Clintonville wrestling hopes to increase participants
Dimick to bring in more wrestlers
By Erik Buchinger
Former Clintonville High School state-qualifying wrestler Exavier Dimick stepped in to be the head coach of a program in need of more student-athletes.
The Clintonville School Board approved the resignation of former wrestling head coach Justin Mc Auly in mid-October, which left a few weeks remaining prior to the start of preseason practice.
“I first signed up to be an assistant coach, and then the head coach resigned,” Dimick said. “They needed somebody for the position, and I just didn’t want to see our program fall apart or anything, so I stepped up and said I would do it.”
After a decline in wrestlers at Clintonville High School, the school board said in March that it would review the program in two years. The team went from 12 wrestlers down to five last year, and the school board’s policy is to have a minimum of 14 wrestlers.
“We’d like to continue with wrestling but we can’t do it with five kids,” Clintonville Superintendant Tom O’Toole said during a March meeting.
Dimick said part of the reason he took the job was to increase participation on the team.
“I used to help out with camps and with the youth,” Dimick said. “I used to have kids come up to me and ask if I would be part of the coaching staff or even be the head coach. Some of them told me if I was the head coach, they would join. That’s why I took the position, because I knew if I was the head coach, it would get more kids to come out.”
As a high school wrestler in Clintonville, Dimick had an 85.4 winning percentage with a 129-22 career record, which ranks among the top in school history. He qualified at state as a senior in 2011 and finished fifth.
Dimick also brought in former Clintonville High School teammate Mark Butterbrodt to be the team’s assistant coach.
“When I was on the team, it was all about family and being together,” Dimick said. “It was just another place to get away sometimes. It’s a place to be where you have other brothers or other sisters to watch out for you and watch your back through school.”
The Truckers had a total of seven wrestlers in their season-opening match on Thursday, Dec. 1, and Dimick said his biggest goal is to add more wrestlers to the team to ensure the Clintonville wrestling team will continue.
“I’m hoping we can get our numbers up so we can keep the program and not lose it,” Dimick said. “I feel like wrestling is one of the more important sports that we have. We always used to send a few kids to state, and in the past few years we haven’t sent anyone to state. I feel like we’ve been lacking that, and we need to get back to that.”