(Glenview Patch) Thomas Mietus may be in his first year as the head wrestling coach at Glenbrook South, but he’s far from inexperienced when it comes to the Titans and the sport of wrestling.
Mietus wrestled at Maine West High School, learning from his dad, who was also a wrestling coach, since he was five years old. For the past six years, he’s been the assistant coach to Tim Cichowski at South. So although Mietus is looking to put his own stamp on the program, there’s very little he’s changing up.
“Tim really set a solid foundation when I was here; he really did a good job of trying to get as many in the door as he could,” Mietus said. “The only real big difference is we have a little bit of a different philosophy in the progression, teaching them skill-wise. I just go in a different progression than he did.
“But really there is no right or wrong answer to that. I’m just making it a little different … a little more fresh.”
Mietus inherits a Titans program that has tried to keep pace in the Central Suburban League South with Maine South and New Trier. Other than senior Jries Sweilem, who returns after qualifying for sectionals last year and earning all-conference honors in the 285-lb weight class, GBS will lean heavily on younger kids throughout its varsity lineup.
“We call [Jreis] ‘The Mayor’ around here because he likes to talk so much,” Mietus said. “Everybody loves him because he’s so personable. He’s one of our captains, he’s a very vocal leader and kids look to that.”
Jacob Sutter (220 lbs) and senior J.J. Bamaung (195) have had good starts to the season. Mietus is also looking for big things from Jimmy Binder (113), who has struggled with injuries, and from newcomer Amra Otgonbaatar.
While Mietus will set personal goals for each wrestler as regionals get closer, his overall expectation for the year is to build for next season.
“I really try to get them to believe that this year is about setting a solid foundation and it’s not about how many matches we win or lose, but it’s all about getting better each week,” Mietus said. “Each week we should be getting better and tougher on the mat.”