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Crosby named wrestling coach

Sunday, June 11, 2006

(Photo)
Chris Crosby
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Bulldog wrestling program will have a new coach on the sidelines next year with the promotion of longtime assistant Chris Crosby as the next head coach.

Crosby, 33, has been an assistant coach with the Bulldog wrestling program for nine years. He will be taking over the program after Ivan Robison resigned after two years at the helm.

"I put in for it and I thought with the kids that we have -- I know them and I've recruited most of them to come out for the team -- that this would be a good opportunity for me to get a head coaching job," said Crosby. "I've been the head eighth grade coach for eight years and worked as an assistant coach for two years."

Crosby, a 1991 graduate for New Madrid County Central, said he didn't wrestle in high school, but he's picked up many things along the way.

Although he barely missed out on learning from veteran Bulldog coach Marc Stevener, he's had the opportunity to learn from three different head coaches at Sikeston in Jerry Golden, Chris Hodgkiss and Robison.

"I've been able to pick up many things over the years through wrestling with the kids and I've gone to clinics," said Crosby.

Joining Crosby on the sidelines will be former Bulldog all-state wrestler Jerry Winberry, who took second in the state in his weight class in 1994 in the largest classification in the state at the time in Class 4A.

"Having Jerry around is going to be a big positive for me and the kids," said Crosby. "I feel like as much as I've been involved in wrestling the last eight years that I know quite a bit. But he'll bring that intangible that can help everybody. He's been around it, he was a good athlete when he was in high school. He placed the highest of anybody at Sikeston with a second place finish."

Also joining the wrestling coaching team will be James Hitt, who will be taking over the coaching duties for the eighth graders.

"(Hitt) is at the middle school, so hopefully we can get some of those kids pumped up for wrestling to come out as eighth graders," said Crosby.

As for his future goals for the Bulldog wrestling program, Crosby didn't make any promises, but he does want the team's numbers to increase from the past couple of years.

"I'm going to get out and recruit kids and talk to them and have the kids that already wrestle to talk to their friends and get them out for the team," said Crosby. "I'm just going to try to develop a program that the kids enjoy, but at the same time learn to compete and work hard. But the biggest thing is to get more kids involved.

"The numbers have been way down from what they have been in the past and the next few years I want to get more kids involved. With the lack of experience that we're going to have, I can't expect to win a district title or anything like that. I hope that we can return the state qualifiers that we have from last year and maybe add a few more."

In addition to wrestling, Crosby will continue to coach the Sikeston junior varsity baseball team.