MT. VERNON —
Boyd Ballard has wrestled at the highest levels and now he's taken over the Mt. Vernon program.
“Wrestling's been part of my life since I was five years old,” Ballard said. “I wrestled at some pretty high levels. When I finished my competition phase, I knew I would get into coaching, and I've been coaching for the last 15, 16 years now.”
Ballard was an assistant coach on Sean Docherty's Mt. Vernon wrestling staff last season and was named head coach at a recent MVTHS school board meeting. Docherty's resignation was accepted by the board in March, creating the open spot. On Monday, the school board approved Ballard as head coach. He is also an English teacher at the high school.
During his high school wrestling career in Washington state, Ballard finished no worse than fourth in the state. He won state titles his junior (158 pounds) and senior (168 pounds) seasons. He went on to wrestle at Oregon State University before competing at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
“The experience that I gained between being five years old and 28 years old was just incredible,” Ballard said. “When I knew I was done competing I'd always wanted to get into coaching and as I was getting into those upper level competitions I was always going back to my old club team and helping out coach there and back to my old high school, helping out there.”
The new coach will have a core of veteran wrestlers coming back, including a pair of state finalists. Junior Tristan Penrod (220 pounds) finished the season 36-5 after an opening round loss at the 2A state finals. Chase Vosburgh, who is also a junior, claimed third at the 2A state finals in the 152-pound weight class. He ended the year with a 44-3 record.
“We've got a ton of potential, there's no question the potential is there,” Ballard said.
The focus will now turn to the spring and summer workouts for the Rams.
“I'd love to be able to go two days a week all the way through the summer,” Ballard said.