DALLASTOWN — Dave Gable isn’t especially enamored with his own personal accomplishments as Dallastown High School’s wrestling coach.
The accomplishments of his wrestlers?
That's another story.
When one of his wrestlers excels, Gable will still pump his fist and celebrate with emotion, much like he did after his heavyweight, Hunter Bisking, earned a first-period fall Saturday against Cumberland Valley at the Dallastown Duals.
Such displays of emotion are completely out of character.
So his reaction earlier Saturday, when the school and the program commemorated Gable’s 300th career victory against York Suburban (53-15) in the first round of the duals was not much of a shocker. Gable was very low key and much more interested in his team’s future than anything else.
“He just said ‘Thank you, but now I have to get back to work,” said Jamal Brandon, who graduated from Dallastown last year. “He’s very focused like that.”
That work included leading the Wildcats to victories over Emmaus (48-32) in the semifinals and then Cumberland Valley (39-38) in the final to finish 3-0 on the day, bettering Dallastown's overall record this season to 10-2 and improving Gable's career record to 302-91-1, according to school records.
To Gable, those team victories on Saturday were more important than his milestone.
“Three hundred is ancient history,” Gable joked, after increasing his win total to 302 by the end of the event. “But this was a really great day for the program. It was an amazing team effort.”
Big day for the family: For Gable, who is a York Area Sports Hall of Fame member, it might have been just another day, but not so for his son, Brooks, and the rest of the Gable family.
When asked how he was planning on celebrating his milestone, Dave Gable’s response was spot-on, according to Brooks.
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“Probably go home and take a nap,” coach Gable said. “And maybe watch some Netflix.”
“Yeah, that’s how he spends every night,” Brooks said with a smile. “He loves his Netflix and snacking.”
Coach Gable’s plans, however, weren’t in the cards for him. The rest of the family had a surprise in store for him.
“He doesn’t know this, but we’re having a little party to celebrate,” Brooks said. “My dad would never self-celebrate, so we have to throw a party for him and he can’t know about it or else he’d shut it down.”
Wrestling and winning: Wrestling and winning are something that have become commonplace for Dave and Brooks, as well as Clay, a state champion wrestler who graduated from Dallastown back in 2009. For as long as Brooks can remember, the sport has been ingrained into in his mind.
His dad, who is 56, has led the Wildcat program to 13 York-Adams Division I titles, as well as two District 3 Class 3-A titles in his 24 seasons at the helm over two different stints. Coach Gable help Brooks’ older brother, Clay, to the state title in the 171-pound weight class as a senior.
Dave Gable stepped away from the program for several years while Clay participated at the Air Force Academy.
“Wrestling and tournaments are nothing out of the ordinary,” said Brooks, who entered Saturday's action at 20-3. “It’s just how it’s always been. I grew up watching my brother wrestle and see him live out his life. And then with my dad and all, and I just kind of filled in my own place. We’re a wrestling family.”
Consistency a key: Coach Gable considers all of his current and former wrestlers to be a part of that family. That’s why Brandon, who finished seventh at states last year at 220 pounds as a senior, was more than happy to come back to help coach this year’s crop of Dallastown heavyweights.
For Brandon, who was personally recruited by Gable to wrestle back when he was in eighth grade, the reason for Gable’s success is quite simple.
“Consistency,” Brandon said. “The program is consistent under coach Gable.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.