Local Wrestling Coach Heads to World Championships
JACKSON CO., Mo. – Summer break is in full swing. While that means no more pencils and no more books for Blue Springs High teacher Mike Hagerty, it also means a lot more work for him.
“We want to win,” said Hagerty. “I’m not about training for second place.”
While Hagerty is spending the early part of his summer training young athletes at Baker University, he’s coaching the FILA USA Junior World wrestling team later this summer. His team will be made up of the top high school and college wrestlers in the country.
“When we go across the ocean and we meet some of these people from foreign lands, we’re not talking about wars,” he said. “We’re not talking about the problems of the world. We’re talking about something very common to all of us and that’s being an athlete and first and foremost, being a wrestler. That’s what’s exciting.”
Also exciting – many of the wrestlers competing in the 2012 Olympics this summer in London competed on the Junior World team first.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Hagerty said. “But, there’s some challenges with hit because I’m not their normal high school coach or their normal club coach. So, a lot of it is trying to build the confidence in the athletes in that short amount of time so they trust the coaching staff, they trust each other as teammates, so they can go over there and as a team win a World Championship.”
Hagerty will head to Colorado for ten days in August where he’ll teach the Junior World team advanced offense and defense techniques. Then from September 4-9, he and the FILA Junior World Team will Pattaya,Thailand to compete against the some of the best wrestlers in the world. And while they’ll return stateside with new memories and experiences, Hagerty hopes they also return with something they can all proudly display – a Gold Medal.