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Old 03-11-2009
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Lehr Named NW Herald Coach of the Year

Lehr gets most out of CLC

By ROB SMITH
McHenry County Sports / Northwest Herald

CRYSTAL LAKE – With state-ranked wrestlers Trevor Jauch, Christian Malouf, Joey Kielbasa and Trevor Parlberg on the roster, the open Crystal Lake Central coaching position this season might have appeared to be a plum assignment.

However, it also was a program whose only regional title came in 2003, a year before the seniors on this season’s team entered as freshmen.

Justen Lehr took over as coach knowing the positives and the negatives. He came in with physical and mental goals for the team. He instituted a tougher conditioning and training program and brought with him a sense of team learned as a high school wrestler at Harvard.

Lehr said he used the team’s two-point loss to Grant in regionals last year as a teaching tool. Winning as a team is different than winning as an individual.

“When we go to these tournaments, it’s not about yourself,” Lehr said. “If you have a chance to get a pin in the first period, you’ve got to get it. Let’s get the maximum amount of team points.”

The new philosophy worked for the Tigers this season on both an individual and a team level. Central had four wrestlers place at the IHSA individual state finals this year, including championships by Jauch at 112 pounds and Kielbasa at 140 along with third-place finishes by Parlberg at 171 and Gage Harrah at 215.

The team also won the Richmond-Burton Regional and placed third at the team dual state finals.

For his accomplishments, Lehr is the Northwest Herald Wrestling Coach of the Year, as selected by the sports staff with input from local coaches.

Also considered was Harvard coach Tim Haak, who had three wrestlers place at state and whose team reached the state quarterfinals of the team duals. It was Haak, Lehr’s former coach, who was perhaps the new Central coach’s biggest supporter.

“I think it’s Justen,” Haak said when asked who should be coach of the year. “Those kids gravitate to him. That was a tough situation he came into. A young guy to come into that – everybody wouldn’t have handled it as well. Justen’s a good fit for that program.”

Conditioning was also a key to the success of both the individuals and the team. Jauch, after winning state, credited Lehr with getting him physically ready to be able to still wrestle hard and be aggressive in the third period of close matches.

Jauch called Lehr an intense conditioning coach who got the team in shape.

With all that his team accomplished this season, Lehr said what pleased him most was the team’s dissatisfaction with the third-place finish at team duals.

“As much as they enjoyed taking third, our kids have a bad taste in their mouth,” Lehr said. “They want a state title.”
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Old 03-11-2009
murfman234 murfman234 is offline
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solid coach, but it should have gone to Naperville Central's Rob Porter. He took a team that went 8-14 a year ago to Bloomington and the state tournament with a 15-8 record and 3 state qualifiers.
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Old 03-11-2009
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MarlboroWrestler MarlboroWrestler is offline
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Congratulations CLC

Congratulations Coach Lehr on a great season and an even greater accomplishment as your first year as Crystal Lake Central's Head Wrestling Coach. I would also like to extend congratulations to all of Central's wrestlers on a record breaking season that no one will soon forget. Congratulations to all the seniors on the team for a great final year.
Good luck to all the wrestlers who will be wrestling during the 09-10 season... Keep it up, guys.
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Old 03-11-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murfman234 View Post
solid coach, but it should have gone to Naperville Central's Rob Porter. He took a team that went 8-14 a year ago to Bloomington and the state tournament with a 15-8 record and 3 state qualifiers.
This is for the Nortwest Herald, which is McHenry County. N'ville Centrall is over in Dupage. Check with their paper(s) to see if they do this type of award.
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