For GHS wrestling, two underclassmen lead by example

Peter J. Teagle - Posted on Jan 16, 2019 - 01:44 PM

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From the outside, the home of Gloucester High School’s wrestling program doesn’t look like much.

The faded metal building has no windows and borders the weight room. Inside, worn-out mats from decades past bear the rips and scratches consistent with years of wrestlers being thrown to the ground. Metal and hip-hop take turns blaring over a speaker system as the team warms up.

From this spartan building, two young GHS wrestlers have emerged as state tournament hopefuls, racking up more than a dozen wins each barely halfway through the season.

Sophomore Austin Glockner and freshman Ethan Baker are two members of a Dukes program that has developed under the tenure of second-year head coach John Glockner. While they lack a full roster of upper weight class competitors, this team has grown into a squad that now expects to send athletes to state competition each season.

Glockner emerged as a state-level talent last year as a freshman and now in his sophomore season looks to build on his wrestling pedigree. “Expectations are high,” the young Glockner said, “and I’m hoping to win regions and have a good seed at states.”

With his father coaching the team, Austin said many traditional father-son moments become teaching moments until the offseason. “It carries over to the house a lot,” he said, “always talking about wrestling you kind of lose the father-son dynamic until after the season … this year it’s like having my coach around me all the time.”

Glockner said, “I’ll walk downstairs and he’s like ‘hey let me show you something real quick’ … techniques, positioning, all of that.”