Longtime friends begin a new chapter as Bucksport wrestling coaches

first_img Latest posts by Taylor Vortherms (see all) EHS names new boys’ soccer coach – July 13, 2016 Latest Posts Dan Ormsby coaches a Bucksport High School wrestling practice on Friday. PHOTO BY TAYLOR VORTHERMSBUCKSPORT — When Dan Ormsby looks around the Bucksport High School cafeteria, he sees memories from his four years there as a student.Ormsby sees where his former Bucksport wrestling coach, Mike Carter, used to sit and tell stories during practice. And he remembers his senior year when those block letters spelling out “Senior Lounge” were painted on the wall.Ormsby points to a corner of the lunchroom.“That’s where I put Dave on his back when I was a sophomore,” Ormsby says, referring to Bucksport heavyweight state champion, David Gross. “The first and only time.”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textGross sits next to Ormsby, also a former high school heavyweight state champion, in the same room where they used to practice as teammates two decades ago. The pair has begun a new chapter of their wrestling career at Bucksport — this time as coaches.Ormsby has been hired as Bucksport’s new head coach alongside assistant coaches Gross and Robby Perkins — also a BHS graduate and former wrestler.“I always wanted to come back and coach at Bucksport,” Ormsby says. “I’m excited to start new traditions here. It’s a dream.”Ormsby, Ellsworth High School’s former head coach, resigned from the position in January of 2014 after six seasons. He says the year off from coaching was “definitely weird.”“I didn’t know what to do with myself,” Ormsby says, laughing. “I had so much free time.”So when Corey Darveau resigned as Bucksport’s coach after last season, Ormsby jumped at the opportunity. The former EHS teacher also recently accepted a job at the Miles Lane School in Bucksport.“I had a really strong feeling that in order to coach here, I had to teach here,” Ormsby says. “Now, I can talk to the principal and check to make sure their grades are good. I can recruit and be a part of the kids’ lives.”Ormsby says Gross’ coaching style is on the quieter side whereas his is the exact opposite.“I just don’t shut up,” Ormsby says.However, Ormsby and Gross both say they want to recapture the fan base and energy that surrounded the sport when they wrestled in high school.“Wrestling has been such a big thing here,” Ormsby says. “I have people now who still show up to wrestling meets who were there when I was wrestling.”Ormsby started wrestling in middle school. In eighth grade, he began attending high school wrestling practices with Gross, who is several years older than him.“He always hung around,” Gross says of Ormsby. “We knew he was going to be one of the top wrestlers coming up.”Both Ormsby and Gross notched undefeated seasons with Bucksport.Ormsby credits that mentorship with shaping his future as a wrestler, a teacher and a coach. After high school, he wrestled for Springfield College in Massachusetts until a knee injury his sophomore year ended his career. No longer able to compete, he began coaching.“Wrestling defines a lot of who I am,” Ormsby says. “When you have somebody like Dave who’s that much older than you and taking an interest in what you’re doing, that’s what sparks that fire.”Gross, who was also an accomplished football player, says his favorite sport in high school was wrestling.“Football was big, but the family wasn’t there like it was for wrestling,” Gross says. “We always tried to make the younger kids want to be in the program and feel welcomed.”Ormsby, Gross and Perkins will incorporate those same tactics in an effort to increase their team’s size. The trio has already enlisted 15 wrestlers this season compared to last year’s eight.Eventually, Ormsby says he would like to have more than 25 wrestlers on his squad.“Numbers in wrestling are dwindling in general,” Ormsby says, noting the Maine Principals Association recently reduced the sport’s classes from three to two. “The most important thing this season is for our wrestlers to enjoy the sport and get their friends to join.”Ormsby says he enjoyed his time at Ellsworth, but he is excited to coach for his hometown.“I think about all the people who made me who I am today — who made me excited enough about wrestling to come back,” Ormsby says. “Now, I’m in those shoes.”Ormsby still isn’t sure if Gross let him get the pin in that high school wrestling practice some 20 years ago.“I think he let me,” Orsmby says, looking to Gross for an answer. “But at the time, he didn’t let on to that.”Gross smiles, but says nothing. Taylor VorthermsSports Editor at The Ellsworth AmericanTaylor Vortherms covers sports in Hancock County. The St. Louis, Missouri native recently graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism and joined The Ellsworth American in 2013.center_img Part 2: When the injury is inside your head, some “don’t get it” – July 26, 2016 Part 1: Invisible, incapacitating concussions are sidelining high school athletes – July 19, 2016 Biolast_img read more