Legacy to coach USA ‘Dream Team'
BENNINGTON -- There aren't many things in wrestling that are new to Mount Anthony Union High School coach Scott Legacy.
But on April 13, Legacy will take the helm of his first USA all-star team as Legacy coaches the USA Dream Team against Team Georgia at the 18th Cliff Keen Athletic and Wrestling USA Dream Team Classic.
"This is a first," Legacy said in a phone interview on Friday. "It is a tremendous honor to get named [as the coach]."
The event, which will take place at Lassitor High School in Marietta, Ga., features four of the top-ranked wrestlers in the country in the Wrestling USA senior rankings. Legacy will coach top-ranked Brian Rossi, from Illinois, at 113 pounds, Tyler Smith, from Pennsylvania, at 138 and Bo Nickal, from Texas, at 195.
And while it is a showcase that has little besides pride on the line, Legacy is going into it wanting to be on the winning end.
"I think it is a fun thing, but I want to win," Legacy said. "I don't want to be the losing coach. Is it as personal as your own team? No. But if you don't want to compete, you probably shouldn't do it."
Legacy learned about his selection during the New England wrestling championships. He was chosen based on his accomplishments at MAU, with Wrestling USA noting in its records section that MAU is the national record holder for consecutive state titles.
But Legacy almost turned down the invitation.
Originally seeing a number he did not recognize in his phone during day one of New Englands, Legacy left the call to his voicemail. When he listened to the message, he was still skeptical about going. With a vacation already planned with his wife for that weekend in Florida, Legacy's decision was made when he found out the location of the event.
"I called my wife and she said I had to do it," Legacy said. "I thought it was in Iowa or something. [Once I learned it was in Georgia], I called them back and told them I was in."
Legacy will get to practice with his team once during that weekend. While it will be a light practice, Legacy is hoping that he can instill some wisdom into his wrestlers, while also picking up a few tips for himself.
"[The practice is] nothing where I'll be technically teaching them things," Legacy said. "[But] you can always learn. You learn every time you are in a wrestling event. You can pick up on something by the way a kid drills. There are kids coming from all over the country. I'm going to be able to watch what they do and see if it is something I can bring back to Bennington and help our kids with."
During the dual meet, Legacy will be the head coach giving instructions to the wrestlers. While each individual wrestler can have his coach accompany him, Legacy said that his job will be the same as when he is with his kids.
"It's picking up on things, helping them with the strategy throughout the match," Legacy said.
The event rotates states from year-to-year. Last season, the event took place in Illinois. The year before, it was in Iowa.
"Wrestling USA [the magazine] is one of the largest publications for wrestling. [The] Dream Team is unique because they travel each year. Georgia feels really unique about their senior class. It is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for them."
Besides the dual meet, there will also be a reception for the wrestlers participating in the event, as well as pre- and post-match festivities for wrestlers to take part in.
While Legacy is not intimately familiar with the wrestlers he will coach, many of the names and faces are familiar from the Patriots' exploits in national competitions.
"I've seen most of them wrestle at Nationals or at Super 32," Legacy said. "I've run into them. With those kinds of accolades, they are kind of like a [MAU wrestler] Jesse Webb. You know who they are, you have seen them before. They are phenomenal athletes."
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