As a youth wrestler, Coster already has a state title under his belt. In his freshman year at Freedom, he took third place at the North Coast Section tournament, battling upperclassmen and qualifying for State.
This is where Falcons head coach John Parsons earns his pay – making sure that what’s next for Coster is a tight focus on the team’s next meet – and no more.
While there’s no question that when the 126-pound sophomore steps onto the mat he can do remarkable things, getting him in the right mentality has been the big trick. “The part we have to work on the most is between his ears,” Parsons said. “It’s not his moves, it’s not his conditioning – it’s staying in a good stance. If he believed in himself the way that we as coaches and his teammates do, then I think the results would speak for themselves.”
Coster was saddled with steep expectations following his stellar freshman season. Even he admits that his goals are sky-high: Bay Valley Athletic League champion, NCS champion and state champion. He wrestles so aggressively, it’s as if he’s always battling for the state title. Coster still has three seasons to achieve those dreams.
That aggression is born of a hatred for losing and a love for competition. Parsons knows that the frustration and the growing pains Coster feels now will help down the road.
He started wrestling as a kid after watching his cousin, Ben Duran, go through Freedom’s youth program and later wrestle for Liberty. Since then, Coster knew his path was set.
“It was something to do and I was always active,” he said. “I didn’t want to try anything else.”
Though he’s only a sophomore, Coster is actually starting to take more of a leadership role on the team. Teammates such as 132-pound senior Roman Garcia – who also has aspirations above the NCS level – feel they’ve learned as much from Coster as they’ve taught him.
Coster and Garcia were childhood friends who grew into star wrestlers through Freedom’s youth program. When Coster succeeds, Garcia becomes more motivated to do the same – and visa versa.
“He surprises me all the time when he wrestles,” Garcia said. “He always tries to push me, and I’ll push him. If he’s tired, I’ll work him. If I’m tired, he does the same thing. We push each other to get better, just like we have when we were little kids. It’s always been like that. We always want to get better.”
Parsons and the Falcons are seeing more signs of growth and maturity from Coster. At a meet earlier this season in Reno, Coster was on the business end of a 5-3 loss from McNair’s Daniel Williams – a defeat that really got to him. Recently, Coster and Williams squared off again at the Granada Tournament in Livermore.
Not letting his emotions get the best of him, Coster trumped Williams in a 10-2 decision.