New PHS coach excited about opportunity

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

BEN CHAPMAN, a state wrestling champion at Plymouth High School in 2004, was hired recently as the new PHS head wrestling coach. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley BEN CHAPMAN, a state wrestling champion at Plymouth High School in 2004, was hired recently as the new PHS head wrestling coach. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH — There’s no place like home for Ben Chapman who was a standout wrestler at Plymouth High School a decade ago and is now the new head wrestling coach at his alma mater.

Chapman was hired recently to replace Lucas Lechnir who resigned after four seasons in order to take assistant principal and athletic director positions at a Green Bay middle school.

Chapman is excited about taking over the PHS wrestling program and looks forward to the challenge of building a successful one.

“It was an honor to be considered and offered the job. It’s a great opportunity to take advantage of,” said Chapman, a state champion in 2004, his senior year at PHS.

Chapman said coming back to Plymouth to coach wrestling was something he always wanted to do.

“Plymouth is a great community and did a lot for me when I was growing up. I thought this would be a great place to take advantage of the good wrestling history,” he said.

Chapman was the head coach at Sheboygan North last season and an assistant at North the previous two years. His other wrestling coaching experience was helping with the Plymouth youth and middle school programs while in high school.

“My overall goal [at PHS] is to keep progressing each year. Lucas Lechnir started to develop the program. It really starts down at the youth program,” said Chapman.

“You need that good base and nucleus where you have guys come up through the youth program and stay together throughout middle school.

“When they get to high school they already have the fundamentals in place. From there, you polish that and teach them how to be successful at a higher level.

“That’s where a majority of my success [in wrestling] came from was at the youth program. When I got to high school, I already had the fundamentals and I had the skills and techniques behind that. Then it was learning to be a little more aggressive and wrestle at a higher-level style,” said Chapman.

Chapman said that by continuing to have the youth program grow and him working closely with the youth and middle school programs, that will help allow the high school program to be more successful.

“The youth and middle school programs are definitely on the upswing. The numbers are building up and they’re getting the fundamentals down,” he said.

“That’s what wrestling comes down to – being able to execute the fundamentals and staying in good position. That’s what is going to win you matches. You don’t need to be flashy. Do the fundamentals well and be consistent.”

Chapman is confident the PHS wrestling program will improve. The varsity team hasn’t had much success in recent years, with low numbers and inexperience being key reasons, although the numbers were good last season.

“I know it’s going to take hard work and effort [to build the program back up]. I want us to learn from our mistakes, keep a positive attitude and keep improving each day, and then we’ll keep building and hopefully build a winning tradition,” he said.

Chapman wrestled one season at UW-Madison coming out of high school. He then took a year off after sustaining injuries while competing at UW. Chapman transferred to Lakeland College where he won three conference titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010.

The Plymouth resident earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Lakeland in 2010 and is employed at the Sports Core in Kohler.

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