The Coach Who Has Left a Lasting Legacy

The man behind the wrestling madness is varsity wrestling coach Wilbur Borrero, who is currently staring down the end his career as a dean at Antioch Community High School. Along with leaving his position as dean, he is potentially leaving the mats and his post as head coach for the varsity wrestling team. While Borrero doesn’t plan on staying, he has said that if they need him for two more years he would be willing to be an assistant and help out the team.

“I’m hoping it’s not my last year coaching because I enjoy working with kids,” Borrero said. “If they needed me to coach again next year because they haven’t found the right person for the program, then I’d be willing to do it.”

As time goes on, Borrero wants the team to be able to be successful in the following years, whether or not he is there with them or not. His athletes also understand the importance of finding a new coach for the upcoming years.

“I feel pretty confident that we will have a great coaching staff that will be able to take over next year without coach Borrero,” junior and varsity wrestler Mikey Volkmar said.

Borrero understands this is potentially his last year coaching, but he is not letting the weight of leaving affect him or his athletes.

“If I didn’t give it all I could while coaching, then I’m cheating these kids,” Borrero said. “I’m giving it everything I’ve got in coaching and when it’s done, it’s done.”

As the years have passed, Borrero believes he has changed as a coach. Borrero personally believes he is getting smarter as a coach, while others tell him that throughout the years he has gotten less intense with his athletes in the way that he both coaches and talks.

“I was more intense when I was younger,” Borrero said. “I’ve gotten smarter, but I believe I’m still as intense, even though some of my previous wrestlers have told me I’ve gotten soft. I don’t believe I have; I think I’ve just gotten smarter in how I handle situations so that instead of working the kids to death everyday, I will take it in different times.”

Creating relationships with athletes and making memories with them can be a coach’s favorite part about his job. This is no different for Borrero as he has developed respectable and lasting relationships with his athletes and has many memorable experiences with his wrestlers.

“My most memorable experiences are always things that they tell me afterwards,” Borrero said. “I had wrestlers that would take my keys and hide them so I wouldn’t know where they’re at and then they would put them in a place I had to climb in order to get the keys. There’s a lot of experiences that I’ve had and a lot of good times.”

Volkmar agrees with Borrero.

“We’ve had some pretty fun times with Borrero, after meets he would let us eat as much as we want and other stuff,” Volkmar said.

As a dean, Borrero has made memories with his co-workers just like he has with his athletes. From dressing up for Halloween to riding around the school on scooters, Borrero claims that he will miss the good times that he has had being at Antioch for the past fifteen years.

This year for the wrestling program has been a decent season. Borrero sees that the kids have been working hard for what they want even through all of the ups and downs that the team and the athletes themselves have gone through this season.

“I think we’re having a good season, I mean we’ve had some ups and downs, we’ve had some kids that are no longer a part of the program that we thought would still be with us but there’s also personal things that aren’t always shared,” Borrero said. “The kids have worked hard. When they wrestle they give me everything that they have when they compete.”

As the season comes closer to the meets that matter, the team is focused on doing their best in order to achieve their goals of being state champions. Borrero wants his whole team to be able to go down to the state competition this year.

“[After IHSA Regionals] we will start making those steps as a team toward the state tournament,” Borrero said. “What I would love to have is for the opportunity for our team to get downstate as a team and see if we can bring back another state trophy.”

As he comes closer to his retirement, Borrero is recognizing that he is still in the peak of the wrestling season and he is excited to see the progress the team has had.

As the season comes to a close, four of Borrero’s wrestlers made it down to individual state being held this weekend. For updates on the wrestlers accomplishments, follow our Instagram, @SequoitsSports, and Snapchat,