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B-A wrestling coach says it’s time to retire

Tim Andrekovich had been a long-time assistant coach within the Bellwood-Antis wrestling program before being named Ron Wilson’s successor four years ago at the high school level.

Andrekovich, who turns 57 in the fall, turned in his letter of resignation to the school board right before Easter after four years as the Blue Devils’ head coach.

“I’ve been thinking about it for awhile,” Andrekovich said. “I figured when I got the job I’d do it for four or five years. I’m near the end of my teaching career, which is kind of hard to believe. I’m also the union president. It was just a lot to try to do both of those things at the same time. This will be my last go-around as president. I’m just sort of scaling back.

“After the season, my wife and I talked about it. Even during the season, we’d talk about the time commitment. In March, I kind of gave (athletic director) Charlie (Burch) a heads-up when we had our end of the year review.”

Andrekovich finished with a 23-36 record at Bellwood-Antis, earning 17 wins the last two years.

He led the Blue Devils to a 12-6 record during the 2019-2020 season. B-A qualified four wrestlers to the Southwest Regional that season in Dominic Caracciolo (195), Aiden Taylor (152), Alex Taylor (160) and District 6 runner-up Evan Pellegrine (285).

He coached three state qualifiers in four years, including Alex Taylor, Pellegrine and Trentin Whaley.

“All four years, I had a great group of kids,” Andrekovich said. “They worked hard and were a lot of fun to be around. Those two trips down to states with Trentin, Evan and Alex were definitely in the highlights. Any coach who has been down to Hershey is definitely something special.

“I’ve had a lot of support from our athletic director, Charlie Burch, and before him John Hayes, and the district. Josh Evans, my coach for the elementary program, and his guys have done a great job. We’ve got like 65 in our elementary program, and some of them had success at the state tournament this year.”

The Blue Devils went 5-6 during the COVID-19-shortened 2020-2021 season, including a 35-24 win over West Branch.

Alex Taylor, who was 9-0, missed the postseason because he was under concussion protocol. His brother, Aiden (14-2) finished fourth at a very deep 160 at the District 6 Tournament, coming up a win shy of qualifying for the regional tournament.

“You don’t have to do much coaching when those two young men are on the mat, that’s for sure,” Andrekovich said with a laugh. “That’s when you can kind of relax and just enjoy watching the kids wrestle.”

Andrekovich won’t be disappearing from the program. He said wants to help the next coach with the transition.

“There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes,” he said. “I want to help out the next guy, be there for him and offer some advice if they need help with anything. I’m going to be around here for the next couple years.”

Andrekovich said he won’t miss the bus trips, but he’ll definitely miss being the coach of the coach of the Blue Devils.

“I’ll miss the competition and being around the kids,” he said. “I’ll be there. I’ll be there biggest fan. There’s a good group coming back.”

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