After five days of sparring, drilling and learning with some of the state’s most talented wrestlers, Patterson High junior Dylan Christiansen, senior Brad Gill, sophomore Keith Gordon, junior Zeke Miranda and sophomore Ethan Schut returned home from camp in Orange on July 18.
The five Tigers and their assistant coach George Miranda, a 2010 Patterson High graduate and a former Sac-Joaquin Section Division V champion at the 171-pound weight class, traveled to Fullerton Wrestling Camp, for the event, which was hosted by Chapman University.
More than an opportunity to learn wrestling techniques, the trip was a chance for the local athletes to bond as teammates.
“Our goals for wrestling are actually ongoing and not limited to just summer,” Christiansen said. “Our goals simply are to improve as wrestlers by becoming faster, stronger and more skilled on the mat.”
Temecula Valley High co-head wrestling coaches Arnold Alpert and Lyndon Campbell were camp directors, and received assistance from several of the sport’s decorated athletes, including former two-time NCAA champion Logan Stieber; two-time All-Americans Derek St. John and Kendric Maple, and three-time California state titlist Paul Keysaw. “We want to help kids understand the sport, and have them carry the hard work ethic wrestling develops into real-life situations,” Alpert said. “That is something we both strongly believe in.”
The camp is designed to increase knowledge in all areas of wrestling, including throwing, leg attacks, mat wrestling and pinning combinations, Alpert said. Weight training and running techniques also were included.
Summer is about as off-season as one can get for wrestlers, but Alpert said keeping kids thinking about the sport can only be a benefit once practices begin in late fall and winter.
“Like any other sport, the more time you can devote to it in-season, out-of-season, postseason or preseason, it all just moves you along and makes you a better wrestler in a shorter amount of time,” he said.
Each day was divided into four sessions. The wrestlers would begin the morning with a run, then they would receive instructions and demonstrations on standing techniques and take-down moves; leg attack set-ups and finishes; bottom position escapes and scoring; top position rides; and breakdowns and turns.
During the afternoon and evening sessions, the participants would compete in team duals.
Like most athletes, Christiansen has days when he’d rather be lounging than working out. But the motivation of making next season better than the last keeps the grappler going through the tough workouts.
“If you only wrestle and practice during the regular season, but do nothing in the off-season, you can easily lose touch with the sport,” Christiansen said. “That is one of the reasons why I dedicate myself to wrestling year-round.”
The boys are hopeful that their recent venture to the camp — and the experiences gained there — will have a trickle-down effect, helping the rest of the team in its effort to win a Western Athletic Conference title.
“I would strongly recommend this camp to any wrestler who is looking to improve his or her performance in the sport,” Christiansen said. “The fact that the camp uses only top-notch instructors assures that we receive the best training available.”
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.