Bainey tabbed as D-6 AA Coach of the Year|
Monday, February 18, 2013
By Jon Christoff Sports Writer
ALTOONA - After earning as many accolades as his team has this season, West Branch wrestling coach Jason Bainey might just become a spokesman for Chap Stick.
Despite the way his Warriors have performed on the mat this season, Bainey's intense coaching style brings about an anxiety that can only be cured by the world famous lip balm.
When his squad is on the mat, Bainey is constantly applying Chap Stick to help calm his nerves - when he isn't shouting instructions, demonstrating a move on an assistant coach or assisting referees in making their calls, that is.
"I go through a stick of Chap Stick every match," said Bainey. "I'm constantly putting it on because of my nerves. It's a running joke with the kids. The kids bring it to me, the parents bring it to me. It's just a nerve thing for me, but the kids have fun with it."
Bainey isn't one to hold back when his wrestlers are in action, and he was front and center at the District 6 Class AA tournament in Altoona over the weekend.
The fifth-year head coach's passion is evident in the way his team performs, and Bainey was rewarded for all the hard work he put into the program by being named the D-6 AA Coach of the Year on Saturday at the Altoona Fieldhouse.
While his team has gotten to the upper echelon of the district, as evidenced by two straight trips to the PIAA Team Duals in Hershey, it was finally Bainey's turn to gain some recognition when he was voted the district's best by his peers.
"He's awesome," 132-pounder J.P. Hayles said of Bainey.
"We really work hard in the room, and it pays off on the mat. It wears right off (him) and right on to us. We always want to wrestle our hardest (for him)."
After capturing the D-6 AA team dual championship earlier this month, Bainey's team was back at it again at the individual tournament.
All 14 of West Branch's entrants advanced to the second day of the competition and the Warriors had seven placewinners in all in earning the team championship at the tournament.
West Branch has six wrestlers advancing to the regional tournament in Johnstown in two weeks, so voting Bainey as the district's top coach was a virtual no-brainer.
"The team championship, my staff gets Coach of the Year, I get Coach of the Year ... we had a good year," said Bainey. "It was outstanding and we want to keep things going. We did things as good as we could have here. The kids wrestled well to get the District 6 team championship, along with the dual championship.
"(Being named Coach of the Year) means a lot because it's voted on by the 25 coaches. It all boils down to the kids. They had the season, they put the time in and the hard work, and that reflects on the coaching staff. They go out and do what we ask them to do."
Despite the hardcore demeanor that Bainey demands in the practice room that requires his wrestlers to be physical and aggressive, the Warriors' head man still has a sense of humor when it comes to the lip product that everyone associated with the program has come to know and love.
"He's always working hard and is always on us in the room," Hayles said. "We feed off his intensity and it's always there with him. It's never going to go away.
"He's always jumping around and always putting his Chap Stick on. We tease him about it all the time. When we went to Hershey last year, we got a big pack of Chap Stick for him. He loved it."
Almost as much as he loved seeing his team dominate District 6.