The wrestling team has been hard at work this summer in preparation for the season.  Immediately after school let out for the summer, 12 of the wrestling team’s finest traveled to Oak Hills High School in Hesperia for the Ken Chertow Gold Medal Training Camp, June 22-26.  Chertow, a 1988 Olympian, has been running camps for 25 years, and is the best at what he does.  In addition to Chertow himself being at the camp and leading sessions, 4x NCAA all-american Mike Mena from University of Iowa was there to lend his expertise as well, as well as several wrestlers from Cal. St. Bakersfield and Edinboro U. of Pensylvania.  The wrestlers definitely got their money’s worth: they participated in two technique sessions per day, with a third session of hard, live wrestling and drilling in between.  That’s over six hours of wrestling a day for five days.   The camp pushed them hard…well: that’s kinda why we went! Every one of the participants came back a better wrestler, and with a better perspective of what it takes to be good in this sport.

Capo wrestlers posing with a very sweaty Ken Chertow (blue shirt, middle) after one of the live sessions…hey, the guy works hard!

The only question that remains is: will they take what they’ve learned and apply it?  Time will tell.  To be honest, it appears as if a select few are listening, but for most, it remains to be seen.

After a few days off, the team jumped right back into training in July with the Capo wrestling camp.  Twice a week the wrestlers lifted, learned new technique, drilled old technique, and wrestled in the annual summer league scrimmages.  The lifting they did was a continuation of a program the team started in late spring, the new technique was all over the place, and the old technique they drilled came from the Chertow camp and from Capo’s own system.  This last week, guest clinicians from Cal Baptist University have stopped by to share their expertise with the guys.  Summer league culminated in the summer league finals tournament at El Dorado HS.  Jose Sarabia placed second in JV, while newcomer Noah Husband showed promise for the future, placing fourth at Novice.

Speaking of newcomers, the Capo camp has featured a crop of very eager incoming 9th graders, more than double the usual amount.  This is encouraging.  Hopefully these guys will continue to train hard and the promise will become more than merely “promise.”

The team gets a break in August, before coming back in September to hit it hard again.

Coach’s recommendation: if you have wrestled over 40 off season matches, and have participated in at least two summer camps, take August off.  Lift, perhaps.  Don’t be a couch potato and stay active–go hiking, walk the beach, be active in the great outdoors, and skip tv and video games.  Relax.  Be honest, here: this is for those who have worked very hard CONSISTENTLY.  If you have only worked hard in spurts, If you have not done that amount of off season work, it might be a good idea to go to another camp in August or go to club wrestling practices more.  Wrestling is a year-round sport: in order to be good at it, one must train more…a LOT more, and consistently…than what is thought to be “enough.”

If you are new to the team and want to get a jump on the season, there are a few clubs in the area that can give you quality instruction.  They are at a range of pricing, but all are a worthy investment.  In either case (veteran wanting summer camp info, newbie wanting club info), contact coach if you are interested.

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