Denbigh wrestling coach moving on

By Jennifer L. Williams
Daily Press

Published: Friday, June 01, 2001

Denbigh High School wrestling coach John Sendzik has resigned and will become the first wrestling coach at Landstown High in Virginia Beach when it opens in the fall.

Sendzik, 43, led the Patriots to eight Peninsula District championships during his 14-year tenure and built what has consistently been the district's best program in the modern era. State Group AAA runner-up Teante Gray and All-Americans Joe Wright and Matt Wright were Sendzik's most decorated wrestlers.

"I'm sorry to see him leave," said Denbigh athletics director Dale Roe. "He's done wonders for the program, but I understand he's going on to better things."

Sendzik said that he had been looking for a coaching opportunity in the Virginia Beach for a while and that his wife has several family members who live in that area. Also, he wanted to move his family before his children were old enough to attend high school.

"When I first came here from New Jersey, all my friends were Virginia Beach coaches and I wanted to coach against them," Sendzik said.

"It's a big step. The competition is so tough over there and I felt like I was getting sort of stagnant over here and thought it would be a better situation for my family. I don't think I'm going to get a whole lot more opportunities than that, I've been working so hard that I've just got to see where I can go with that."

Sendzik will teach health, physical education and driver's education at Landstown in addition to being the head wrestling coach. His team will draw from wrestlers who formerly attended Beach District schools Green Run, Ocean Lakes, Kellam and Salem.

The Virginia Beach schools have middle school wrestling programs, which are part of the reason they are among the strongest in the state.

"I don't know what I'm getting into because I haven't really coached at the beach," Sendzik said. "I've followed those guys and know the level of competition is more intense, but I'm a little nervous about this situation. And it's tough leaving Denbigh, but sometimes it's time to make a move."

Sendzik said that Denbigh officials are in the process of searching for his replacement, but haven't made any decisions. He leaves things in good shape for next season.

"I think this could be the best team ever in Denbigh history, with everybody back and two eighth-graders coming in that are really fantastic," he said.***