Former PHS wrestlers are now coaches

This article submitted by Jill Spanier on 2/25/97.

If you've ever been a wrestler you probably understand. You understand--the friendships, the thrill, the blood, the sweat, the tears, the 6 a.m. drive for three hours, the 12-hour days, sitting around waiting for a match that will last six minutes, if that. You understand plenty. Memories like this stay with you for a long time. They are not easily forgotten, but are definitely easily remembered.

They've taken coach Virg Vagle's words of wisdom and made them their own. They teach the same moves they were taught ten, fifteen years ago. They are wrestling coaches and former wrestlers of Vagle. Some here at Paynesville, others a little farther away. Currently there are six wrestlers of Vagle's coaching wrestling.

Troy Vagle, Virg's son, is the junior varsity coach at the New London-Spicer school district. Virg said that he's proud of Troy's choice to go into coaching.

Greg and Mark Spanier, sons of Walter and LaVonne Spanier, have also continued with their wrestling careers. Greg, a graduate of St. Cloud State University, coaches the elementary program at Rocori. Greg said, "Being able to put something back into wrestling and give back to the kids a little bit of what I got out of wrestling is why I enjoy coaching so much."

Mark, a graduate of Bemidji State University, is the junior varsity coach at Melrose High School. While Mark had a struggling season at Melrose, he said that he still had some really good times with wrestling and that he hoped by coaching he could instill the fun and excitement into a new group of kids.

Mike V. Weber, son of Cathy and Chris Weber, a graduate of the University of Minnesota Morris, coaches and teaches at New Richland-Ellendale-Geneva. Weber said that through coaching wrestling he gets to know his students on a more casual basis. When his team wrestled against Paynesville Weber said, "It was fun to come and see fans that came to watch me when I was wrestling, still coming and watching even now."

Our own wrestling coaches, Ron and Steve Fuchs, sons of Betty and Kenny Fuchs, are also former wrestlers.

Steve, a 1979 state champion, coaches our junior varsity and also assists Vagle. Steve said, "I enjoy wrestling and coaching gives me the chance to give kids one-on-one advice on moves as well as being there for the team."
Ron, a graduate of St. Cloud State University, helped to coach this year's seventh and eighth grade teams while assisting the varsity team this year. Ron said, "Having the opportunity to come back to Paynesville and coach has been something that has made coaching all the better."

When asked if he did anything special as a coach at Paynesville, Vagle replied, "I try to instill in my wrestlers a good work ethic they can take with them."

Wrestling plays a large part in a lot of people's lives. Coaching takes time, patience, dedication and skill. Paynesville should be proud that they can spread their wings of pride over a larger, broader area.

Vagle said, "I hope I've been a good example and I hope they can make wrestling fun."


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