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Trabuco Hills' Mark Munoz, left, and Kurt Mitthof are the Register's boys wrestling co-coaches of the year. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

Wrestling co-coaches of the year: Trabuco Hills' Mitthof, Munoz

STAFF WRITER

It takes a team to achieve the dream.

That’s a good way to describe the season for the Trabuco Hills wrestling team.

“It was really special,” Kurt Mitthof said. “Considering too that the injuries that we’ve had in the past, where we felt like we could have been contending for CIF. Not that we didn’t have injuries this year, but to overcome a lot of adversity over the years and to finally get the crown, is a pretty awesome feeling.”

The Mustangs went undefeated in South Coast League duals, captured the Coast View Conference finals title, advanced to the finals of the CIF-SS Dual Championships and captured their first CIF title.

For that performance, Trabuco Hills’ Mitthof and Mark Munoz are the Register’s boys wrestling co-coaches of the year.

Mitthof believes this season wouldn’t have happened without the help of Munoz and the rest of the team's staff.

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ALL-COUNTY WRESTLING

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“Mark has been awesome. He’s obviously a great technician, but he’s also great with the kids,” Mitthof said. “All of us have different ways of motivating the kids. We all kind of bring something different to the table.

“Mark has coached at the college level, he’s an NCAA champion … I’ve been around guys that have achieved at the high levels and they’re not as good at breaking down moves or tweaking or fixing what a kid needs to do or motivating the kids. We all care about the kids and we’re all doing our best to contribute and make them get better.”

Munoz joined the Mustangs' staff last year after retiring from the UFC. His son Trey, a sophomore, qualified for the CIF State Tournament this season.

“The real reason why (I am coaching) is that I can’t stay away from wrestling,” Munoz said. “My son had asked me, ‘Dad can you be in the room and coach?’ and I said sure I’ll ask. And Coach Mitthof welcomed me with open arms. I couldn’t turn that down, especially to be with my son more. That’s the whole reason why I retired from UFC was to be able to spend more time with my family.

“For me the season was great. There were a lot of firsts for us - first time we won CIF, first time we were league champs. Pretty awesome that we were able to qualify that many to state. It is just onward and upward for us."

The team mentality was on display at the CIF-SS Coastal Division championships. The Mustangs had 14 wrestlers in the tournament and all of them won at least two matches, which helped the team capture the title by less than eight points.

“Guys wrestled great, bonus points,” Mitthof said. “It wasn’t four or five guys, but across the board we had a really competitive team and that’s what showed at CIF. The whole team contributed and that’s awesome.”

Contact the writer: dcalhoun@scng.com


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