Head Coach Dee Evans Leads Hershey Wrestling to Success in First Season

Joshua Gearhart, Reporter

It’s not often a new coach at Hershey High School has a reputation that precedes them. Coach Dee Evans is unique.

Coach Dee Evans is the new man on the job, and he said, “It feels good to be the new coach here at Hershey, and I believe that we are making a lot of progress.”

Before Coach Evans came to Hershey, he previously coached at Susquehanna Township and Steelton High, and he wrestled in college at Ryder University.

One wrestler who has experience with coach Evans’ coaching style is Hershey senior wrestler Nyiem Flucas. Flucas has been wrestling for the Trojans for nine years and is also the only wrestler in HHS history to reach 100 wins.

“I really like him. He’s a really good coach,” said Flucas, “We practice Monday through Friday, and he brings in division one college athletes to make us better.

He also shows us different techniques as well. He is very good with kids, and he brings in the elementary school and middle school kids to learn.”

Coach Evans was brought in to turn this program around after numerous disappointing seasons. According to PA Wrestling, in the 2017-2018 season the Trojans wrestling team finished with a 2-10 overall record, and they finished 0-1 in their league. In the 2016-2017 season, the Trojans ended up with a record of 6-9, and they had a league record of 1-5.

According to PA Wrestling, Evans has earned a reputation of turning wrestling programs around. In his first season at Susquehanna Township he turned a 2-14 team into an 8-5 team in a single year.

Also, when Coach Evans was the head coach at Steelton High, he led the team to 8th place in District 3 AA.

According to Flucas, Hershey’s wrestling team did not bond well in past years. Despite the past tension among team members, he believes that the team will run smoothly as long as everyone is willing to cooperate.

“I believe he does have the potential to turn the program around,” said Flucas, “as long as the team contributes to turning this program around as well.”

According to PA Wrestling, the Trojans have already wrapped up their 2018-2019 season, and the Trojans have already seen major improvements throughout this season. With their team and ultimately their results.

The Trojans have finished this season with an overall record of 13-5, and have a 3-3 record within their league.

Success comes with hard work, and new Head Coach Evans surely understands that to get the best results on the mat starts with hard work during practice.

“We do intermixed workouts with plyometrics, strength training, and agility workouts,” said Evans.

Plyometrics are also known as jump training or plyos, are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (speed-strength).

Flucas also understands the importance of Coach Evans’s training methods. He added that the training involves emphasis on weights, running, and mental training.

“For weights, we normally do 80 military presses with 80 curls with 45 pound weights. With the running workouts, we do sprints down and back with a good amount of reps. If we do good, we do more wrestling; if we don’t do good, we get bricks to run with,” said Flucas.

However, despite the great advances the team has made in their success, the greatest change is the bond Evans created with the team, making them feel like family.

“Every time at the end of practice, he asks all in the room what they are thankful for, and he’s very open and loves making us feel welcome,“ Flucas said, “All of the coaches I had before him were great, but he’s really passionate about getting us close and being thankful for what we have,”

Hershey Junior wrestler Tanner Updegraff who has been wrestling for 13 years, and recently moved from Bishop McDevitt was the first Trojan to recently win districts.

Updegraff said, “we do a lot of team bonding so even though wrestling is in individual sport it’s important to have that family aspect. So here even if the wrestler isn’t a top 50 wrestler he still wants to work hard and never give an inch.”

Updegraff had to jump through numerous hoops to even be eligible to wrestle for Hershey this year since he moved over from Bishop McDevitt.

Updegraff said, “I started out in central York then I moved to McDevitt. So I had to find a new house in like 2 weeks, and I had to have a court case to even be eligible to wrestle.”

So after the move from McDevitt to Hershey Updegraff had to adjust to his new coach, and build a connection with his new teammates.

Updegraff said, “coming into this season I was definitely nervous after transferring, but coach Evans is probably the greatest coach I’ve ever had. He’s like a second dad to me and I really have trusted in him this year.”

New Hershey Wrestling coach Dee Evans yells out helpful tips for his wrestler during a match against Red Land on January 10th 2019. The Trojans squeaked out a victory during this very close match by a score of 35-34.