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Bean takes over Falcon wrestling
RUMFORD -- There will be a change at the top. However, the faces of everyone involved with the Mountain Valley High School wrestling program certainly won’t feel uncomfortable.
The transition should be a smooth one when Chris Bean takes over as head coach of the Falcons co-ed varsity team. Bean is quite familiar with the trials and tribulations that wrestlers endure, after having served as an assistant coach for approximately 10 years.
“Chris is more old school than easy going,” said Joe Thornton. “He was the one the team hates to see on the ramp. If he says 52's, five ramps in two minutes, that's what he means. He has trouble with a lot of mat wrestling but still shows moves.”
Bean, who has limited movement since having had neck surgery, replaces longtime coach Gary Dolloff, who retired at the conclusion of last season. Dolloff had been a coach in the MV program for over two decades, the latter decade as coach of the varsity team.
Bean will be assisted by Jeff Gilbert and Thornton, who each have spent time around the mats. Gilbert has been an assistant six years and Thornton coached the middle school for 10.
“Chris is a great fine tuner,” said Thornton. “We are all pretty much on the same page, we talked last couple of years about what we thought should be different practice wise.”
The aforementioned foursome each have the same common denominator. They all wrestled for hall of fame coach Jerry Perkins at Rumford. Each one became fully engrained in the importance of the hard work, self-sacrifices and dedication necessary to succeed in the world’s oldest sport. Ultimately, this begins with having been instilled with a strong work ethic in every practice.
MV has a good mixture of freshman and veterans, if they can hit the right weights. That’s because the National Federation has changed the weight classes in an effort to increase participation and competition. These changes always provide for debates over the pros and cons.
“(Personally) I don't like the new weight changes,” admits Thortnton. “You lose a weight class in the middle, where you have 60 percent of our kids and gain another heavy that nobody had anyways.”
MV has high expectations after winning the Class B state championship in 2011.
“We will contend for a state title if we can make weights,” said Thornton. “We've got a great feeder program at the GRCC; we've been wrestling most of the summer. We should be the same old tough Rumford, oops, Mtn. valley teams were used to.”