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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

SHS hires new wrestling coach

Sunday, April 25, 2004

(Photo)
New Sikeston wrestling coach Ivan Robison
SIKESTON - With the unexpected announcement of Sikeston wrestling coach Chris Hodgkiss' resignation last month, Sikeston High School wasted no time in finding a replacement.

The search ended when Farmington assistant coach Ivan Robison, 42, recently accepted the position.

Robison, a 1980 graduate of Flat River High School, now known as Park Hills Central, says Sikeston looks like an ideal place to raise a family.

"I've always liked the Sikeston area," said Robison. "I just liked the rural setting and I really think it's a good place to bring a family. I still have a 5-year-old son that will be coming through. My wife and I are both anxious to get to someplace that's rural. We're really interested in coming there."

Robison said he has been involved with wrestling dating all the way back to his high school days and hasn't strayed too far from it, helping with the powerful Farmington program the last two years.

"I've been associated with wrestling for a long time and I actually wrestled against Sikeston when I was in high school," said Robison. "I think (longtime Sikeston coach Marc) Stevener was there when I was wrestling and we used to come down there for a freestyle tournament in the summer. I have been involved in the little league and the freestyle and Greco Roman during the spring and summer. I've been the assistant jayvee and freshman coach the last two years."

Robison's son Seth took second place in the state meet last year in the 135-pound class, the same weight division as Sikeston state qualifier Kyle Weeks.

"My son Seth has wrestled the Weeks boys several times, so there's a little bit of a tie there," said Robison. "I'm real familiar with Sikeston because of that."

The Bulldogs, which finished 15th in the state tournament, return a good nucleus for next year with Joe Johnson, a two time all-stater, and three other wrestlers from the varsity. Other wrestlers that return for next year are Ben Powers in the 103-pound weight class, Cody Ryan in the 125-pound weight class and Cullen Looney in the 152-pound weight class.

None of the three made it past the district tournament, which is considered one of the top district sites in the state in Class 2.

The Bulldogs also return a number of promising young wrestlers that will move up from the junior varsity.

Robison said Hodgkiss had the program making strides.

"There's a pretty good foundation started there," said Robison. "Of course you have Joe Johnson coming back who is a two-time state placer. They lost a few seniors, but I think within the next couple three years, we can be in there. It takes a little work, but that's something I'm used to."

Robison helped lead Farmington to a second place finish at state last year and a fourth place finish this year.

Sikeston has a strong wrestling tradition, but hasn't had the success on the state level as Farmington.

Robison is hoping to change that.

"We're hoping to build a program that will be competitive at the state level," said Robison. "When I say the state level, I'm talking about the state tournament. I want to put a winner there. We're looking for a place where we can go in and set up a feeder program and get it going. We want to bang heads with the people like Farmington and Jackson and Ste. Genevieve in this area. I don't want to boast, but I think I'm somebody that can bring that to the Sikeston area."