McComas looks to keep the tradition going
From Staff Reports
CALCUTTA — The Beaver Local wrestling team has a new head coach, but the Beavers expect the same kind of success.
Jordan Williams decided to step down because he no longer had the time to devote to being the head coach and former Beaver Local All-Ohioan Johnny McComas was named head coach Monday night.
“I understand what this program means to this school and to this community,” McComas said. “The support we get from our administration, our community, and our Beaver Local wrestling family are second to none. This team is my family, it means everything to me.”
McComas has been an assistant wrestling coach at Beaver Local the last four seasons. During those four years Beaver Local wrestling has thrived, producing 18 state qualifiers with eight individual podium finishes. As a team, the Beavers have won four Buckeye 8 titles, two sectional titles, two Eastern Ohio Wrestling League dual meet titles, two Ohio Valley Athletic Conference 4A titles, an EOWL overall title, an OVAC overall title and OHSAA regional dual meet title and an OHSAA district title.
“I am excited about the future of Beaver Local wrestling and this program being led by Johnny McComas,” Williams said. “I coached Johnny during his senior year of wrestling (2011), and he has been a key individual in our success as a team these past four years.
“He has high standards and expectations for this program. He always has the best interest of the program and our kids in mind with any decision he makes. He has been critical to our success as a program the last four years. He is a great choice.”
Johnny McComas is the older brother of now Beaver Local senior Cole McComas, a state runner-up the last three seasons.
“(Johnny) has some big shoes to fill in replacing Jordan Williams, but we are very confident he will be up to the task,” Beaver Local athletic director Mike McKenzie said. “We also want thank Coach Williams for the tremendous job he performed in building upon Beaver Local’s very rich wrestling tradition and turning it into a program that is recognized as one of the premier programs in the state. We are confident that Coach McComas will continue to build upon that great success.”
Williams has set the bar high for success at Beaver Local.
He’s been on the coaching staff for 11 years, including the last nine as head coach and led the team to the State Wrestling Duals in February, the first team from Columbiana County to do so as the Beavers reached the Division II state semifinals.
Williams said time is at a premium with three kids — ages 6, 3 and 16 months.
“My family has grown and I hope to spend more time with my family, focus on my career goals, including furthering my education prior to my kids getting involved into too many things,” he said. “I believe the Beaver Local wrestling program is in a great place and it has always been important to me to transition at a time that will enable the program to continue to grow and be successful.”
He still plans to be connected to the program
“Beaver Local wrestling has so many great people involved that helped influence this program during my time as head coach,” Williams said. “I was blessed with great assistant coaches, parents, administration, and community. I plan to be that same type of support system to the next coach.”
McComas is employed at Beaver Local as the assistant treasurer. He and his wife, Sierra, reside in Calcutta.
“This has been a dream for as long as I can remember,” he said. “This sport and this program have made an impact on my life and given me opportunities I am forever grateful for.
” I fell in love with the sport at four years old. Since then coaching has proven to be even more rewarding than competing myself. Seeing my wrestlers reach their goals and watching them become successful off the mat as well has become an obsession.”
It’s his turn to pass on that dedication he has for the sport.
“I want my wrestlers to love what they’re doing,” McComas said. “To train, diet, practice, and compete at a high level, they need to love the process and come ready to give 100 percent every single day. I want them to embrace high-level competition, never shy away from a challenge, and handle adversity with confidence.
“I want to develop a team that understands that being a Beaver Local wrestler means that you are a part of something bigger than yourself. They will understand how important it is to represent our school, our program, and themselves with the utmost class and respect. I have the privilege to coach the best kids you could ever meet, I wouldn’t trade them for the world.”
The Beavers know the program succeeds because of the efforts of many people who contribute.
“I am blessed to be a part of a great staff,” McComas said. “We have top-notch individuals that are excellent in their role. They expect a lot from our wrestlers and a lot from themselves. As a staff, we understand what this team is capable of and we are committed to seeing this program reach its goals.
“Coach Williams did an outstanding job in building our schedule. With the support of our administration, our kids have had the opportunity to compete against not only the best in the state but the best in the country. I plan to continue seeking the best competition in order to put our kids in the best position to be successful at the end of the season.”
Williams thanked those who supported him and looks forward to the future success of the wrestling program.
“Nine years ago, when I was given the opportunity to lead this program, I had no idea the education I would receive,” Williams said. “Career-wise it was the best thing that has ever happened to me. It has taught me so much about myself and my abilities. I would not be the person I am without the opportunity … For that, I am extremely grateful.
“I am proud of everything our staff and program has done to build this program into a top tier program in the state. When I first took over, we struggled to fill a lineup, with only 12 wrestlers on the team. This past year we had 34 kids on the team, Varsity A, Varsity B, and JV Wrestling schedules. That shift would not have been possible without the support of the administration and the board for allowing us to add schedules to ensure we had enough variety of competition for everyone to reach their greatest potential.”