The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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December 24, 2012

More than just coaches

Successful Woodrow wrestler Glenn thankful for Sarrett and his staff

BECKLEY — A little more than two years ago, Mark Glenn’s knowledge of wrestling was primitive, at best.

“At first, I thought it was just two dudes wrestling,” the Woodrow Wilson senior said. “I didn’t think it was going to be right for me. But after I got into it, it was a lot of fun.”

Glenn was approached by head coach Street Sarrett about giving the sport a try. Sarrett was familiar with Glenn from his days as a football player.

“He wanted me to come out and wrestle for them, so I thought, ‘Why not give it a try?’” Glenn said. “I stuck with it.”

For that, Sarrett is surely grateful. Glenn, now one of the area’s better wrestlers, is scoring valuable points for the Flying Eagles.

He credits his coaches — not just Sarrett, but also assistants Chuck Cooper and Dave Williams — for helping him transition from wrestling neophyte to borderline state qualifier.

But they have meant more than that to Glenn.

Glenn, without getting into specifics, “got into a little bit of legal trouble over the summer.” Many troubled teens often find themselves without a support group when things go wrong.

Fortunately, Glenn discovered he was not alone.

“Coach Sarrett and Coach Williams were there for me through every second of it,” he said.

“Mark kind of strayed away, but we got him back this summer. He worked hard, and he has changed himself around. Excellent kid.”

He has also proven to be an excellent wrestler.

In his first match at the Raleigh County Quad last Tuesday, Glenn got off to a bit of a slow start against Liberty’s Logan Asbury. But he kept his composure and wound up with a 19-6 major decision in the 145-pound match.

Glenn knew it was going to be a battle.

“Asbury is a tough kid,” he said. “I’d wrestled him before, and our first match was a heck of a match.”

“Mark has really improved since the first time he came in our (wrestling) room,” Sarrett said. “Last year he was one match away from placing at the state tournament. I look for big things out of Mark this year.”

Placing at the state tournament in February is Glenn’s top goal for this season.

“I think it’s possible,” Sarrett said. “A little bit of hard work and anything is possible with Mark.”

In his third season on the mat, the part Glenn likes most about wrestling is simple — “Winning.” But he also enjoys the camaraderie that seems to set itself apart from other sports.

“I like meeting players from other teams, getting to know them,” Glenn said. “Wrestling with these kids out here — oh, yeah. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Sarrett and his staff have taught Glenn a lot about wrestling, from moves to the mental aspect of the sport. But they have also shown him that coaches are about more than the proverbial Xs and Os.

“I started in 10th grade, and I didn’t know pretty much anything. But Coach Sarrett, Coach Williams and Coach Cooper brought me up to speed in no time,” Glenn said.

“They’re real good coaches. I love them to death. I’ve gotten in a lot of trouble and they have helped me out. They’re like fathers to me. If I need anything, they’ll give it to me. Anything.”

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