Sports

Esvelt looks to continue Wildcats' success | Wrestling

Pay it forward.

Peter Esvelt takes over the Oak Harbor High School wrestling program this winter from Mike Crebbin, who resigned after eight years at the helm.

Esvelt said, “The values that it (wrestling) instilled in me were a reflection of the sport and the coaches I had in the sport, and I love the chance to do that for other athletes.”

Esvelt will follow Crebbin’s lead and emphasize the core values of competition, loyalty, integrity and leadership.

“That is what we expect from ourselves and all of our athletes, on and off the mat. We have found that if we have those words at the back of everything we do, it covers every situation we run into as coaches and as a team,” Esvelt said.

He added, “You will hear us say ‘Cor Aut Mors,’ which means heart or death, and it is a reminder of this commitment we agree on as a team.”

Esvelt began his coaching career at Boise’s Capital High School, helping with football while he was doing his student teaching.

He then coached middle school and high school wrestling in Nampa, Idaho, in 2003, then did the same in Oak Harbor since 2005.

Crebbin, obviously, influenced Esvelt. “I saw how he went about team building, which is so much more than just wrestling,” Esvelt said.

Esvelt’s high school coaches at Snohomish, Bob Walters and Mark Perry, were also “huge influences.”

“I think my tougher side is a reflection of Perry, and my ability to joke with kids is something I learned from Walters,” Esvelt said.

On the mat, Crebbin’s touch will also be present: “I love the program that Mike built over the last eight years.  The technique and style of wrestling he put in is great, and a lot of it shouldn’t and won’t change.”

He pointed to the team’s top-10 finish at 3A state last year and said, “The biggest job for me is continuing to produce the level of wrestlers we had last year on a regular basis.”

One change, Esvelt said, is throws, something the staff noticed was missing from their team’s arsenal.

“We had a coach come in this summer and teach the coaches and wrestlers some throws, which we have not had in a long time at OHHS, and that should be a lot of fun,” he said.

Another change will be an emphasis on wrestling during the high school off season. “We ran a great camp this summer, and I would like to build on those opportunities for our wrestlers,” Esvelt said.

“Wrestling, in my opinion, is the toughest sport for individuals,” he said. “With that in mind, I want to make sure that no matter the skill level, we are putting aggressive and tough wrestlers out on the mat.

“I believe wrestlers can win at any level with the right combination of technique and aggressiveness. I know the matches I like to watch are ones where the wrestlers are constantly pushing, moving and pressuring their opponents, and that is the style of wrestling that I want our wrestlers to display.”

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