In what is probably the toughest district for wrestling in the country the Pottsville Crimson Tide out of District 11 are off to a hot start a perfect (6-0) after defeating Tamaqua Wednesday night 65-12.
"The #1 goal here just like we did down at Blue Mountain we built from the elementary all the way up through. One team! One family! We are getting there and we are getting there here at Pottsville too, so we are getting there. I had good tutelage down there under Todd Kindig so I'm just taking a lot of stuff down there and tweaking it a little bit up here," said Gary.
It only took Gary Keener three seasons as the head coach here at Pottsville to win the school's first league title and the Tide wrestlers they've kept the momentum going.-going (5-0) in the Case/Flynn pre-season tournament.
"We are definitely growing as a team definitely improving winning matches because of him," said Nick Onea.
Junior wrestler Nick Onea made it to states a year ago but did not medal. He is hoping for bigger things this year along with Cal Schoffstall a transfer from Tri-Valley, and American University recruit Cole Painter coming up on 100 career wins.
"I mean I really liked Teague Moore and the entire coaching staff, and what they are doing down there and everything else I just loved it down there especially the academic side that is what really pulled me in I just loved that," said Cole Painter.
"It's a lot of fun. Everyone here wants to win and that's why I am here is to win," said Cal Schoffstall.
To get ready for the AAA Team Duals and having to face Bethlehem Catholic the 14th ranked team in the country, Nazareth the 29th, Easton and Northampton, Pottsville heads to the Saint Edwards Duals this weekend in Ohio. Edwards is 8th in the country and Erie Cathedral Prep is 43rd.
"Goals for this team is to go down to District 11 and we've won some matches down there at District Duals and we want to go down there and make a big splash and get to the semifinals and actually compete in the semifinals and give those guys a run for their money," again said Gary.
As an assistant at Blue Mountain for 14 years Gary coached his son Corey to two state titles with the Eagles. Now Corey is enjoying success with #1 Penn State while Dad is building a powerhouse in Pottsville. Steve Lloyd reporting for Newswatch 16 sports from Schuylkill County.