Johnstown Independent

Johnstown-Monroe Roundup

Wrestling team to have 'Fresch' start

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Bob Fresch just couldn't stay away.

After teaching and coaching in Westerville schools from 1979-2013, Fresch decided he wasn't ready for retirement after all -- so he decided to take a teaching job in Johnstown and lead the wrestling program at Johnstown-Monroe High School.

"It was just one of those things," said Fresch, who replaced three-year coach Jared Writesel. "You put in a number of years at one school system and you think that you're ready to retire, but I've really had my eyes and my thought processes opened. I couldn't stay away."

Fresch was the wrestling coach at Westerville North three times -- from 1979-82, 1989-91 and 1993-2000 -- before becoming the first football coach at Westerville Central, a position he held from 2003-08. He then coached wrestling at Westerville Central from 2008-13.

"I have friends who have taught and coached in Johnstown and they have been after me for a while to come over here because of the great kids and the great people," said Fresch, who now teaches physical education at Adams Middle School. "It's a great community. I'm still a kid at heart and I feel I still have something to offer."

Fresch will be downsizing after having 35-plus wrestlers at Westerville Central. Last season, the Johnnies had 12 wrestlers.

"Coach Fresch has numerous years of past success in wrestling," athletics director Mike Carter said. "He has been able to build great wrestling programs in the past, so he will be a good fit here."

One of the top returnees for the Johnnies is senior Clayton Bullard, who finished sixth at 195 pounds in the Division III state tournament last season.

Bullard will have a more difficult task making it back to state this season with the Johnnies changing OHSAA classification.

Based on enrollment, Johnstown will compete in Division III for the state team tournament but Division II for the individual postseason. Johnstown has 214 boys. The cutoff for the Division III individual postseason is 213, while the cutoff for the Division III team tournament is 219.

"It's a great challenge and these kids in this community have tremendous potential," Fresch said. "It will be interesting to see where this goes. If this takes off, it can be a really good thing,"

Fresch will be assisted by former coach Rick Block and his son Chris Block, a 2009 Johnstown graduate who placed fifth at 140 at state as a senior and seventh at 135 at state in 2008.

Football team falls to Hornets in finale

The football team finished 5-5, losing to host Licking Heights 21-7 on Nov. 1.

Junior running back Cody Farley led the Johnnies with 137 yards rushing on 35 carries, including a 2-yard touchdown.

Johnstown outgained the Hornets 217-197.

The Johnnies finished second (3-1) in the LCL-Small School Division behind Newark Catholic (4-0) and ahead of Utica (2-2), Heath (1-3) and Northridge (0-4).

Bullard, a defensive end, was the league's Lineman of the Year and was joined on the first team by senior Harrison Johnson (LB) and juniors Farley and Zack Fleming (LB).

Seniors Aaron Davis (OL/DL), Josh Kirkpatrick (QB), Loren Queen (LB) and Alex Workman (RB/DB) were second-team all-league, and junior Eli Dowell (RB) was honorable mention.

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