It Takes A Lot Of Practice To Keep Family Excelling

Kilers Staying Busy In A Variety Of Sports

January 19, 1992|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff writer

GREENMOUNT — Ken Kiler was busy lecturing and demonstrating the half-nelson technique to his Manchester youth wrestling team at practice earlier this week at North Carroll Middle School.

"I noticed last week there were a lot of opportunities to use it, and we didn't," he said to the attentive group. "When it's there, we have to take it."

For the past 19 years -- the program began with eight participants -- Kiler has coached hundreds of young wrestlers including his two sons, Andy, 16, and currently Tom, 13.

"I love the sport of wrestling," Kiler said.

"In all honesty, they're more successful than I ever was. I love to see them enjoying wrestling."

And how did the senior Kiler become interested in wrestling?

"It was my freshman year at North Carroll when Ed Powelson asked Greg Dell and I to go outfor the wrestling team. He (Powelson) said, 'You're little, why don't you guys come out for practice?' " Kiler said.

And while he admits he "didn't set the world on fire," he did go on to earn four varsity letters at North Carroll and Division III Washington College -- having fun all the while.

Wrestling is not the only sport the Kiler family enjoys.

Kiler's wife, Rhonda, played softball, and the youngest of the clan, daughter Laurie, enjoys playing soccer, basketball and softball.

Along with wrestling, both boys play football, and Tom also plays baseball.

The countless practices makes for a hecticweek for the entire family (a bit easier now that Andy drives), but the group wouldn't have it any other way.

"The kids all have practice just about every night. They all stay on a fairly routine schedule," Rhonda Kiler said.

"I feel if they can take the winning with the losing knowing they've done the best they can, it makes them well-rounded and will help them later in other matters in life."

Andy has been doing a lot more winning than losing in his first year at thevarsity level for North Carroll. The junior is 11-3-1 on the season.

"The season's going fine. There's more of a variety of kids (at the high school level) and they're a lot stronger," Andy said.

"I started going to dad's dual meets when I was 4 and started wrestling when I was 9."

Andy also enjoys his spot as nose guard and offensive left guard for the Panthers' football team, but plans on wrestling at the college level.

Tom, an eighth-grader at North Carroll Middle, enjoys the individual aspect of wrestling.

"I probably enjoy wrestling the most of the three sports, because you're out there by yourself and can't blame anybody but yourself if you lose," he said.

Tom has wrestled since he was 6 and credits his father for teaching him just about everything he knows about the sport.

In the summer, wrestling camp gives Tom a chance to wrestle with his brother.

"Wego to camp together and wrestle then, but usually are at different practices the rest of the year (with Andy at North Carroll)," he said.

Along with the three sports Laurie plays, she also keeps busy taking dance and piano lessons.

"I play point guard (in basketball), third base (softball) and left wing on the front line (soccer). I like them all the same," she said.

Perhaps the toughest task mom and dad face every week is making all the games.

"I don't like to missanything if I can try," Rhonda Kiler said.

"What we basically do is look over our schedule and try to catch everything. We've had a lot of fun and enjoyment and still are."

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