Walpole High Wrestling Welcomes New Head Coach

Sarah St. George, Sports Editor

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Steve Hile (top left) poses with the Walpole High School Wrestling team after practice (Photo/Sarah St. George).

Six years after creating Walpole’s first youth wrestling program, Coach Steve Hile has taken the position as head coach for Walpole High School Wrestling after the departure of Coach Sean Petrosino, who now coaches at Bridgewater-Raynham. Before wrestling, Hile coached his son, Colin, in youth football, which kick started the rest of his career, eventually leading him to his current day job at Walpole High.

“When my son was born, he was basically the biggest influence in my life to me becoming a coach,” Hile said. “I started coaching youth football and coaching wrestling for years and years and years at other towns, so when the opportunity [at Walpole High] came up, I took it.”

Hile’s past wrestling experience prepared him for the job, given the fact that he placed second in the NCAA Div. III National Finals while attending Ithaca College. The team as a whole placed fourth in the country with five All-Americans. But even with the vast experience, he found the transition to high school a bit daunting at first.

“[It was] very intimidating. It’s a lot more work than youth,” Hile said. “Kids are just bigger, stronger, faster.”

Despite the challenges of transitioning into high school wrestling as a coach, the transition for the athletes was much easier.

“There was no major adjustment for me personally because Hile was my coach for my first five years of wrestling,” junior Captain Anthony Borelli said. “He is used to teaching the basics, as he taught the youth program, so our first-year wrestlers were able to catch on quickly.”

For his first year in the program, Hile and the rest of the coaching staff set multiple goals to meet by the end of the season.

“Our season goal is to be 500 in dual meets, and right now we’re 7-6, so we’re on that path,” Hile said. “We have 14 dual meets left and the hard part is behind us, so I think we will actually exceed that goal.”

Going forward, Hile plans to make improvements to the program and ultimately recruit more athletes.

“I would hope we would become an annual contender,” Hile said. “If we continue with the youth [program] and if we have 40 in that program, they’ll turn over into more successful high school students because now they won’t be coming in as first-year wrestlers.”

Some may say one of the most stressful parts of wrestling is how individual the sport is, but Hile believes that is the most rewarding part.

“It’s an individual sport, so when you win, you win on your own: you’re not scoring a touchdown, you’re not making a basket, you’re the guy winning and that’s really the joy, just looking at them and seeing the look on the kid’s face when they do that, so that’s a lot of fun,” Hile said.