LIMA — Lima Central Catholic head wrestling coach Paul Basinger paces back and forth during wrestling matches, consulting strategies with other coaches and passing his knowledge on to the athletes on the mat.
It is a proven strategy for the T-Birds, a team that has won 10 sectional championships in the school’s history.
It is one of high school sports truest team sports, with wrestlers preparing to wrestle also getting ideas from coaches and team members. Wrestlers done with their matches also are getting instructions following their matches. They have become a second family to each other.
“It is a very disciplined sport,” Basinger said.
However, only half the work is done on the mat. After each match, the wrestlers team up to roll up the mat and put it away after each match. There is equipment and chairs to be put away, and even many of the parents and other fans in attendance chip in and help.
“It is a small group but a very tight-knit group,” Basinger said. “They are tired, but they know they have to clean up. They know the faster they work at it, the faster it gets done.”