Valley wrestling coach takes home world title, qualifying for world competition

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 6:27 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - A Valley wrestling coach won a national championship in Las Vegas, and he said it was all about becoming a better coach.

Jesse West, founder and head coach of Mat Pack Wrestling, decided to go to the competition as a lesson in commitment for his students. In winning the Masters Greco-Roman division, he qualifies for the world competition.

The masters division is for older wrestlers. 43-year-old West doesn’t see his win as a big deal.

“I made a joke that success was not breaking a hip,” West said.

Even though he did qualify in Greco-Roman, he also competed in freestyle, but he came in second. He’s proud of the win, but the match he lost brings a greater lesson for his students.

“You gotta put in the work and train harder and want it more than the other guy. If I want to show up next year and beat him, I’m going to have to train harder. That’s the lesson in it. And the win? Yeah, it’s fun,” West said.

He said he wants the experience to be a motivator for his students.

“Sometimes I’m not always the most fun coach to wrestle for, but I’m trying to train these guys for the next level and let them see that they can do it just through their hard work, whether they see me succeed or see me fail. There’s lessons to be learned,” he said.

West said he still has to decide if he wants to go to the world competition, but he said he’s thinking about it. Before he can think of that, he’s turning his attention to a big regional competition and the possibility of nationals for his wrestlers.

Mat Pack just took eight athletes to a state competition, where many of them placed in their divisions.

West said C.J. Robinson placed 3rd in Freestyle. Cody Cash, who West said is not currently with Mat Pack but has trained with them in the past, placed 2nd in Greco and Freestyle. Jude Robeson finished 2nd in Greco and 3rd in Freestyle. Cooper Brant took home two second-place wins and won his weight class.

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