CARSON CITY-CRYSTAL — Carson City-Crystal’s Trent Ward was named assistant wrestling coach of the year for Division 4 by Michigan High School Athletics Association.
The award was announced at the state individual wrestling finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills this past weekend.
Ward, 41, who is a 1994 CC-C graduate and the 1994 119-pound state wrestling champion, has been an assistant coach with the Eagles’ wrestling program for the past seven years, alongside head coach Kacy Datema.
Ward, who started coaching at age 20, had been the Eagles’ head coach from 1996 to 2001, taking a break from coaching before getting back into it as an assistant coach.
“It’s just a title to me, but Kacy and I work well together and I love the sport and the school, and I believe it’s important to give back as much as I can,” Ward said.
This year, Ward helped Datema and the team to an appearance in the state’s team state finals, which the Eagles lost to New Lothrop by one, and guided seven wrestlers to the state individual wrestling finals, which one of them was his son, freshman Jamison Ward, who is a state runner-up in the 103-pound division this year.
“Trent has a ton of coaching experience, having been head coach for a while, coaching state runner-up teams in 2000 and 2001. He was also a phenomenal wrestler with great knowledge of the sport,” Datema said of Ward. “He’s a great asset to the sport.”
Datema said it has been great to have a person like Ward with him on the team, especially with how well he works with the wrestlers.
“He’s able to discuss things and handle things as things go on and make sure things are right,” Datema said. “He’s definitely able to communicate with the kids and can get the most out of them and buy into what he tries to teach them.”
What Ward enjoys most about coaching is the family bond players, coaches and former players have with one another.
“I have had great coaches along with me, through my wrestling years and my coaching years,” Ward said. “But it’s awesome to have alumni wrestlers come in every year and mingle with the team and players. That’s what makes it all enjoyable. You become a family member when you join Carson City-Crystal wrestling.”
As far as the award, Ward said he was flattered.
“I’m definitely honored. It speaks for the whole Eagles program,” Ward said.