Young wrestlers flock to third annual clinic
Aspiring wrestlers braved the heat Friday and Saturday at the Chieftain Camp of Champs in the Tonganoxie High multipurpose building.
Overall, 14 campers who ranged in age from 5 to 18 attended the camp. A total of 11 campers were between 5 and 12.
"The one thing I enjoy is the little kids because I teach them," said THS Jeremy Goebel, who is a physical education instructor at Tonganoxie Elementary School. "Hopefully more little kids will get exposed to the sport of wrestling."
The clinic attracted local wrestlers, but it also gained interest from beyond northeast Kansas. For instance, one wrestler came from Eureka, which is south of Emporia and roughly 140 miles from Tonganoxie.
For the younger wrestlers, the two-day clinic focused on fundamentals.
"We just went over the basics and did some various fun games that are wrestling-related to make it fun for the kids," Goebel said.
Games for the young wrestlers included dodge ball, sumo wrestling and a game in which two wrestlers lie down on the mat. When the coach says, "go," they wrestle.
"Certain activities like that helps them have fun, but work on the things we taught them," Goebel said.
As for the older wrestlers, Goebel had just three grapplers attend -- incoming freshmen Jeremy Elliott and Justin Crotty and Matt Brock, who will be a sophomore in the fall.
"I had pretty much a one-on-one ratio with Hunter helping out," said Goebel, referring to former Chieftain wrestler Hunter Samuels. "It wasn't intense by all means because I just wanted to show them some things that will give them some success in the high school season."
And Goebel hopes future clinic will be larger. Last weekend's camp marked the third year of the clinic under Goebel.
"Summer's a busy time for everyone, but this camp was pretty pre-planned," Goebel said. "I had hoped to get it to a camp that everyone wants to come to, especially the high school camp."