Mexico Wrestling Transforming Lives

Mexico Wrestling Transforming Lives
Posted on 01/31/2018
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Mexico Wrestling Transforming Lives
The Mexico High School Wrestling Program has been in existence for 57 years. It has taken on different challenges but one thing that has been constant throughout the years it has changed young men into leaders in their community.
The Mexico Wrestling Program has been influenced by several different leaders throughout its short history.

Jack Bronson-1961-1963
Bob Gooch-1963-1985
Daryl Egley-1985-1986
Finis Watt-1986-1987
Ray Heaton 1987-1999
Tom Allen-2000-2002
James Morgan-2002-2004
Mark Payne- 2005-2006
Steve Haag-2006-2007
Nick Hoth-2007-2012
Gayle Adams-2012-2018

Mexico has wrestled in three different conferences in the short history of the program. They were the Central Missouri Conference (CEMO), Mid-State Conference and the North Central Missouri Conference (NCMC). Mexico won conference championships in the CEMO in 1968 and in the Mid-State conference 1977, and NCMC in 2017 & 2018. Mexico also won District Championships in 1966, 1967, & 1968 under Coach Bob Gooch and 2017 under Coach Gayle Adams. Mexico finished in the Top 6 in the State as a team four times: 6th Place-1994, 5th Place-1995 under the Late Coach Ray Heaton, 3rd Place-2011 under Coach Nick Hoth and 2nd in 2017 under Coach Gayle Adams.

“As the wrestling program grew and strengthen at Mexico High School, I realized that I personally was growing professionally as a coach. Seeing the young athletes I was working with grow into adults and taking on grown up responsibilities, the training I helped them with, in turn was giving me strength to work hard and carry through on the tasks of coaching a solid program. The goal of always doing the best you can with every circumstance helped me each season as a coach and each athlete was stronger physically as well as mentally. The character of the athlete is mirrored in the coaching they receive which motivates the coach.” said Bob Gooch

“The 2011 wrestling season was an awesome year and everything came together for us at the perfect time said Head Wrestling Coach Nick Hoth” I also remember the unforgettable personality of Haylon Jacobs, our state champion that year. He was a great leader for our team and was a good influence on some of our younger wrestlers like Sinjon Adams, Monterio Burton, Josh Harlan, & Jake Vitale. I was always very proud to be the head wrestling coach at Mexico, One person that I might be most proud of is my old assistant, and Mexico Head Wrestling Coach Gayle Adams. He helped build a winning culture at Mexico and has continued it as head coach. “I hope everyone in Mexico realizes they have a legend as their head wrestling coach.” said Nick Hoth.

“Mexico Wrestling has been a part of my live for over 25 years.” said Head Coach Gayle Adams “In all my years being around the program I’ve got to wrestle with great friends, coach great kids and coach with great coaches. I wrestled for the late Ray Heaton. Ray taught me to go to work every day and he taught me to love the sport of wrestling. I had a great relationship with Coach Heaton and things he taught me I try to install them in my program today. Coach Heaton had a great influence on my life and I want to model that for my wrestlers as they love the sport and the memories of wrestling. The last few years of coaching have been pretty special to me as I coached 60 State Qualifiers, 32 State placers, 6 State Champs and the opportunity to coach my son (Sinjon) and coach with my son. Giving back to this community is priceless and I love going out in the public and hearing the community talking about the program and the kids. Last year the program saw a several firsts as we won conference, districts and 2nd in the State as a Team. A little bit of history of Mexico Wrestling: Mexico has had 2 Father/Son that both placed at State for Mexico the first father/son was Russ and Randy Haerer and the second father/son was Gayle and Sinjon Adams. Russ Haerer is my Uncle so it’s a family duo.” said Gayle Adams.

Head Coach Gayle Adams took over the Mexico Wrestling Program in 2012 and has been very successful the last 6 years. “Coach Adams has amassed a dual record of 111 wins & 31 losses in his 6 year stint as the Head Wrestling Coach.” said Jeff Anderson, Mexico Athletic Director. Gayle had the opportunity to coach 3 wrestlers that have combined in a 2 year period to win 6 state championships. Brit Wilson was back to back State Champion at 170 in 2016 & 2017, Kellen Ekern was back to back State Champion at 160 in 2016 & 2017, and Terrese Aaron was a State Champion in 2017 at Heavyweight. Kellen & Terrese are having great senior seasons and have the goal to add to that total. The influence of Coach Adams on these wrestlers has been life changing as they share their goals and special memories.

“The rich history of this program has always pushed me to be great, each day at practice I would look up at the long list of state qualifiers and state placers that had come before me. The Mexico Wrestling Program has molded me in to the wrestler that I am today, and it helped prepare me for the next level of wrestling. I have been building off of what I have learned throughout the many years of being a part of Mexico Wrestling. The program gave me many opportunities as I was growing up and has helped me grow along my journey to the collegiate level” said Brit Wilson. “When I put on a Bulldog Uniform I feel a sense of pride. I represent my family, my school and my town. I know that when I am wearing red and gray I have great people cheering for me and rooting me on.” said Brit Wilson.

“This program has had a huge impact on my high school career and my life in general. Over the years in practice I would always look up at the state qualifier board and I would tell myself I'm going to be on there one day. Wrestling has helped me grow as a person by learning how to work for my goals and not settle for second place. It has taught me how to compete and overcome obstacles in life. This has been a great program to be a member of and I believe we have the best coaches in the state who have always supported our team. Coming into high school I knew I had the teammates to do something really special and we have by placing second as a team at state in 2017. This year we have the chance to win state and achieve the ultimate goal we set for our team. I have the opportunity to become a three time state champion, the first in school history. This is something special, but it will not mean as much without a team title.” said Kellen Ekern.

“Wrestling has impacted my high school career, because everything that got me here I worked for. It helped me realize that you get what you work for. Winning the state title last year was an amazing dream comes true. I placed 4th the past two years and I felt like I deserved 1st, so all of last year I wrestled with a chip on my shoulder. So I held myself to a high standard to win state and be undefeated. So I focused on working harder every practice, and if I ever slacked off I would look at the board with my name on it and remind me what I was working for. Also, I was motivated by our team leader Brit Wilson who would never take a day off and always focused on improving. The 2nd place team finish was very exciting for me to know that I was involved in something that hasn't ever been done in Mexico Wrestling history.” said Terrese Aaron.

“The Mexico Wrestling Program has helped me become the man I am today. I learned important life skills from the sport like a good work ethic, determination, and being resilient. Mexico Wrestling prepared me for college and eventually becoming a teacher and coach in the sport I love. My goal as a coach is to pass on my passion for the sport and to prepare young men to become successful in whatever they choose to do after High School said Asst. Wrestling.” Coach Tony Senor.

2018 will mark the sixth time since 2009 that Mexico Wrestling has hosted a High School District Wrestling tournament. The district is composed typically of 10 St. Louis schools, and five Central Missouri Schools. Usually with most of the schools being from St. Louis, the district would be in St. Louis; however Mexico has done a great job hosting the tournament, and coaches want to come back even if it is a further drive for their team. This year’s tournament will be on Friday night February 9th and Saturday, February 10th. Participating schools include: Christian, Fulton, John Burroughs, Kirksville, McCluer South-Berkley, Mexico, Miller Career Academy, MMA, Moberly, Normandy, Orchard Farm, Priory, Soldan, St. Charles West, Winfield.