Modern Day Gladiators
Rancho Bernardo Wrestling is beginning to turn into something great. With the growing and continued support of the community, parents, Rancho Bernardo High School (RBHS) administration and the Booster Club, it will only continue to expand. The community is embracing the sport and understanding the work ethic needed to become great at wrestling – a sport that requires total commitment to be successful. We learned from Program Director Joe Eddie Terribilini that wrestling is a sport where nobody sits on the bench or is second string. Everyone competes. He shared with us how humbling the sport is to all who are involved and how the work put in is shown on a stage. The organization is eager to be able to introduce wrestling to more kids in the community. There is something for everyone – kindergarten on up!
Q&A with Program Director, Joe Eddie Terribilini
What is the history behind Rancho Bernardo (RB) wrestling?
The program had various attempts to start a junior program and get solid numbers between 1991 and 2003. In 2004, Dave Nigh and I were able to get a program other than the high school and Bernardo Heights Middle School program started. This was the start of the RB Colts Jr. Program. Since then we have grown the program and have started the RB X-Treme as well.
RB Wrestling was started within the high school in 1990. For many years it saw a rapid change in coaching staff. The program has now made a name for itself in the past couple of years. The high school program has had four state placers, four San Diego section champions and countless CIF placers. During the 2011 season the team won its first CIF title. RB Wrestling also has a club team, junior high team, kids’ club program, and junior high and elementary travel teams. The junior high program has produced over 50 individual district champions and has won two district championships as a team. The kids club is very competitive in the county and state. Many athletes from the kids program have placed in the county meet, with 28 placing in the state. The RB Wrestling program has had two state champions.[pullquote align=”right”]“Wrestling is a special sport. In other sports, when contact is made, they blow the whistle and stop the action; in wrestling when contact is made, we’re just getting started.”
~ Joe Eddie Terribilini[/pullquote]
No sport requires more sacrifice and discipline than wrestling. The individual, through self-denial, offers more of their character than can ever be explained here. It is something you carry with you throughout your life; through every trial, test and tribulation, wrestling truly teaches life skills and values.
Wrestling prepares a person to compete in the game of life. The wrestler is the one athlete that must meet their opponent and do battle completely on their own. No one can substitute and time outs are not possible. You have no one to check, screen, and block or assist you in anyway; there is no one to pass the ball to and no one to blame for your mistakes. When you win, you must display quiet pride and modesty; when you lose the responsibility is yours.
A Rancho Bernardo wrestler always follows the 10 commandments of wrestling. These align with the pillars of pursuing victory with honor.
What is the mission of the organization as a whole?
To promote excellence in wrestling and positively influence the lives of kids in the Rancho Bernardo community by developing a commitment to wrestling through a fun team-oriented experience at both practices and competitions. We emphasize sportsmanship, skill building, physical conditioning, goal setting, competitive spirit, strong work ethic and winning attitude.
Wrestling is an individual sport under a team concept. Many people feel that wrestling is by far the toughest sport. It holds true to the fact that you only get what you put in to a sport.
How did you become involved with the sport and how long have you been involved with RB Wrestling?
I started wrestling at the age of five in Holtville, CA. Wrestling was very important to the community and everyone did the sport. This coming season will be my 11th year as the head coach for RB.
What is your role as program director and what is your main goal?
I am in charge of everything associates with RB Wrestling. I must find coaches, recruit athletes and grow the program in the area. My main goal is to expand the program to where our numbers and competitiveness is on the national stage at all levels.
There are not very many any other sports that offer an individual sport under a team concept at this age. It is also a sport where everything is earned. This allows for kids to learn the idea of an earned reward at a young age. Plus, many young kids’ first instinct is grappling and there’s no better way to harness this than in a controlled environment.
How do you ensure safety amongst the athletes?
In my opinion, wrestling is probably one of the safest sports. Everything is closely supervised, and there are rarely any injuries.
What is your philosophy on building teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership skills with the athletes?
We take great pride in how an RB wrestler is supposed to act and what they are all about. We use our Core Covenants to help us understand these actions. The Core Covenants is a formal agreement we have established over the years. The bottom line of the covenant – “Don’t let your teammates down.” There are expectations for practice, dual meets, tournaments, home, school and the community that RB wrestlers adhere to.
Tell us about the commitment, training, practice and competitive aspects of the sport.
Wrestling is all about commitment. You will truly get what you put into it. Therefore, as a coach I must make sure I give the kids every opportunity to be as successful as possible. I am always trying to learn, borrow and mold ideas I get from other coaches, from videos or on websites. With my staff doing all of this, the kids know they are also to be able to receive coaching and in turn, they do a great job. All of this leads to being competitive. Training is tough. It’s a grind and lack of training will show up on the mat. Therefore we pride ourselves on work ethic and heart. Most kids buy into this, however living in a community that we are all fortunate to live like Rancho Bernardo, some kids do not buy in and their response is that the sport is too hard – which leads them to not continue. However, those that stay and put in the work certainly reap the rewards.
How does a business or family sponsor the program?
We are always looking for support. Anyone interested in contributing or helping out the program can contact me at Jterribilini@powayusd.com. We are a $35K a year program and it is a challenge to raise these funds year in and year out.
How does one become a volunteer within the organization? What positions are you most in need of filling?
We are always looking for volunteers for all programs and we can work with all skill sets to fill any position. We are especially in need of filling some positions on the Booster Club. We meet the second Tuesday of every month at RBHS.
Do you hold any fundraisers?
We hold an annual Texas hold ‘em fundraiser, an annual golf tournament, we sell stadium chairs and we do a letter campaign once every four years.
What is the most unique thing about RB Wrestling compared to other programs?
RB Wrestling is a true family. Our five-year-old kids know our high school kids and they are all very close. The kids have a lot more respect for each other because they understand the work that goes into being great.
Tell us about your coaching staff. What are their credentials and what is the process they go through to be involved?
I am very lucky to have a great coaching staff for the 2013 – 2014 season. Dave Nigh has been our program director for our youth since 2004. He and his wife Sharon lead our Bernardo Heights team. Dave wrestled at Dos Pueblos High School in Santa Barbara and wrestling was an instrumental part of his life. Keith Parent runs our X-Treme team. He was a three-time State Champion in Maine and All-American at Norwich University. As far as high school and high school club staff – Dave Williams will enter his eighth year with RB. He wrestled for the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Chris Speziale was a two-time All-American at Loras College, Malachi Walker wrestled at the University of Michigan and Jeff Bristol wrestled for Embry-Riddle. We also have five RB alums on staff: Joey Bellavia, Tyler Hurtt, Wesley Abbey, Wilfred Charbono and Mel Dramen.
We have coaching positions open for anyone interested. Prospective coaches go through an interview process with the program director prior to going through a clearing process based on the level they will be coaching.
For 2013 we return 11 varsity starters. We have three incoming freshman who will be instrumental and make a push for the varsity line-up. We will still only have four seniors in the program. The team will be young with a lot of experience to bring forward.
Have you had any wrestlers from the organization who have gone on to collegiate levels?
Since 2004 we have had many wrestlers wrestle at the collegiate level. Some of the colleges that our athletes have went on to play for include the University of Michigan, Cal State Bakersfield, University of North Carolina, Iowa Western University, and many more have also played at the junior college level.
If you could grant one wish to the program, what would that be?
A wrestling dedicated facility at the high school. We share the room with three other programs. Having a program with our caliber is unreasonable to have to share or get bumped from facilities.
Where do you see the program in five years?
I see the program competing at the state and hopefully national level at every age group.
Describe RB Wrestling in three words.
Family, Discipline, Pride.
[tabs] [tab title=” At A Glance”]
Email: RBWrestling@gmail.com or Coach Terribilini at Jterribilini@powayusd.com
2013 Season Stats: 17 – 3 in dual meets; 3rd at CIF (HS); youth programs had three state placers and six state qualifiers
Program Director – Joe Eddie Terribilini
President – Cindi Stock
Vice President – Open
Treasurer – Ted Jewell
Secretary – Open
Webmaster – Jim Blair
Junior Club Director – Dave Nigh
Junior High Liaison – Adam James, Joe Maier
High School Liaison – Open
Alumni Liaison – John Rogers
Snack Bar – Helene Kohrmann
Travel Coordinator – Deede Grenowich
Equipment Manager/Videographer – Buddy Charbono
1 – Thou Shall Not Make Excuses
2 – Thou Shall Listen To Coaching Staff
3 – Thou Shall Not Miss Practice
4 – Thou Shall Not Do Other Activities to Risk Injury During Wrestling Season
5 – Thou Shall Have Team Leadership
6 – Thou Shall Not Miss Weight
7 – Thou Shall Not Have Poor Sportsmanship
8 – Thou Shall Not Quit
9 – Thou Shall Not Be Intimidated
10 – Thou Shall Not Forget What Parents Have Done
Program Director – Joe Eddie Terribilini
Rancho Bernardo High School Wrestling (November – March)
Head Coach – Joe Eddie Terribilini
Asst. Head Coach – Dave Williams
Varsity Coach – Chris Speziale
Varsity Coach – Malachi Walker
Head Developmental Coach (Varsity-B) – Mel Dramen
Asst. Developmental Coach (Varsity-B) – Joey Bellavia
Head Freshman Coach – Brian Rillo
Asst. Freshman Coach – TBD
Strength and Conditioning Coach – TBD
Team RB (August – November)
All of the above high school staff
Asst. Coach – Buddy Charbono
Asst. Coach – Ted Jewell
Asst. Coach – Jeff Bristol
Program Director – Dave Nigh
Rancho Bernardo Colts
(K – 8th grade Club Team that runs November – April)
Uppers Coach – Keith Parent
Uppers Asst. Coach – Wilfred Charbono
Uppers Asst. Coach – Joe Maier
Lowers Coach – Adam James
Lowers Asst. – TBD
Bernardo Heights Bobcats
(Jr. High Team with two-week camps in the fall and spring)
Head Coach – Dave and Sharon Nigh
Asst. Coach – John Rupsic
High School Student Coach – Ale Ferrar-Ruiz
Rancho Bernardo X-Treme
(5th – 8th grade All-Star Team) (Max 20 athletes)
Head Coach – Keith Parent
Asst. Coach – TBD
Rancho Bernardo Futures
(2nd – 4th grade All-Star Team) (Max 10 athletes)
Head Coach – TBD
Asst. Coach – TBD