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Rial will make coaching debut

STORM LAKE — Former Fort Dodge Senior two-time state wrestling champion Mark Rial makes his head coaching debut here Saturday for Buena Vista.

Rial will lead the Beavers against American Rivers Conference rival Loras inside the BVU gym at 2 p.m.

“Practices have been going really well,” Rial said. “They guys are hungry to learn and work hard. We have been on the mat full-time since October 10 and have mixed in some conditioning and weight lifting practices as well during that time.”

Prior to taking over at Buena Vista, Rial served as an assistant coach at Iowa Central and also was the co-head coach for the U.S. Greco-Roman Cadet Team earlier this year that competed in Croatia.

Along with his two state titles and a runner-up finish as a Dodger, Rial was a three-year letterwinner for the University of Northern Iowa and co-captain. He competed for USA Wrestling from 2002-08, claiming a national title in 2008.

The Beavers are led by seniors Brad Kerkhoff and Shane Vaughan. Kerkhoff was the league freshman of the year and went 21-9 last season, with Vaughan earning the program’s single-season record for pins two years ago.

“All of our seniors have been great,” Rial said. “They have made the transition smooth with having a new head coach. Their attitude and the way they come ready to work have been excellent.”

Buena Vista will also host its own tournament on Saturday, Dec. 1, with regionals scheduled for Feb. 23-24 in Dubuque.

“My expectations are to continue to get better everyday and continue to create a championship lifestyle culture,” Rial said. “I will make sure these student-athletes have a great experience and prepare them for the real world. That also includes continuing to improve in the classroom as well.”

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