Schreiner Growing Fast & Strong Under Jewell
KERRVILLE, TEXAS – The Schreiner women’s program is still young, but already making a mark on the national scene in college wrestling. Since their inaugural season in 2018, the Mountaineers have gained four WCWA All-Americans, two WCWC/NCAA All-Americans, and last season had three NCWA national champions along with winning the team title.
This year’s lineup includes returning All-Americans 116 Jazelyn Ruelas, 109 Allicia Mahoe, 123 Serena Cervantes, and 170 Mikayla Mata. 116-pound 2020 NCWA national champ & WCWA All-American Kamille Beagal is also returning. “We expect big things out of our returning All-Americans,” said head coach Troy Jewell, who leads the Texas-based program from the campus in Kerrville, only an hour from San Antonio.
All-American Allie Mahoe is red-shirting this season.
Jewell also expects 136 Mackayla Rosales and 143 Jordan Johnston to make a big impact. Johnston, a sophomore, missed the entire second semester of her freshman year due to injury. Schreiner also added transfer and native Texan Alina Kinsey (109/116) to the lineup.
“We still have a pretty young team but they are coming along nicely,” added Jewell, head coach from Day 1. “Our returners are doing a good job helping the freshman, and this freshman class is one of our most talented yet. We don’t have any huge names in the class, but it is an extremely hard-working group that has 100% bought into our system.”
Freshmen expected to make a mark this season are 123 Kya Battle (Texas), 116 Karla Garcia (Texas), 130 Jenna Hartman (California), 136 Karina De La Torre (Texas) and 155/170 Shannlynne Mahoe (Hawaii).
The program was birthed out of the success of the local wrestling clubs that Jewell originally led in the nearby San Antonio area, the NB Elite freestyle/Greco program and the South Texas Wrestling Academy. “I was not looking for a job as a coach of a university wrestling team,” remembers Jewell. “However, I am certainly honored that I was offered the position. Our first recruiting class consisted of approximately 80 wrestlers divided between both the men’s and women’s teams. It was evident that there was certainly a need for more college wrestling in this part of the country.”
NB Elite and the South Texas Wrestling Academy had a lot of success, including the emergence of Cumberland graduate and current Schreiner assistant coach, Madison Angelito, current Mountaineer/WCWA All-American Kamille Beagel, Texas A&M’s Erin McAlpin, Gannon’s Kendall McGarity, and Emmanuel‘s Angie Gomez. The teams produced several Fargo and UWW All-Americans. Gomez was a multiple-time Fargo finalist before moving to California.
USAW Silver Certified Steve Horton currently coaches the NB Elite Club. Horton is a 2015 National Hall of Fame inductee.
“I was very attached to the NB Elite program, and struggled with the idea of walking away from the kids there,” says Jewell. “It took a good month to make the decision to move on and start the program at Schreiner. The idea of growing the sport at this level as well as the challenge of it, is ultimately what made me make the decision.”
Jewell has big goals and expectations for his young women and the program, but understands how to build a program. “Our philosophy of development consists of focusing on establishing a true understanding of all that we are teaching,” explains the visionary-leader. “Once this is done, they usually buy in 100% and go at everything without much question…If they truly understand the how and why, and how one thing links to another, not only do they go to it right away, they tend to progress much faster.”
In a day with access to thousands of videos and flashy techniques, Jewell keeps it simple. “We don’t teach a lot of so-called ‘fancy camp moves.’ Instead, our focus is on more on the basics—position, pressure, and discipline with it. We tell them that by the end of the season we expect them to look uniform out there; very good with their position and making very few mistakes with it. We feel becoming extremely disciplined with the small yet huge details keeps us hard to score on and always in a match.”
The Schreiner program seeks a variety of competitive contexts, joining the WCWA, the NCWA—which has a national tournament in Allen, Texas not too far from Schreiner—and the governing body for NCAA programs, the WCWC. “Just starting the program we weren’t too picky about who and where we were wrestling,” explains the coach. “We just wanted to get them out there and get them seasoned as college wrestlers. With [multi-divisional separation] happening in women’s college wrestling already, it may be a little while before the numbers are heavy enough to justify staying in only one association. We definitely miss the 32-man brackets at WCWA nationals.”
Coach Jewell is looking forward to getting back to the NCWA Nationals in 2021 to defend their 2020 national championship. With all the uncertainty of the pandemic, he’s taking it one step at a time. “We’re just going to stay focused on what we can control, and stay positive. I think if we do that we will come out just fine in what has been already a challenging season for most everyone.”
Having Madison Angelito back, an All-American at Cumberlands, is a win for the program. “Getting Coach Angelito back and helping out the program after finishing her career at Cumberlands is huge for us,” says Jewell. “With the growing number of women wrestlers heading off to college from the San Antonio area, I think the future looks bright for the growth of college wrestling in this part of the state and others.”
Ultimately Coach Jewell, a father of two boys, looks at his wrestlers with a father-coach’s eyes. “Their development and growth as young people is most important to me. Keeping them focused and on track is what we try to win at the most. They understand we have no problem removing one bad apple to protect the entire basket, regardless if they are one of the best on the team or not. Coaching someone else’s kid is something we take very seriously. We look at it as an absolute honor to be able to do so. There’s not many days that these kid’s parents don’t cross my mind. I certainly want all of them sleeping well at night, knowing that their kids are in good hands and growing into great young adults. At the end of the day all of this is much more important than the W’s or the L’s, or getting the best recruits or not. There’s a much bigger picture here and we certainly see it and focus on it.”