Wrestling’s New Head Coach

| October 1, 2017

Story and Photos By Mayra Gallegos | Big Stick Editor |

The 2017-2018 school year wrestling program has a new head coach. Lee Miller, last year’s head coach, is now at Johnson. Matthew Rydell, 28 years old, will be taking his place as head coach here at Roosevelt. Coach Rydell has been the assistant wrestling coach for the past six years. 

Photo by: Mayra Gallegos

New wrestling head coach Matthew Rydell. Rydell first started wrestling when he came to Roosevelt.

“Six years ago when I heard the head coach needed some help I didn’t hesitate and jumped right in,” Coach Rydell said.

For the athletes, having Rydell as head coach isn’t such a big change.

“I enjoy having him as a new coach. It’s not a really big adjustment, just need some time of getting used to because he was our assistant coach last year,” senior Aryam Maldonado said.

Rydell hasn’t just been coaching wrestling for these past years, he’s also been teaching special education. His family is what introduced him into teaching and coaching.

“My relatives have taught special education and coached. I got to see that dynamic at work, students with special needs getting all kinds of attention from the most popular kids in school. I wanted to be a part of something like that,” Coach Rydell said.

Since he started teaching special education and coaching wrestling, Rydell has found similarities between the two.

“A lot of people when they see students of special needs they think you need to baby them, but in the end they need to do a lot for themselves as well and they need to learn their independence, just like my wrestlers do,” Coach Rydell says. “We want to set goals and we want to see them improve as well, just like I want to see all my wrestlers improve and get better throughout the year.”

This year Rydell’s goals for the team are to win district and win the tournament that goes on here at Roosevelt. Even off the mat, Coach Rydell has goals for his team. He wants to make his students become better citizens, better people and have them understand that when being a student athlete, being a student comes first.

Aryam Maldonado and David Carvajal wrestle during their seventh period practice class.

“How I plan for them to reach the goals is tough practices,” Rydell said. “It’s the one great thing about wrestling, is that if you’re not working hard, it shows on the mat. It’s the one sport where you are out there and it’s just you, there’s no one else that you can blame, it’s all about you and the effort you put forward.” 

“So really tough practices and increase accountability. More grade checks for all my kids, make sure grades are in order. If any other teachers have issues with my athletes, I’ll make sure to take care of it.”

Coach Rydell has always been passionate of the things he does, whenever he gets into something new he pursues it and loves it. Rydell will bring new opportunities to the wrestling team.

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Senior. I love to read and write. I mostly like to write opinion, feature stories and about sports. I cheer for the Roosevelt Varsity cheer team and I'm a PAL

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