By Brian Jerzak
I haven't talked to many coaches of successful high school programs – wrestling or otherwise – that haven't had great support from their community. Wrestling programs around the state are littered with alumni – both paid and volunteer – rolling with the kids on the mat or raising money to help pay for those mats - doing what they can to help the program they grew up loving.
The New Prague wrestling program has a very similar story – with one key difference. Not only was the Trojans' wrestling program raised by a passionate wrestling community, but so was their head coach.
Dan Wagner was born and raised in New Prague. He got involved in wrestling early.
"Dr. John Berg had started a youth wrestling program before my time," Wagner said. "My dad asked me if I wanted to try wrestling, and that is where it started. I didn't have much wrestling background in my family, but New Prague was a small town, and the doctor in town was running some youth practices."
Success on the mat didn't come immediately for the future coach.