Pirch Takes Wife, New Job In Virginia


For Christopher Pirch -- former Payson High School sports star and honor student -- marriage, teaching and coaching is about to become a way of life.

On May 30 in Radford, Va., Pirch married Katie East in a ceremony performed by his lifelong friend, Jake Sopeland.


Christopher Pirch (center) married to Katie East May 30 in Virginia. Performing the ceremony was his lifelong friend, Jake Sopeland.

Only days prior to the wedding, he signed a letter of intent to teach math and coach wrestling at Colonial Forge High School in Fredrickburg, Va.

Pirch received a BA degree from Cornell University in 2002 and an MA in Math Education from James Madison last spring.

His wife is a Virginia native and employed by Young Life. The two met while both were students at James Madison.

Pirch's parents, Dennis and Cathy, traveled to Virginia for the ceremony.

For Sopeland, a youth pastor with Life Center in Spokane Wash., the ceremony was the first he has performed.

Sopeland and Pirch graduated from Payson High School in 1998. Pirch starred on the wrestling, track and field and cross country teams.

Sopeland, who also is married, was a standout football player, wrestler and a pole vaulter on the track team.

Following Pirch's graduation from PHS, he received a scholarship to Cornell University where he was a member of the wrestling team for four years.

While working on his master's degree at James Madison, he served as an assistant wrestling coach.

In becoming a teacher and coach, he is following in the footsteps of his parents. His father is a former National High School Wrestling Coach of the Year and the man who started the Longhorn program. His mother is a former physical education teacher who played a big role in helping mold the PHS wrestling program into one of the finest in the United States.

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