Son gathers grapplers for his Dad: Zack Regan’s recruiting triples River Valley’s numbers from those of 2017-18
MOHAVE VALLEY — What a difference one season makes.
Walk into the Dust Devils’ wrestling room on the River Valley High School campus and head wrestling coach Phil Regan will be smiling from ear to ear.
The second-year River Valley head coach has 32 grapplers on his team this season, which is a far cry from the single-digit numbers his team featured last season.
Regan credits his son, assistant coach Zack Regan, for canvassing the campus and recruiting most of the 32 wrestlers who comprise this season’s squad.
When asked about his son, Zack Regan, doing a lot of recruiting, Phil Regan said, “Yeah, no doubt. Him coaching football helps a lot.
“That’s really where most of the kids come from. A lot of the freshmen that are coming in have wrestled some, but most of them are coming from the football program.”
Zack Regan just completed his second season as the River Valley football program’s defensive coordinator, and he used that pulpit well.
Jonathan Clark, who completed his first season as the Dust Devils’ head football coach in late October, encourages his football players to wrestle.
“Me being the defensive coordinator gives me a lot of power,” Zack Regan said. “Because they want a chance to play on my defense. You know, I kind of got leeway with them.”
The local feeder schools also have played a role in improving the numbers.
“I just think it’s great,” Phil Regan said. “I just think the youth programs ... and they’re feeding some of these freshmen in. You’ve seen the Mohave program grow, the Lee Williams and the Havasu (programs) — all of those schools have been growing.”
High school wrestling’s growth is due to youth programs, which run during the spring, Phil Regan said. River Valley’s feeder club is the Valley Rayz.