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Wildcats are a 'Rec'n Crew'

March 26, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

Williamsport coach Mike Rechtorovic is so well-liked by his wrestlers that they started calling themselves the "Rec'n Crew." They even had special T-shirts made this season.

"We all love him," Williamsport senior Robbie Mies said. "If you saw him all the time, you'd understand."

Rechtorovic, who seems to get as much out of his wrestlers as they get out of him, is The Herald-Mail's All-Area Wrestling Coach of the Year.

His Wildcats were the champions of Washington County and the runners-up at North Hagerstown's Hub Cup, the county's largest and most prestigious tournament. They had nine qualifiers for the Maryland Class 2A-1A West region tourney and the county's first state champions in four years. Sophomore Kemper Baker won a state title at 119 pounds, and Mies was the champ at 215.

It was a remarkable season for a team that lost 10 of 14 starters from the previous year.

"I knew we had some good, young kids coming up who were going to be better," said Rechtorovic, who has spent six seasons as Williamsport's head coach. "It's really about them, and how hard they work.

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"This was one of the only teams that, no matter how hard I pushed, they never once complained. They were just a mentally tough group."

He also extended much of the credit to assistant coaches Adam Terza and Mike Baker.

For as mentally and physically challenging as the sport of wrestling can be, the Wildcats often seemed like they just were having too much fun.

"We do have a loose atmosphere, but (Rechtorovic) lets us know when it's time to play and when it's time to do our thing," Mies said. "Wrestling is a great sport, but the team and the coaches you're with control how much you're going to enjoy it and how far you're going to go. You don't want to dread going to practice every day, and I never did."

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