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Ben Banville: From wrestler to coach in less than a year

Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 1:15 AM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Ben Banville picked up the sport of wrestling in fourth grade and immediately fell in love with it.

“I love wrestling the most, it’s definitely my favorite sport and always has been kind of one of the things I’m proud of [being good at],” Banville said.

Ben had a successful high school career. He was the state runner-up in the 3A 195lb weight class as a senior Burns/Pine Bluffs wrestler.

He graduated from high school in 2020, but always wanted to find his way back to the wrestling room.

Little did he know, his old team was scrambling to find a new assistant coach, and they had him in mind to fill the vacancy.

“I sat down and was talking with [Assistant Coach] Brittany Mitchell and I said “Hey, what should we do” and I said “I’m thinking about talking to Ben,”' Burns/Pine Bluffs Head Wrestling Coach Dan Clayson said.

Clayson texted Ben about the position, asked him to apply, and, soon after, he was an official assistant wrestling coach at the age of 18.

Since Ben is young, he is often on the mat at practices and wrestles with the kids.

He is their friend, but also a respected coach.

“He pushes you in the way that you need to go, but doesn’t like rudely force it upon you [as if his way] is the only way to do it,” Burns/Pine Bluffs Senior Wrestler Lincoln Sibert said. “[He] kind of let’s you find your own way, but shows you how he does it.”

With a style like that, it is no wonder that Lincoln said that Ben definitely has a future in coaching.

Like he did as a wrestler, he gives 100% to the kids that he is teaching and like any good teacher or mentor, Ben said he wishes one thing.

“I want to see them become state champs,” Banville said. “Like, I want them to do what I couldn’t do.”

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