FARMINGTON — The Bloomfield Bobcats wrestling head coach Greg Shoemaker helped his team snap a 30-year title drought back in February.
On Thursday, Shoemaker was recognized for that accomplishment when the New Mexico High School Coaches Association named him the state's wrestling Coach of the Year.
"It's just icing on the cake," Shoemaker said.
Bloomfield hadn't won a team wrestling championship since 1984, but under Shoemaker's guidance, the Bobcats put together a total of 203 points to finish ahead of pre-tournament favorites Cobre, Robertson and Silver to capture the 3A/A title.
The Bobcats had 10 of their 14 wrestlers find a place on the podium, and two wrestlers, Levi Whitley and Troy Rightmire, won individual state titles.
"The kids all bought in, and that's what made it happen," Shoemaker said. "All of us gelled together."
Shoemaker also credited his assistant coaches for the work they put in with the Bloomfield team all season.
"You can't put a price on what they're doing," he said.
Members of the wrestling team were glad to see their coach was noticed for his hard work.
"He was a super big part of our success this year. It's nice to see that other people noticed how far coach Shoe and his awesome staff of coaches brought our team in such a short amount of time," Bloomfield senior Jacob Spencer said via text message. "We know we couldn't have done it without them there to push us and teach us."
Spencer is one of seven Bobcat state placers returning to the team, and with that wealth of experience in the wrestling room, Shoemaker is already looking forward to the next season.
He said his team will have to be ready for every team's best effort as the Bobcats look to repeat as champions next winter.
"We won't be in the sleeper role this time," Shoemaker said. "They're ready for it, and it's something we've already talked about."