The “Wright” Way to Wrestle

Liviera Leebong

Liviera Leebong

The M-A wrestling team recently had to say goodbye to their beloved head coach, Peter Wright, as has decided to pursue a job opportunity in the division of Oracle to complement his wrestling and coaching skills. Coach Wright came to M-A as the head wrestling coach in 2008, and since has trained wrestling champions such as alumni, Dino Andrighetto, Kendra Wiley, and Andre Delagnes, as well as high scoring current wrestlers: Austin Wilson, Anthony Andrighetto, and James Smith. Now, he has resigned his position as head coach to move up to Portland, Oregon with his family. Coach Wright will be missed.

“Many of us, when we first heard the news, began to cry,” says Josh Buttram, “all of us have become very close to him over the past few years.”

The wrestlers describe him as  not only an outstanding coach over the years, but also a personal mentor and close friend. He has strongly impacted the team, teaching them life lessons to use on and off the mat.

“He’s taught us that practice makes permanent,” explains senior wrestler Temuulen Bat-Enkh, “whatever we do in the wrestling room will be with us forever, whether it is doing the best we can or following instructions.”

“Without him, I would be a pudgy, weak guy,” claims Edward ‘Bingo’ La Haye, “He taught me weight loss, nutrition, and how to persevere through hardship. He truly changed my life.”

“He was one of the catalysts for my motivation,” adds his brother, Donald ‘Buster’ La Haye, “He inspired me to work hard and not give up in a match. Coach Wright taught me to ignore my physical urge to give up. ‘Tell your body to shut up,’ he would always say. He taught us that hard work and dedication is what you need to succeed.”

Despite this loss, however, the team still holds hope for their future.

The team is going to go through a huge and sad adjustment but it’s a part of life, and we have to realize we can get through this since Coach Wright will always be there in our hearts,” says Anthony Andrighetto, “It just means we will have adjust and look forward to the privilege of having Coach Phil to teach us. He’s an amazing, inspiring coach that will help us succeed in our wrestling career.”

Until a new head coach is found, Coach Phil Hoang, will be taking over as head coach.

“The program is losing a huge asset,” he says, “For now, we need to stay focused and determined to finish the season strong. There is no question the energy will be different, but I hope the kids will use this to motivate them to finish hard.” He explains that there is “nothing easy. There will always be hurdles along a journey. You just have to keep your head up and stay focused.”

Wright’s team and fellow coaches are extremely supportive of his promotion. They all understand that his family is very important to him, and that Portland is also a great place for a family, as he and his wife are expecting their second child in August.

Coach Wright’s work will definitely be remembered. He has greatly helped in the struggle to fill the gaps on the team, and create such a culture around the wrestling team that allows it to grow to the numbers necessary to succeed. Wrestling is not an easy sport, but is one of the most rewarding sports; many of the team members say that more people should come out for this sport. They claim it is hard work, but that the hard work pays off in learning the ‘Wright’ way to both wrestle and approach life in general.

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