A New Beginning

James Abshier coaching practice(Photo from Katherine Sleckman)

James Abshier coaching practice(Photo from Katherine Sleckman)

Noah Brown, Managing Editor

James Abshier has found himself a coaching gig at Clayton. He took the helm as CHS’s new head wrestling coach earlier this school year. Abshier doesn’t lack experience. Not only is he a past wrestler, but Abshier also has eight years of experience under his belt– seven years as the head coach at Miller Career Academy, and one year as an assistant coach at Brentwood.

Abshier’s many years of experience have led him to where he is now. “I’ve been known as a guy who can do a lot with little resources,” he said. Abshier is proud of the successes he has experienced so far in his coaching career.

The team, despite its lack of roster size, has started to show results. “Parker Ross has gotten on the medal stand for the first time. Michael Painter has one first place and two silver place medals. Jared Garrett has gold, silver and bronze medals,” Abshier said. “Our novices are showing some promise too.”

Abshier already has high expectations for the team. In the near future, Abshier would like to advance to Columbia: the state tournament. “It’s going to be tough. We’re going to compete in Districts at a higher class level,” Abshier said. “We’re okay with that.”

Long term, the team looks to, “build up numbers and expand the culture of the team,” Abshier said.

As the new coach, Abshier notices and looks to build upon Clayton’s great wrestling history. “My good friend Jack Durham won his state championship at Clayton. Clayton was one of the great wrestling programs in the ‘90s,” Abshier said. “My goal is to have the same type of reputation.”

Abshier believes that the sport of wrestling does a lot for those participating in it.

“There is no sport that holds you more accountable for your actions as much as wrestling does. In football, if you miss a block, someone can pick you up. In basketball, if you miss the shot, someone can get the rebound,” Abshier said, “In wrestling, it’s totally different.”

Abshier plans to stick around and has enjoyed his time at Clayton thus far. “I’m having a great time. The ceiling is really high for this program,” Abshier said. “We just need some time to develop it.”

The new coach realizes that a talented team is only one part of the puzzle. “We’re still adjusting. Our assistant coach Joe Day is tremendous. This would not be possible without him,” Abshier said.

“Keep an eye out,”Abshier said. “These guys are going to do some great things.”