Skyline pins new wrestling coach

Coach Creighton (far left) and Skyline´s wrestling team are prepared to put the northern regional championships in a headlock.  (Diana Diroy)

Coach Creighton (far left) and Skyline´s wrestling team are prepared to put the northern regional championships in a headlock. (Diana Diroy)

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“Believe in yourself and believe in our system,” Brauman Creighton confidently says to the wrestlers on his team.

Coach Creighton is living his dream. As the new head coach for Skyline’s wrestling team, he’s doing what he has waited to do for a long time.

“I long wanted to be a head coach on the college level, and opportunities are few and far between to be a head coach in wrestling.” Creighton said.

Andreas Wolf, Skyline’s athletic director and division dean, gave Creighton his opportunity.

“Brauman was the one that came in… I figured he’d be a perfect fit right away,” Wolf said.

The former coach, James Haddon, left due to a cost of living issue, and Creighton was the perfect man to fill the job.

“[Creighton has] already had an immediate impact,” Wolf went on to say. “Just his personality, his style. He’s very self-motivated. Creighton has a type A personality-very aggressive, very gung-ho, and enthusiastic. He’ll do a great job. I’m very pleased with the job he’s done so far and I think he’ll continue it.”

Creighton began wrestling back in Omaha, Nebraska because his father was a wrestler. One of his most memorable victories was winning the State Championship in high school and seeing tears of joy come from his proud father.

At the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Creighton won two NCAA National Championships and was a four-time NCAA All-American. He says winning those titles gave him an indescribable feeling. He cannot put into words what achieving this life-long goal felt like.

While a record was never his biggest goal, Creighton was motivated by numbers. Although he fell two wins short of the collegiate record of 153, he still ended up with an amazing career record of 151-27.

Still, he says his biggest accomplishment is his 6-month-old son.

Creighton left Nebraska because he says that Omaha is a very conservative place, and he has always wanted to live in California. When he came here, he was given the chance to be an assistant coach at San Francisco State University. At SFSU, he coached his current assistant coach, Mauricio Wright. Coach Creighton says that Wright is a phenomenal wrestler and coach. Wright’s credentials are similar to Creighton’s, with two National Championships. The two coaches are able to set a model for the team not just by telling, but showing by example.

This season, Coach Creighton believes strongly that his team can win the State Championship, as long as they avoid injuries. In his eyes, the team’s biggest weakness is their depth. Since he started late in July he was not able to recruit players, but still the team’s strength is their cohesiveness. He loves being able to have that camaraderie with the wrestlers. He thinks there are some great athletes on the team this year.

According to Creighton, Jean Leazard, a 125 lb. freshman from Florida, 149 lb. Ali Lockett, and Eric Helmstreit at 165 lbs. will be the wrestlers to watch.

Ali Lockett says that his expectations are high now that Creighton is at the helm.

” [Coach Creighton] is probably the reason I came back to Skyline,” Lockett said. “I was really excited to know there was going to be a new program. That is why I came back-to wrestle for him.”

In the team’s opening competition, they defeated Shasta College 25-19 on Sept. 17. The team won six out of nine matches. Coach Creighton says the team played fairly well even though the two star players did not play as well as he would have hoped.

Coming up on Oct. 7, the team has a tough meet against Fresno City College that Coach Creighton is encouraging everyone to attend. The game is at Terra Nova High School in Pacifica, at 7:00 p.m. on a Wednesday night. Creighton knows that they can win this game but still wants everyone to come and support the team.