Bulldog wrestling coach sets high bar; says program 'back on the map'

Crestview wrestling

Crestview High School senior wrestler Christian Zoppina is enjoying a stellar season for the Bulldogs.

RANDY DICKSON / News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 05:50 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Midway through his second season as Crestview High School's wrestling coach, Andrew Black couldn't be happier with the team's progress.

"I've seen immense improvement," he said. "At the beginning of the year I assessed 37 wrestlers. From what I've been told, that's one of the highest numbers Crestview has ever had."

'Back on the map'

"... I see the sport growing," Black said. "I see the enthusiasm coming from the kids. With the popularity of (mixed martial arts) sports out there, kids are way more interested to know what wrestling is all about."

Enthusiasm doesn't stop with the wrestlers, Black said. He credits his assistant coach, Allen Caldwell, a former Bulldog football player and college wrestler, with instilling pride in the program. And Black praised the Crestview High School community for supporting the program.

But he gives the most credit to previous Bulldog wrestlers and coaches.

"I tell our kids last year's state qualifiers, Terryn Williams and Alex Luttrell, never got to wrestle at home," Black said. "They laid the foundation for what these kids are doing now. The Crestview support has been outstanding from the parents and the teachers.

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