KHS pins down its first wresting coach

KINGSTON — After putting in eight years of coaching at the elementary and junior high school levels, longtime Kingston resident Bobby Reece’s dream finally came true.

Kingston High School Athletic Coordinator Dan Novick recently the announced the hiring of Reece as the first head wrestling coach in the Buccaneers’ history.

“I look to the sky and I don’t know what to think,” Reece said. “It’s unreal. I am so excited about this. Being the first head wrestling coach in the school’s history is a dream come true for me. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Novick is thrilled to have Reece on board.

“I have no doubt that he’s going to build a sound solid wrestling program here,” Novick said. “I know he’s excited about building the program. He has an unbelievable amount of passion for kids and the sport of wrestling.”

Reece, 32, is the definition of a local having lived in Kingston his entire life. Reece graduated from North Kitsap High School in 1994 and during his junior campaign in 1993, he advanced to the 3A state tournament in the 135-pound weight division at the Tacoma Dome.

Novick said Reece will continue to assume his position as head coach of the middle school program as well.

“It’s great that he’s coaching both programs,” Novick said. “The middle school program will truly be a feeder program into the high school. It will allow the program to build some continuity.”

Reece is excited about coaching both the high school and middle school programs.

“While I was wrestling in high school I had four different coaches in six years (junior high through high school),” he said. “Since I am coaching both programs it should be an easy transition for the kids. I will get to guide wrestlers from the seventh grade all the way through their high school years. I honestly believe our program is going to have a lot of success because of that.”

Novick said Reece’s positive attitude set him apart from the rest of the field during the interview process.

“Bobby is a glass is half full kind of guy,” he said. “He’s exactly the kind of coach we were looking for.”

Reece’s extensive knowledge of the sport was evident during the interview session, Novick said.

“Bobby demonstrated his ability to break down a skill and teach it to his wrestlers during the interview process,” Novick said. “I was very impressed with how he was able to present his abilities. He’s going to teach kids the basics of wrestling and focus on the fundamentals.”

Novick is fully confident in Reece’s ability to get a large contingent of students at KHS to turnout for the wrestling program this winter.

“Bobby has been in charge of the big dogs youth wrestling program (began in 2004) for a while now,” he said. “The program has really grown since he started it. He knows how to motivate kids. He grew up here and is a big part of the wrestling landscape. Bobby is a kid magnet.”

Wrestling typically isn’t as popular as many of the mainstream sports tend to be, Novick said.

“Wrestling is one of those sports that’s not easy to sell to kids. It’s not constantly on television like many of the other sports are,” he said. “Wrestling requires a great deal of self discipline. It’s just you on the mat out there.”

Reece agrees with Novick’s statement.

“Wrestling is tougher than any other sport,” he said. “It’s such a physical sport and is an individual sport.”

Reece said he wants to make a positive impact on each grapplers life on and off the mat.

“The four things I stress are believing in yourself, have fun, work hard and don’t ever quit,” he said. “These four things are important in not just wrestling, but in life itself. I want them to carry that with them for the rest of their lives in everything they do. That’s my No. 1 goal.”