Mucha: ‘Time flies when you’re having fun’

Published 10:17 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2006

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Advancing to the state finals is something every team and coach dreams of, yet very few make it that far.
In his 26 years as head coach of the Buchanan wrestling program, Frank Mucha has yet to step foot on a state finals mat.
This Friday, he will be given that opportunity when his Bucks travel to the Kellogg Arena for the MHSAA state quarterfinals.
"It's real exciting," Mucha said Monday afternoon. "This is a great reward for all of the hard work these kids have put in."
Hard work which not only consists of practicing in the regular season, but in the off season as well.
"I've got a group of guys who love wrestling. They're a bunch of mat rats. As soon as the regular season concludes these guys get right into the freestyle circuit. Most of them go to camp and some even go to two or three camps," Mucha said.
His squads hard work year round has had big rewards, including going undefeated in the Lakeland Athletic Conference, winning a district championship, regional title and advancing four wrestlers to the individual state finals, which take place March 9-11.
But this weekend, his team will be put to the test as they face some of the best Division 3 schools in the state.
"It's very exciting for me personally because I have not had a team do this before, but I am also very excited for the kids," Mucha said.
While all of the excitement will continue to build over the next few days, Mucha couldn't help but think about how fast this year has went. Win or lose, this season is almost over.
"Once the season starts, it always flies by. It seems like just yesterday it was opening night. There's so much truth to the saying, 'my my how time flies when you're having fun.' This season has just been a blur, but it has been a very memorable one so far," Mucha said.
If time flies when you're having fun, Mucha must be having a blast, especially to stay head coach for so long.
"I just really enjoy the sport and coaching it. I like the kind of kids wrestlers are," Mucha said.
Mucha is also pleased with the support of the athletes parents, who attend all of the teams events and help anyway they can.
"This community is very supportive of its athletes. We've got a good fan base and great support from the parents. It's nice when a community is so involved in all of its athletics," Mucha said
Most would agree that it's also nice when a coach sticks with his team for so many years and gives so much of his time to the program.
When asked how much longer he planned to coach, Mucha replied with a chuckle, "the end is not even in sight yet. I've got two little ones at home still, one's in second grade and one's in fifth, so I'm going to be around for a while."
But Mucha isn't focusing on his future just yet. For now, he wants to make the best of his team's trip to Battle Creek on Friday.
"We've had great leadership from our juniors and seniors this year. They've carried us a long way and I look forward to seeing what they can do this weekend," Mucha said.