Longtime Battery Creek High School wrestling coach Nathan Day is saying goodbye to the Dolphin family after 30 years on the staff.
Day will stay in the Palmetto State but will head north to Liberty High School. Day says he would not have had the success he’s had without the overwhelming assistance from a host of people who put wrestling first.
“The last 30 years at Battery Creek High School have been great,” Day said. “Working with the wrestling kids was the most rewarding.
“The general public does not have any idea how much work those boys put in during the season,” he said. “We were lucky enough to have supportive principals and athletic directors. All of the assistant coaches we have had over the years — most notably Camillo Trapuzzano, Rick Cavaluzzi (both deceased) and Roger Beach — made the wrestling seasons fun. The parents and community were always very supportive of the tournaments we hosted over the years. We could not have done it without that support.”
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During his tenure at Battery Creek, Day helped lead the Dolphins to six state championships. Dozens of players have been fortunate enough to be part of the longstanding tradition of winning, but Day doesn’t take any credit, saying the praise goes to the athletes for their impeccable runs.
“The cool thing about the championships is to see the happiness and excitement in the wrestlers right after winning,” Day said. “It is also nice to run into them as grown men and hear them reminiscing about the time spent at Battery Creek. The 1994 title was fun because nobody expected the kids to win that year except us. There were also a couple of tough years because the kids did not get the big trophy after beating the state champs earlier in the year. It was hard to see those kids hurting those two years.”
Although Day has been with Battery Creek for three decades, he said he couldn’t ignore the tug on his heart to be closer to his loved ones.
“We have family in Upstate South Carolina and would like to be closer to them,” Day said. “We wrestled Liberty in the championship match in 2014 and 2015. Even though they were extremely tough, we won both close matches.
“When we made up our minds to move, I put in resumes at a few schools in the area,” he said. “After talking with the principal and other people at their schools, it was evident that wrestling is supported and was a big deal in their school and (among the people in the town). There are not many places where that is the case.”
Day said his most memorable moment as a Dolphin was “having individuals and teams that were not supposed to win and managed to surprise people by winning — that is what is most memorable. It is also great to see men that were on the team come back to visit and see how special their high school days were to them.”
In parting, Day reflects on the individuals who’ve made a lasting impact on the program, especially those who were not the last men standing at the end of the season.
“I am very thankful to all the wrestlers and coaches that I have worked with during my 16 years as head coach at Battery Creek High School,” Day said. “You obviously appreciate the 30 state champs, but part of you appreciated the other kids even more. There have been many kids that were not as successful in terms of wins and losses but worked just as hard to help our team be successful.”