Wrestling head coach receives hall of fame honors

BY JACOB WINANS

The Bay’s legendary wrestling coach, Allen Held, was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame on Aug. 12. The Hall of Fame honor is perhaps the greatest recognition possible for a man who has coached, and consistently won, for over 27 years. Induction into the prestigious group is the highest honor there is for high school athletics coaches in Florida.

“I was excited and honored to be inducted,” Coach Held said. “It meant a lot being voted in by the Hall of Fame Committee.”

Coach Held’s induction undoubtedly shines a spotlight on wrestling at the Bay and the athletics department as a whole. It’s incredibly rare to have a Hall of Fame inductee as the active head coach. While Coach Held remains humble and maintains that he never coached for personal recognition, he does admit that his recent accolade could be a big help to the Lightning wrestling team.

“It brings some needed recognition to the program,” Coach Held said. “The wrestlers at Cypress Bay work hard and are [in] one of the best programs in the state but at times are under appreciated by those that don’t know.”

Coach Held was not the only one who felt that this honor is beneficial to the Bay. Senior wrestler, Zach Brill feels that his induction gives the team an added edge going into this season.

“I think his recognition brings a lot of respect to Cypress Bay,” Brill said, “and shows that even as a public school we can have the best coaches around.”

The Florida wrestling community is not the only group that has been paying attention to Coach Held’s achievement. The entire Cypress Bay athletics community was put on notice of Coach Held’s induction when he was honored pre-game at the Lightning’s first home football game. Athletic director, Scott Selvidge, coordinated the small ceremony before the football game.

“I am very proud that we have a Hall of Fame member at our school and representing our athletic department,” Mr. Selvidge said. “He is a true demonstration of what hard work can accomplish.”

Mr. Selvidge, having worked with Coach Held in multiple capacities during his time at the Bay, both as a fellow head coach and as the athletic director, had nothing but positive sentiments for Coach Held.

“He [Coach Held] came here with a mission to put the Cypress Bay wrestling program on the map and has certainly done that,” Mr. Selvidge said. “I believe Coach Held is a terrific role model and motivator for our student-athletes. We are fortunate to have him.”

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