Local high school wrestling coaches, current and former, credit their sports’ success in Dearborn County to one person - Jim Buchberger.
Purdue University graduate Buchberger, a 32-year sports reporter/editor at Register Publications, recently was honored with the 2013 Media Award by the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Indiana High School Wrestling Hall of Fame Chairman Scott Schwarz, former East Central High School wrestling head coach and a current assistant at Lawrenceburg High School, puts it another way.
“The attention that Jim helped draw to the sport of wrestling through articles, pictures, and updates helped our program to continue to grow each year. Our wrestlers, their families, and our fans looked forward to reading and seeing the articles that Jim would put out during the season. I cannot thank Jim enough for all of the help, support and understanding,” said Schwarz.
Schwarz during his tenure saw kids head to the state finals, and last week, Buchberger once again was writing about two wrestlers from Dearborn County and their trips to state. One from ECHS another from LHS.
Buchberger deflects Schwarz’s praise and credit, instead, thanking longtime contributor Sue Story for going to events when he can’t and taking many, many photos over the years.
Nonetheless, he said he was honored to receive the award.
South Dearborn wrestling coach George Gardner also offered up praise for Buchberger and his support for not just wrestling but all high school sports.
“I want to send my warmest congratulations and thanks to you on this most-deserved occasion. I greatly appreciate what you have done for my wrestlers and team and the others teams, players, and coaches, by promoting the work we have all done in SE Indiana. I especially want to thank you for listening and being a good friend throughout the past quarter of a century. ... You have done it all with style and class!”
LHS coach Mark Kirchgassner also sent congratulations to Buchberger.
“Jim has done a tremendous job of promoting wrestling for the schools of Dearborn County. His commitment to this sport has been unwavering through the years. I would like to personally thank him for the job that he has done,” said Kirchgassner.
Many others also were recognized by and inducted into the IHSWCA Hall of Fame last month.
Former Indiana high school wrestling standouts inducted as the Hall of Fame’s 2014 class Sunday were Ryan Edmundson, Pendleton Heights; Greg Schaefer, Evansville Mater Dei; and Anton Talamantes, Ft. Wayne Bishop Dwenger.
Hall of Fame 2013 coaching class inductees were Mike Atwood, Delphi; Andy Hobbs, Peru; Larry Mattingly, Evansville Memorial; and Ralph Weinzapfel, Mt. Vernon and Evansville Memorial high schools.
Inducted as members of the Special Contributors Hall of Fame class were Indian Creek’s John Denien, Anderson’s Al Ihnat, Kevin King of Indianapolis Bishop Chatard and Steve Nontell of Becch Grove.
The Tom Welch family, of Castle High School, Newburgh, was honored with the IHSWCA Hall of Fame Historian’s Family Award.
Inducted as Dr. Donald Shelbourne Honorary Member of the Hall of Fame was former Ball State University head wrestling coach Peter Samuels.
The Hall of Fame’s Billy Thom Award, presented annually to a deserving wrestler, coach or contributor, went to New Castle coach Rex Peckinpaugh.
The coaches’ association’s 2013 Harold F. Mumby Wrestler of the Year Award was presented to Mitch Sliga and Fishers High School.
Bob Hasseman of Franklin Community High, was accorded 2014 Don Patton Head Coach of the Year Award.
Floyd Central’s Brian Foxworthy received the 2014 Assistant Coach of the Year honor.
Madison High School athletics director Ken Brunner was the recipient of the 2013 Tom Cameron Administator of the Year Award.
The Indiana State Wrestling Association presented its John W. Hurrle Award to amateur wrestling coach Tom Clark of Indianapolis.
Tim Torrance, of Madison radio station WORX-FM, joined Buchberger as a 2013 Media Award winner.