Wrestling for a future
March 19, 2014 at 11:02 p.m.
Updated March 19, 2014 at 10:20 p.m.
Kerry Iannazzo arrived to Victoria trying to build a future in wrestling at VISD.
Two years later, the VISD wrestling coach has sent 15 players to the state tournament.
"I saw a lot of potential," said Iannazzo, who arrived in 2012. "I asked them to do things and they did the right stuff. They worked hard through the season."
Iannazzo is hoping to build on this season's success with the second spring wrestling program, which starts Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Also starting afterward will be a wrestling club from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Both events will take place at the District Events Center.
Iannazzo came up with the idea of the wrestling club as a way to introduce kids to wrestling. The hope is that more kids will participate on the wrestling team.
"A lot of these kids love MMA," Iannazzo said. "There's a lot of great athletes out here."
To create a successful wrestling program, Iannazzo, who competed his 21st year coaching wrestling, will bring in former wrestlers.
"I want to give back to the program as much as I can," said Clay Mullins, who wrestled for Iannazzo at Victoria West. "I think it will benefit the program more."
A West graduate, Mullins was on the wrestling team for three years. His first year of wrestling was at Memorial.
This season, West sent nine athletes to the wrestling state tournament.
Last season, only six wrestlers qualified for state.
"It's really new here," Mullins said about wrestling in Victoria. "We had a bunch of supporters (at Memorial), but not like it is now."
Iannazzo hopes having both spring wrestling and a youth club will change the culture of wrestling.
"That's going to be a key to our success," Iannazzo said. "Kids who are brand new (to wrestling) can get better quicker."
El Campo recognized
El Campo didn't make the basketball playoffs this season, but players can look back on the season.
Sophomore La'Trent Greely and junior Adrian Alameda were named to the All-District 25-3A first team.
Wharton senior Elliott Hudson was named MVP, while junior Chris Green was named defensive MVP and freshman Timothy Young was named Newcomer of the Year.
Tiger sophomore Joshua Young, juniors Ashton Branch and Keyshawn Johnson were named to the first team.