PREP WRESTLING | SEASON PREVIEW

Kading excited to lead Mount Carmel's wrestling program

2011-12-07T22:58:00Z Kading excited to lead Mount Carmel's wrestling programBy Mike Nieto mike.nieto@nwi.com, (219) 933-3232 nwitimes.com
December 07, 2011 10:58 pm  • 

CHICAGO | New Mount Carmel wrestling coach John Kading has an impressive resume.

He has been an assistant at both Nebraska and Northwestern, coaching former Caravan coach Jason Erwinski in Evanston. Kading was an NCAA champ at 190 pounds in 1996, while competing for Oklahoma and was a four-time All-American.

Yet Kading says he was "awed" when he interviewed at Mount Carmel.

"I fell in love with this place," Kading said, "the school itself, the tradition and the kids. Mount Carmel kids know about and expect to live up to the tradition.

"How could I not fall in love with this place?"

The wrestlers were impressed not only with Kading, but with the administration for getting a top-notch coach to replace a top-notch coach in Erwinski, who stepped down last spring. Senior Jimmy Mickens said Kading has fit right in with the hard work that characterizes the program.

"To me it shows the administrators cared enough to bring in a quality coach, someone who is good," Mickens said. "They could have got a less-experienced person, but they didn't. They want the program to succeed and it shows.

"They hired a coach who coached our former coach so we knew they wanted to keep our program strong."

Senior Carlos Hernandez said the team has to continue the success and tradition that won three state team titles under Bill Weick and has 24 individual state title, including four each by Olympians Joe and  T.J. William.

"Coach Erwinski was intense and so is Coach Kading," Hernandez said. "They both want to make you better and we know when we step onto the mat, in this gym, all the tradition, the great wrestlers who came here."

***

At a recent practice in the second-floor old gym, now named Alumni Gym, Kading worked with kids, encouraged and pointed out what they were doing wrong. Mickens said Kading has done a little more work on some things early in the season.

"He is big on technique and we are working more on situations and holds," Mickens said. "It's still early, but we are going to show that improvement as the season goes on, especially when we get in (tough) situations."

Two-time state qualifier Mike Mizaur said Kading has pushed the offensive side of a match.

"He tells us to keep attacking, stay on the offensive, and I really like that," Mizaur said. "He has really pushed technique and I think that is going to really help late in the year. When we are in a close match, you'll have that little extra and will be a better technician."

**

Kading placed fourth at the 2000 Olympic Trials and was inducted into the wrestling hall of fame in 1999. He most coached at the Overtime School of Wrestling since 2001 and served as director of strength and conditioning from 2005-2010.

He is a teacher in Mount Carmel's McDermott/Doyle Department for Developmental Learning. He said the school has been everything he has heard about it.

"Not just athletics, which they have a very great tradition here, but the students as a whole," Kading said. "The 'Yes, sir; no, sir,' that the Carmel kid says. This all reflects on their parents and the administration."

He also said he has followed the program through the years.

"Bill Weick and Jason and if you go back, they have always been pretty good in wrestling," Kading said. "You get the hard-working kid who wants to get better and wants to be coached. that makes it a lot of fun.

"I want to keep this great tradition going."

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