South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Lieberoff takes the reins of Oakville Senior High School’s wrestling program

The head coaching position for the Oakville Senior High School wrestling team has resembled a revolving door the past few seasons.

But the Tigers may have found the perfect match this time around as Oakville graduate and former state champion Brett Lieberoff takes over the reins to the program.

“I went to Oakville and wrestled under Rocky Streb,” Lieberoff told the Call. “This was a chance to go back where I started from. For me, this was a dream job to come back home and coach here.”

Lieberoff comes to the Tigers after spending the past couple of seasons as an assistant on the Lindbergh Senior High coaching staff. The 1998 Oakville graduate was a state champion at 130 pounds during his junior season and placed second at state during his senior year at 125 pounds.

Lieberoff went on to compete at Central Missouri State University for two seasons before returning home and graduating from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2002.

Oakville’s poised to improve on last season’s 12th-place finish at the state tournament and the Tigers’ head coach has been quite impressed with the team’s work ethic these past several weeks.

“Things have been going really good,” Lieberoff said. “I’ve been really impressed with the kids in how hard they’ve been working in the off-season. We have a young varsity team, but their work ethic is what’s going to get them anywhere this year.”

The Tigers have four returning seniors — Darren Green (130 pounds), Kyle Foley (160 pounds), Dan Auer (heavyweight) and Apollo Hesser (heavyweight). Green took third place last season at the state championships at 119 pounds and Lieberoff has some high expectations of him.

“Darren’s a great kid and a great athlete,” Lieberoff said.

“He’s a hard worker and I have a pretty high bar set for him this year,” he added.

Foley is another state qualifier at 152 pounds who will wrestle at 160 this season.

“Kyle’s a great leader on the team,” Lieberoff said. “He leads by his actions and this could be his breakout year. It seems like he really wants it this year.”

Auer and Hesser have presented a situation that not many coaches want to have on their team. Both are seniors and both wrestle in the heavyweight division. Auer will wrestle at heavyweight as Hesser recovers from an ankle injury.

“Dan’s pretty good on his feet and has a great work ethic,” Lieberoff said. “This will be his first shot ever on the varsity team.”

Hesser’s ankle injury should keep him out for the next several weeks as he attempts to get back into shape.

“It’s going to take some time for Apollo to get back into wrestling shape,” Lieberoff said. “It’s going to be between the two of them (Hesser and Auer) for that one spot.”

Two juniors who return are Kyle Wood (140 pounds) and Justin Northcutt (135 pounds).

“Kyle’s done a lot of off-season lifting and running, so he’s in great shape,” Lieberoff said. “Justin’s had some in-juries last year, but I think that he’s over those and we hope to see a lot from him this year.”

Sophomore Luke Vogel will wrestle at 145 pounds this season and potentially could be a state qualifier this season.

“Luke’s one heck of a wrestler and he wrestles a lot older than his age,” Lieberoff said. “He’s usually two steps ahead of most sophomores and wrestles more like a senior.”

The Tigers open the season at home against Parkway South at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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