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Bolivar-Richburg makes Big 30 awards a family affair

Trent Sibble (left) and Teegan Sibble, both of Bolivar-Richburg, won the 2021-22 male and female Big 30 Most Outstanding Wrestler awards.


By JOHN PULLANO

BOLIVAR — Wrestling at Bolivar-Richburg Central School has become a family affair.

In his first season as head coach of the Wolverines, after taking over for his father Todd Taylor, the 2020 Coach of the Year,

Andrew Taylor was recently named the 2021-22 Big 30 Wrestling Coach of the Year.

And if that isn’t enough, Teegan and Trent Sibble became the first sibling duo to be named Female and Male Big 30 Most Outstanding Wrestlers, respectively.

Andrew spent a decade on his father’s staff, helping B-R to sectional titles in 2018, ‘19 and ‘20, before earning his first as a head man this season

Under Andrew, the Wolverines won their fourth Class B3 sectional team title in the last five seasons, posting 218 points to best second-place Lyndonville by 33 points.

In the 13 wrestled weight classes, eight featured a B-R wrestler in the final. The Wolverines dominated, finishing the meet with five individual champions, three runners-up and nine total place winners.

Todd spent 12 years as head coach of the Wolverines before handing the reins to Andrew. And despite having spent years preparing to take over, the expectations set by his father’s success still left some internal nervousness.

MY DAD’S really paved his way for a lot of excellence, and I’ve been there right beside him as we’ve built something that is here to stay,” Andrew said. “But it was still nerve-wracking for me to step in and take over the job.”

But after some careful adjustments and the motivation to be great, Andrew leaned on his own experiences and his father to lead B-R to a historic 24-3 record and a ninth-place finish in the NYWN Team Rankings across all of Section 5 Division 2.

“I knew that I was just swapping roles with my dad and that I had a good backer,” Andrew said. “I knew he was always just going to stand there and give me the advice and confidence that I needed.”

DESPITE running away with a sectional title, the Wolverines arrived with just 10 wrestlers set to compete. The lack of depth caused Taylor to lean on his wrestlers of the year, Teegan and Trent.

“Ahead of sectionals we had to readjust our game plan and make everything fit for the kids that we had and lean on our strengths and that started with Trent and Teegan,” Andrew said.

Wrestling in the 215-pound bracket, Trent breezed through, pinning four consecutive opponents to earn the sectional title. The junior upped the ante a week later.

As the seventh seed at the New York State wrestling championships, Trent picked up three upset victories before losing in the finals to the top seed.

Trent finished the season 51-1 and improved his career record to 145-26. But what was most impressive to his head coach was the composure, leadership and self-motivation he showed throughout the season despite not suffering his first loss until the state tournament.

“He is probably the best kid all around that you’ll ever meet,” Andrew said. “He is a good kid and not a showboat. He is an absolutely excellent kid that helps everybody that he can. He puts his neck out on the line for anybody and is always willing to help.”

Just a junior, Trent could be found early in the weight room before school and was the first one at practice after school. Trent committed himself to the mental and physical grind from sunup to sundown.

“His work ethic is ridiculous,” Andrew said. “He goes to the gym before school and then comes to our team practice. And then after we practice at the high school, he goes back to the gym. I mean, he’s just got this unbeatable drive.”

AS TRENT rolled through his junior season, whatever he was eating at home that caused him to dominate on the mat, transferred to his sister Teegan.

Teegan won the Monroe County League girls tournament and matched her brother, wrestling her way past the boys to become the first female B-R wrestler and one of few girls ever to win a Section 5 title in the 110-pound bracket.

The 14-year-old freshman posted a 40-7 record wrestling against a combination of boys and girls throughout the season. And despite being a minority in the sport, Teegan appeared unfazed throughout the season.

Andrew and his staff initially slotted Teegan in the 102-pound weight class but changed course midway through the season. And with every bout at the new weight, Teegan became more comfortable wrestling against and dominating boys.

“She’s always been confident and this year she just took it up to another level,” Andrew said.

Among the lighter weights, Teegan mastered her defensive style of wrestling as the season went along. Andrew watched as she went on the offensive against other similar-sized female wrestlers and mastered capitalizing on mistakes against the boys.

“We’ve been to a couple of girls tournaments and a bunch of boy tournaments this year but the way that she wrestles as a defensive wrestler she can beat anyone,” Andrew said. “Any mistake that they make, she’s capitalizing on.”

Despite a down season in terms of the number of athletes, B-R finished the season with 10 wrestlers winning at least 30 matches and four eclipsing the 40-win mark led by Teegan and Trent.

Andrew, Trent and Teegan’s hard work paid off as they earned postseason honors. But the distinction of being able to compete among all the deserving candidates in the Big 30 was enough for them.

“It is really special because there’ve been a lot of great coaches and wrestlers, it’s quite special,” Andrew said. “And I’m not a guy of a lot of words, but it makes me proud that these kids can show up and that gave me the chance to get this award and get awards themselves.”