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    #WrestlingWednesday with Jeremy Hines: Pacers ready to take the next step




    David Wolf was surprised to learn a few years back that Switzerland County High School even had a wrestling program. Now, in addition to being the Chief of Police in Vevay, the county seat, he’s also the wrestling coach.


    His goal with both jobs is to make a difference in his community. He’s certainly doing just that.


    Before Wolf, the Pacers had never had a single wrestling sectional champion. This year the team had three. Two of those wrestlers went on to win the school’s first regional championships. Wolf is hoping the success keeps coming.


    “It feels awesome to see what these guys are accomplishing,” Wolf said. “I don’t do this to praise myself. I do it for the kids. To see them reach their goal is amazing. We sent six kids to regional this year. We had never had more than two go before. It’s just awesome.”


    Wolf’s strategy has been simple. Make the team a family. He coached his own twin sons, who went on to be the first two Pacer wrestlers to ever qualify for semistate. Now three of the four coaches on the staff have kids that wrestle on the team.


    “Our number one thing is that we want to create that family culture,” Wolf said. “We want to be positive figures to the team. I want to be a positive influence and we want to look out for each other.”


    This season the Pacers have four wrestlers qualify for the Evansville semistate. Freshman Peyton Richards goes in as a regional champ at 120 pounds.


    Peyton’s mental mindset is on a whole new level,” Wolf said. “His drive, his will to work, it’s hard to match. I haven’t seen anyone that mentally prepares the way he does. He wakes up at 5:30 every morning and practices in his basement. He leads by example.”


    Sophomore Gabe Rose won regional at 138 pounds.


    “Game is a little bulldog,” Wolf said. “He is mentally prepared. He is physically prepared. The kid doesn’t like losing and it drives him to do better. He lost to a kid earlier in the season and since then they have wrestled two more times and Gabe won in the first period. He is on a mission.”


    Freshman Ethan Rose (Gabe’s brother) finished second in regional to qualify for semistate.


    “Ethan is an animal,” Wolf said. “If he ever makes it to 106 pounds he can be a state contender. He walks around at about 96 pounds and eats everything he wants. He has to drink two bottles of water to qualify. He’s outsized, bad, but he’s a fighter.”


    Sophomore Dakota Fields placed third at 113 pounds in the Jeffersonville regional.


    “Dakota quit wrestling for a few years and just came back this year,” Wolf said. “He didn’t wrestle as a freshman. He came back and has been a huge asset to this team. He’s a hard worker and he’s an all-around great kid.”


    Part of the reason for the Pacers’ success is the youth program in the area.


    “We are finally getting kids in high school that have come up through our youth programs,” Wolf said. “My assistant coaches started the youth programs and it has helped us tremendously.”


    The Pacers are a very young team and Wolf has hopes that in the next couple of years the team can qualify for 1A Team State.


    “We don’t lose anybody after this year,” Wolf said. “We are a freshman and sophomore led team.”


    The team’s success has not gone unnoticed in the community.


    “With this success the recognition is really growing,” Wolf said. “People keep coming up to me in town and they talk about how awesome our team is doing. The community is growing and recognizing our success. More and more people are coming to our home meets.”


    Before this year, Switzerland County had never had a winning season in wrestling. They finished this season with a dual meet record of 24-6.


    As the Chief of Police, Wolf deals with a lot of problems on a daily basis. In the short time it took to interview for this article multiple people in the community came up asking for his help with things related to his job as a policeman. He tries to handle each issue in a positive manner and be a good influence on the community, just like he does with his team. He learned from the former police chief, James Richards. Richards was the Chief of Police for 16 years. Now he’s an assistant wrestling coach for Wolf.


    “We want to be positive figures to these kids,” Wolf said. “I’m excited for these guys. I’m excited for the future of the program. My coaches invest 100 percent in this program. We really think we are going to turn some heads in the next few years.”

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