Raiders ready to 'give nothing and take all'December 2, 2019
By JONATHAN SAXON
HUNTINGBURG — Kurt Collins is experiencing his own special homecoming as the Southridge wrestling team gets ready to start its season.
Collins, who is replacing Dave Schank as the Raiders’ coach, is a former Southridge wrestler who graduated in 1989. Over the years, he has volunteered his time and experience as a coach from the youth leagues to the high school varsity teams. For a long while, he had hoped to become the head coach of his alma mater, but the possibility was never feasible until Schank decided to step away from the program earlier this year. The Huntingburg wrestling community came out in droves to show their support when Collins tossed his hat in the ring for the position.
“I got some phone calls from parents, people stopping me at the grocery store asking me, ‘Why not you?’,” he said. “The Southridge Raider wrestling family is family. I had a lot of parental support. They love my passion for the sport and the kids. It pushed me into it. I’m home. This is where I belong.”
Even though Collins is new to the head coaching position, he’s familiar with most of the kids on the team from coaching them through the youth and middle school programs. Collins is looking forward to taking the team beyond the milestones they achieved last season, which included six individual sectional champions en route to a team title as well as sending representatives all the way to semistate. Collins’ first step in that endeavor is giving the whole team an attitude adjustment. He wants his guys to be the toughest and meanest grapplers on the mats this year.
“One of my mottos is, ‘Give nothing and take all’,” he said. “Be selfish, greedy and rude on the mat. That’s something that is a daily language in the room. I want them to break the spirit of their opponent. That’s the kind of wrestling I was brought up in.”
The Raiders have a slew of experienced guys returning along with a batch of newcomers Collins thinks could make an immediate impact for the team this season. The returning individual sectional champions include senior Sam Schroeder (160/170 lbs.), and juniors Chase Taylor (182/195 lbs.) and Tanner Kane (132/138 lbs.). Seniors Trevor Hunefeld (152/160 lbs.), Wes Allen (182/195 lbs.) and Cade Patton (heavyweight); sophomores Cayden Andrews (126/132 lbs.) and Carson Niehaus (138/145 lbs.); and freshman Xavier Horton (113/120 lbs.) are a few other guys who could make some noise during the season.
Hard work and buckets of sweat are the formula Collins and the Raiders are following to get them to the heights they hope to achieve. Collins believes that if the boys face their toughest competition amongst themselves at practice, then the Raiders will be ready for whatever challenges they’ll face during the season’s meets, which start with Tell City on Dec. 13.
“I want the hardest match that they have all year to be in this room,” Collins said, referencing the Raiders’ second-floor practice area. “I want the true challenge to be in here every single day.”
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