Southfield High wrestling has new coach in the corner

By: Christian Davis | Southfield Sun | Published January 20, 2016


SOUTHFIELD — It was following a match just after the start of January that Southfield High first-year wrestling coach Eric Moon was paid a compliment by a referee.

The official had also worked the Blue Jays’ first meet of the season and noted a “night-and-day difference” between the performances.

Moon said most of his wrestlers are getting their first taste of the sport or at the very most are only a couple of years in, noting that there is a lack of a youth or middle school program.

“It’s fun, because you see those early payoffs when you have kids that come in and don’t know anything, and then they go out there and win a match,” he said. “It’s awesome seeing that kind of stuff.”

Moon added that he’d like to establish a youth program, and that one of the main reasons Southfield has been successful in the past is because of previous coaches Vernon Burden and Tim Conley, both of whom are still part of the program.

“They’ve coached here for years and years, and laid such a strong foundation, but when you’re talking about a youth program or a middle school program, there really isn’t a culture here in the area,” Moon said.

Moon came to Southfield after being an assistant at Grand Rapids Catholic Central for the past two seasons. Before that stop, he was an assistant for six years with Madison Heights Lamphere.

Moon wrestled for Ferndale High before graduating in 2003.

He said there are tons of techniques in wrestling, and that there isn’t one style he’s looking to bring to the mat.

“I really try to teach a culture of wrestling. I hope the kids learn and enjoy the sport,” he said. “I teach them accountability; I teach them (physical and mental) toughness. That’s our brand of wrestling. That’s what we’re about.”

At press time, the Blue Jays were 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division.
Senior 160-pounder Jake Brock leads the team with a 16-5 mark, junior 171-pounder Max Doggett is 15-6, and junior 112-pounder Ti’Mon Reed is 9-4.

Moon is also counting on KeMonte Simons to contribute. Simons is a transfer from Hazel Park High and will be on the mat for the second half of the season. Last year as a sophomore, he was a state qualifier at 112 pounds.

“This time of year, now it’s time to get some results,” Moon said. “There have been guys that have been training hard since July, so now it’s time to start seeing some yield on their returns.”

No matter the results, Moon said he keeps his focus on the big picture.

“I’m not the type of coach that yells and screams, but I am the type of coach that will hold the kids accountable to what they owe, not just to myself and the team, but also to their family,” he said.

“This is just a high school sport,” he continued. “So my job, I want to get good wrestlers, and I want to win, but at the end of the day, my job is to make young boys into men.”

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