Delta wrestler doubles as Stagg coach

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Being a college athlete is tough. Athletes balance school, sports and jobs.

That’s the case for Delta College wrestler Dao Tep, who isn’t only wrestling for Delta, he’s also the head coach for Stagg High School.

“It’s very busy, lucky for me I have an assistant coach picking up the slack.so they run the first half of the practice and when I get done here [Delta], I scoot on by, so it’s busy,” said Tep.

Delta wrestler Ian Morken assists Tep in coaching Stagg, but right now is too involved in about the season to coach. He said he will probably go back in January.  

Morken is an honorable mention for state.

“I think we’re getting the key getting the right things coming we’ve been kind of slow but we would pick up next month and get ready for regionals,” said Morken

Stagg started practicing in October. It’s proving to be difficult for Tep.

“My schedule I have my high schoolers practice from 4:30 to 6:30 my schedule here for Delta wrestling 3:30 to 5:30 every day on top of my morning classes and I have one night class, so it’s pretty busy,” said Tep.

Tep is proving himself to the team with the advance knowledge of setting up for duals or tournaments, and is showing advance skills which comes from years of experience.

Tep’s having a decent season at Delta too and is hoping to advance past regionals.

Head Coach Michael Sandler, who coached for Delta for over 19 years, also shared his time in coaching Lincoln High School over 5 years.

“It was awesome, but for Dao it’s different, because he is participating, rather than coaching, and it could prove challenging,” said Sandler.     

Stagg hasn’t started participating in tournaments and duals yet, but Tep has great support from those around him.

“I have a good support from the other guys, family is good and they understand what it takes and how busy it gets during the season,” said Tep.

Stagg will have its first tournament on Nov. 26, which would be the novice tournament, where the new wrestlers will compete in their first tournament ever in high school.

Tep is seeing that coaching and participating are different.

“Definitely at this age it’s harder as a wrestler, obviously i’ve been on the sideline for a while coaching, so it’s much easier in terms of physicality, ultimately I think they’re both hard, if you’re a coach it’s hard, as a wrestler it’s hard aswell,” said Tep.

A coaches perspective and a players perspective are different, but for Tep he’s seeing both sides and is applying them to both practices

“The experience I picked up now as a competitor helps me see what I missed as a coach also the way coaches are running here, I’m able to implement that over at Stagg,” said Tep.

Tep is looking forward to this season, because he is seeing things happen that hasn’t happen for a couple seasons.

“Were looking okay, were looking good, this year is the first year were gonna have a bunch of returners come back there’s more veterans than rookies as suppose to last couple of seasons, we usually have more rookies than veterans, so I’m looking forward to this season,” said Tep.

Delta College will be hosting NorCal wrestling regionals on Dec.3