Urbach, Cubs wrestling complete successful season

Posted 1/7/21

Nate Urbach’s 23rd year coaching wrestling looked far different from his first 22.

The longtime Powell High School wrestling head coach left that post last spring, but then took over as the …

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Urbach, Cubs wrestling complete successful season

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Nate Urbach’s 23rd year coaching wrestling looked far different from his first 22.

The longtime Powell High School wrestling head coach left that post last spring, but then took over as the head of Powell Middle School’s program.

“Coach Urbach will always have a strong passion for the sport of wrestling and coaching,” said Powell Middle School Athletics Director Chanler Buck.

Wanting more free time to spend with his family, the new position was the perfect fit for Urbach.

“I wanted to stay involved in the sport because I still love it,” Urbach said. “Just to be in a position to spend a lot of time with my daughters is great.”

When it comes to teaching technique, not much changes from the high school to the middle school level. The sport is the same, but due to the wrestlers’ fewer years of experience in middle school, much of practice centers around the fundamentals.

“You have to make sure you cut your playbook in half and teach the basics,” Urbach said. “I hope I taught them some things so that when they get up to [PHS head coach Nick] Fulton, he doesn’t have to re-teach.”

Just as the position was perfect for Urbach, he was the perfect leader for the seventh- and eighth-grade students.

“Coach Urbach’s leadership and expertise at the middle school level provide our wrestling program a foundation for success,” Buck said. “His passion and energy drives our kids to develop a work ethic and a personal desire to become better each day.”

In addition to the different level of the sport, there was another aspect that made Urbach’s 23rd season unique: COVID-19. The pandemic changed the way a middle-school wrestling season operates, with nearly every event being a dual setting, rather than a tournament, and there being no specific weight classes.

Despite the changes, Urbach was pleased with the team’s performance on and off the mat through the entire season.

“They had great work ethic, and you can’t be a good wrestler if you don’t want to work,” Urbach said. “We had a lot of talent, and it was really enjoyable. I didn’t see any fighting or jealousy, and it was really one big group of buddies.”

Urbach admitted that he has trouble picking standouts from the season, due to the season’s abnormal nature and overall excellence from his wrestlers. He was more impressed with the group’s cohesion and desire to improve.

“We had a bunch of big guys who wrestled well,” Urbach said. “We also had a lot of kids under the radar and smaller guys who had good years. They were hard workers, and we’d have kids consistently come to open mats and get better.”

For eighth-graders, they’ll get the chance to move up to the high school ranks next winter if they choose to. And current seventh-graders will have one more year before making that jump.

Both Urbach and Buck feel confident that the student-athletes’ experiences wrestling at Powell Middle School have prepared them well, whenever they make that jump.

Working alongside coach Fulton, Urbach “knows exactly how to instill the fundamentals and excitement for the sport that our middle school athletes need in order to promote participation and commitment at the high school level,” Buck said.

“I hope that they learned some things that they can take with them,” said Urbach. “It’s a good group of kids, and I was pretty spoiled.”

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