Family tradition: Teter brothers leading Triway, Wooster wrestling teams

Family tradition: Teter brothers leading Triway, Wooster wrestling teams

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Brothers Sean and Brian Teter practically learned to walk on the wrestling mats of Homer Woods’ Shreve barn.

Local legends Greg and Jeff Woods were several years older and were like uncles to the boys.

The Teter brothers grew to be standout wrestlers and football players at Triway, with Sean graduating in 2005 and Brian in 2007.

The brothers never set a goal to become head high school wrestling coaches, but when opportunities arose, they stepped in out of a love for the sport — perhaps even a sense of obligation.

Sean Teter is starting his fifth year leading Triway while Brian is the new head coach at Wooster.

The Generals will host the Titans in a dual meet on Dec. 16, which will be an unforgettable night for the Teter family.

“Well, I’ve never lost to Brian before,” said Sean Teter, 35, who’s a special-ed teacher at Triway. “It should be an interesting dual. Wooster is a lot bigger school than Triway, but roster-size we’re pretty comparable. I think I’ll have more experience on my side, so hopefully that works in our favor.”

Brian Teter, 33, is in his first year as the Wooster wrestling coach and a special-ed teacher and football coach at Edgewood Middle School. He admitted it will be strange wearing Wooster colors and coaching against Triway while also matching wits against one of his role models.

Another Triway connection for Brian Teter is he coached the current Titans’ seniors to a PAC title when they were eighth-graders.

“It will be interesting to not only coach against my brother and alma mater, but also those Triway seniors who I know well from coaching them,” Brian Teter said. “Sean’s been there a lot longer than I've been here, and his team is more experienced. I don't know how much we'll compete this year, but I think that we're both working to add wrestlers to the programs and build something that will last.”

Parents Nick and Bobbie Teter have encouraged their boys to wrestle since they were toddlers.

“My dad went to Tusky Valley in the 1970s, but they didn’t have wrestling there at that time,” said Sean Teter, who appreciates his girlfriend, Elizabeth Birchfield, for supporting his coaching career. “Once he moved over to Triway and started teaching there, he became pretty involved. He was Jim Hasseman’s assistant coach for a while.”

Nick Teter said he’ll wear neutral colors and try not to jump around too much for either team at the Dec. 16 dual meet.

“You never pick one son over the other,” Nick Teter said. “I’m excited for both of them and very proud. Teaching and coaching is all they’ve ever known, being around me, the Woods brothers and later on (former Triway coach) Tim Pomfret. It all goes back to when we started the Barn Burners Wrestling Club in Homer Woods’ barn. Bill McGrain was coaching at Waynedale at the time, and they were wrestling in the Jacobs’ barn, and that’s kind of where we got the idea.”

Four Triway state champs trained in the Woods’ barn during its heyday: Curtis Kline (1988), Greg Woods (1990), Jody Withrow (1992) and Chad Kline (1992).

Sean Teter actually broke in as an assistant coach for West Holmes, where he reunited again with the Woods brothers.

“I got out of college and started coaching at West Holmes,” Sean Teter said. “(Coaching) just kind of snowballed from there. I wasn’t thinking a lot about being a head coach, but when Triway had an opening, I felt like I was someone who could make sure the program was run the right way.”

Sean Teter was a three-year letterwinner for Triway in football and wrestling, advancing to districts three times. His team will have the experience edge in the dual, with a veteran squad led by Div. II district qualifiers Kory Banfield, Zane Carr, Ian Mariola, Peyton Wengerd and Kannon Thoman.

“I think we should be pretty decent,” said Sean Teter, whose team placed fourth in the PAC last year and had a 7-3 dual record. “We’re in Div. II for another year, so that will make it tougher, but I still think we can get a couple of kids to state.”

Brian Teter was a four-year letterwinner in wrestling and three-time varsity performer in football and baseball. He was the Titans’ all-time leader in wrestling wins at the time of his graduation and a three-time state qualifier.

“I was a sophomore when my brother was a senior,” Brian Teter said. “Sean went to Ashland University, and that’s kind of why I went there. I followed in his footsteps and also joined the rugby team there.”

Brian Teter and his wife, Liz, moved to Columbus for several years after college, and he coached and taught at Grove City.

"We decided we wanted to raise a family in Wayne County," Brian Teter said. "My first year back, I coached with Sean at Triway. Then I taught and coached in the Waynedale district for three years. The Wooster (wrestling) job had opened up several times before, but this time I thought it was the right time and applied."

Brian Teter doesn’t have a single district qualifier returning, but along with assistant coach Jay Vitallo, he has done a good job to recruit 27 grapplers to come out for the team. That list includes a number of football players new to the sport.

Voted as Wooster captains were seniors Jarrett Tapp and Connor Rotolo, junior Tevin Turner, and sophomore Dylan Hudson. The Generals’ wrestling program has really struggled at times over the last couple decades, but Brian Teter is determined to build a winner.

“Sean’s advice to me was ‘make it fun,’” Brian Teter said. “Wrestling is one of the hardest sports. It’s mano a mano, with nowhere to hide. Everyone wants to win, but you still have to find ways to have fun and keep the kids always trying to improve.”

The brothers would love to see the Triway vs. Wooster/Teter vs. Teter dual become an annual event. It seems certain to add to the fun factor.

“I hope this is the first year of many that we can do this,” Sean Teter said.

Email Aaron Dorksen at Follow him on Twitter at @AaronDorksen.