January 19, 2018
By: Erica Rose
It was just a few months ago, when Pen Argyl alum and the 2007 PIAA Class 2A State Champ in the heavy weight division, Richie Smith was named head coach of the Bangor wrestling team. Since then it has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for Richie who is still adjusting to the transition of assistant to head coach but he loves it. “The biggest challenge so far has been juggling all the paper work, and then being able to coach.” Smith said. “Not being able to wrestle as much that’s my biggest thing, I like to wrestle the kids and be hands on and I have to sit back more and look at everything and coach from 106 to heavyweight, so I can’t really roll around as much as I used to but I’m enjoying the process.”
The Slaters, are 10-5 overall, and now 3-2 in the Colonial League after a tough match last night against Saucon Valley. It was quite an impressive showing I personally thought, as the Slaters never gave up. As we all know the Panthers are a powerhouse team who have won 58 straight victories and 62 consecutive regular season dual meets over league opponents. Now obviously, Smith wants to win as much as he can, but a first year is always one that tests the waters. You never know what you are going to get from a group of high school guys, but this is a great group who believes in what Smith is bringing. “My kids are great, everything falls back on them and how much they want to work and listen to me and they do a good job. They believe in our process and I couldn’t ask for anything better with those kids.”
From what I can see, Smith is doing a great job with the program and is impressing coaches around the league. It will be interesting to see where he has the program in just a few years.