Archbold wrestling coach Brian Becher just got back from coaching the United States U-15 freestyle men’s wrestling national team.
Becher was selected from a pool of coaches who had applied to coach a team at an international event. The tournament took place in Budapest, Hungary from June 14-22.
The wrestling tournament was a part of the World Contact Games, which also included taekwondo, Greco-Roman wrestling, karate and judo. For the U.S., there were boys teams as well as girls teams.
“In the past, I have been asked a few times to coach the cadets as well as the junior level wrestlers at both the world championships and the Pan American championships, (but) the competitions were always during the school year,” Becher said. “(Coach) Kevin Jackson (1992 Olympic gold medalist) did a great job of empowering me to take on the leadership role in many aspects of the team, while he still was actively involved in many things.
“My responsibilities were nearly identical to what they are when traveling with our Archbold wrestlers, which many times resembles trying to herd chickens.”
The 10 players selected to the USA U15 national team, aged 15 and under, came from the champions of the U15 nationals held April 12-14 in Nebraska.
The freestyle wrestling team coached by Becher won three gold medals, three silver medals and three bronze medals. The gold medalists were Aden Valencia of California, Tyler Wells of Minnesota and Ethan Stiles of Illinois.
“I believe that anytime a person gets the opportunity to immerse themselves in an environment where it is conducive to jump levels, that the opportunity needs to be seized,” Becher said. “This was one of those opportunities for me as a wrestling coach.”
With the U15 world championships now finished, Becher will have two other opportunities to coach U.S. teams later this summer. He will coach at two U.S.A. team camps.
“I felt honored that toward the end of the trip when Coach Jackson asked me if I would be willing to come to the Olympic training center to help him run the cadet world team camp from July 18-25 prior to the world championships in Bulgaria, as well as the junior world team camp from August 1-9, prior to their world championships in Ukraine,” Becher said. “Those camps are two more opportunities for me as a coach that I will take advantage of.”