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They say time flies

Just now a little more than a month into his tenure as Glenville State College’s head wrestling coach, former Robert Dutton Award winner Dylan Cottrell of Roane County is trying to make the most of the current situation.

Many moons ago I remember getting an assignment to head down to Spencer and cover some youth football league championship games on a Saturday at County Stadium.

I’d never heard of Dylan Cottrell prior to that sunny afternoon, but it didn’t take long for him to make quite the lasting impression.

There was this little dude in the backfield who kept taking pitches for sweeps left and sweeps right. It looked like the opposing team was playing defense in quicksand as he was almost impossible to stop.

Fast forward through the years, about the only thing that’s slowed Cottrell down has been injuries and the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Along with being named the best wrestler in the Mountain State in 2012, Cottrell also was tabbed the Class AA first team all-state football captain in the fall of 2011.

After signing with Appalachian State University for wrestling, Cottrell spent two years in Boone, North Carolina with the Mountaineers before transferring to West Virginia University, where in 2017 he became the first Big 12 individual champ in school history.

Now, he’s landed an opportunity to guide the Pioneer mat program, which hasn’t sponsored the sport since 1974.

“It kind of goes full circle,” Cottrell admitted. “Not completely because I’m not back home, but I’m 35 minutes away. It’s been nice.

“I’m able to go see my parents on the weekend, which I haven’t been able to do in six, seven, eight years since I started competing at Appy State.”

The former four-time prep state champ, who qualified thrice for the NCAA tournament, noted “it’s been one of those things going to new places and making sure you can adapt to new places.

“That’s one of the hardest things with this. It’s a lot tougher when you have a full family. Being a single guy it’s a little easier.”

Having just turned 26 this past Monday, the sky is the limit for Cottrell, who currently has just one official commit — former Clay County Panther grappler Joel Cruickshanks.

Obviously, being a wrestling coach means Cottrell is going to spend time on the mat trying to get his future roster in the best position he possibly can to win.

However, when I asked him whether he missed competing on the Division I big stage or longed for the glory days of the gridiron he just kind of laughed.

“To be honest, I don’t really miss competing anymore at all,” said the ex-Raider. “I do some of my own stuff. I do some crossfit and some competitions in that. That about fills my competitive itch these days.

“I had a lot of injuries in college and toughed it out when I was going and wrestling is a grind. I know what it takes to be competitive and my body is not up for that. I don’t really miss that part.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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