Chippewa Hills coach Nate Ethridge notches win No. 500

Chippewa Hills head coach Nate Ethridge (above) has accumulated 501 wins during his 18-year coaching career. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

REMUS — Chippewa Hills coach Nate Ethridge did more than just guide his team to two more Central State Activities Gold Division wins on Wednesday.

Ethridge also claimed wins No. 500 and 501 in his 18-year coach career at Chippewa Hills.

“That’s really cool,” Chippewa Hills senior Andrew Vinton said. “We’ve been around him forever and it’s really good to see that. I never thought I would see something like that.”

The Warriors defeated Big Rapids 81-0 and Newaygo 72-16 in Wednesday’s CSAA quad.

“It’s exciting,” Ethridge said. “It’s a program milestone, not a personal milestone.”

Chippewa Hills is the only place where he’s coached high school wrestling.

“I told my wife, we used to joke my first year here that when I’d get to 500 wins, I’d retire,” Ethridge smiled. “She told me the other day, “I guess you’re going to retire, right?

“My philosophy is that as long as I feel like I’m doing the right thing and the kids respond to me and as long as I can still get results from them and they buy into it and are accountable to what we want them to do, I’m still effective. When I feel I’m not effective anymore, I need to be done.”

Coaching the athletes remains an enjoyable part of the job for Ethridge.

“I enjoy being  part of the whole thing,” he said.

“Vinton was among the doublewinners.

“It’s going really good,” he said. “The tournaments on the weekends are giving us good matches. We’re wrestling hard. All-in-all, I’m having a great time. The team is where we want to be.”

Big Rapids also wrestled Tri County and lost 60-6.

Chippewa Hills solidified its bid for another CSAA title while helping Ethridge achieved a unique milestone.

Chippewa Hills is going to a two-day tournament this weekend south of Toledo.

“We wrestle in the summer with the coach and Oregon Clay is the name of the school,” Ethridge said. “It will have nationally ranked kids, way above anything you’ll see in the area or in the state.”

Kaelan McBride notched a pin for Big Rapids only points against Newaygo.

Big Rapids is at Sparta on Saturday.

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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