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Daddy Allison rules the roost

Published Aug. 27, 2005

Marc Allison was in a convoluted condition Tuesday night. The first-year Dunedin coach twisted with every turn his wrestlers made in hopes of coaxing them to win.

Walt Allison also was in a constant state of motion. The first-year Pinellas Park coach paraded around the bench, slapping his wrestlers on the back while barking out instructions.

It was a frantic pace as both were vying for something bigger than a dual-meet victory.

They were trying to outdo each other to see who was the best Allison in wrestling.

Facing off in the second father-son coaching duo in Pinellas County, Walt claimed bragging rights at the expense of his son thanks to the Patriots' 42-30 victory.

Both coaches anticipated this meeting since taking over their programs in the fall. It will be their only meeting. Walt took the Pinellas Park job on an interim basis to give the administration time to find a long-term replacement.

"I knew it was going to be tough, but it's good to go out beating Marc," Walt Allison said.

Almost the entire family was on hand to watch the Allisons coach. Marc's wife, Rebekah, and sister, Kristy, attended. Also sitting in the stands was Marc's best friend from high school, Sean Kearney, who flew home from a business trip in Seattle.

Walt trumpeted up support with announcements at school. He even tested the family's loyalty by asking it to sit on his side of the bleachers.

Some didn't budge. Rebekah wore a Dunedin T-shirt and had a Falcon mascot painted on her face. Kearney also wore a Dunedin shirt. But Joy Allison wasn't about to choose between husband and son. She worked the concession stand.

"I think I'm in the right place for this one," she said.

Joy made sure her wardrobe showed no favoritism. She stitched two garments together so she could wear a half-Pinellas Park, half-Dunedin T-shirt. She also donned Falcon red earrings and a Patriot blue necklace.

"I think I covered all the bases," she said. "It's been pretty crazy, though, because I keep running back and forth to check the score."

Walt also had hectic day. He found out hours before the match that his 145-pounder, Ruben Bosques, was out with an injury and scrambled to find a replacement. Walt shifted his lineup as Frank Locicero and Ricky Ferguson each lost enough weight to drop to 140 and 145, respectively.

The outcome was in doubt until Pinellas Park's Greg Anderson recorded a pin at 215.

Afterward, the Allisons shook hands and showed their competitive spirit.

"You won the match, now let's step on the mat," Marc told his father.

Walt declined, instead offering his assistant, former two-time state heavyweight champion Willie Comerford as his replacement.

Marc then shook his head and walked away.