them you can’t replace. You can’t replace an Aaron Seybold or a Broc Bennett. But what we do is just keep working with the kids we have and making them tougher. A lot of them are wrestling in the offseason, which is going to get them ready for next year. They’ll come in sharp and their steel won’t be rusty.”
Seybold and Bennett have been selected to participate in the third annual MO-KAN Classic hosted by Labette Community College on Monday. MO-KAN features some of the best high school wrestlers from Kansas and Missouri — Kansas defeated Missouri the first two years of the classic.
The Morning Sun will have features on Seybold and Bennett in the future.
Third annual MO-KAN Classic selections
106: Javier Vieyra, Salina South
113: Kegan Fisher, Eureka
120: Jonathan Peterson, Hutchinson
126: Colby Watters, Arkansas City
132: Thatcher Murdock, Parsons
138: Brandon Charbonneau, Emporia
145: Aaron Seybold, Pittsburg
145: Alex Bontz, Andover Central
152: Ky Biddle, Central Burden
152: Hunter Stalford, Caney Valley
160: Sam Son, Chanute
170: Matt Reed, Wichita Heights
182: Tyler Lowe, Eureka
195: Colt Castlebury, Douglass
220: Tanner Taylor, Burlington
285: Broc Bennett, Pittsburg
Coaches: Dennis Charbonneau, Emporia; Chris Saferite, Andover Central; Travis Stalford, Caney Valley.
106: J.J. Dorell, Ozark
106: Dakota Matter, Carl Junction
113: Cody Jolly, Webb City
120: Lane Corya, Nixa
126: Taylor Bogle, Carthage
132: Marshall Phelan, Nixa
138: Cristobal Renteria, Monett
145: Cody Priebe, McDonald County
145: Michael Cuthbertson, Branson
152: Steeler Seaburn, Willard
152: Ethan Pogue, Neosho
160: Tyler White, Reeds Spring
170: Austin Brawner, Lebanon
182: Jonathan Inman, Branson
195: Jesse Roark, Willard
220: Christian Adams, Willard
285: Andrew Horsley, Lebanon
Coaches: Jeremy Finley, Carl Junction; Kiiler Stephens, Willard; Kenny Brown, Carthage.