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LaGrange hosting wrestling camp

By Kevin Eckleberry

kevin.eckleberry@lagrangenews.com

LAGRANGE – Sometimes, it’s good to hear a different voice.

For LaGrange wrestling coach Scooter Weathers, that’s one of the most positive aspects of a camp he’s hosting this week at Unity Elementary School, where the team trains during the season.

The camp gives his wrestlers an opportunity to learn the sport from coaches from other schools, to hear things presented in a different way.

Weathers said it gives his men a chance to “get technique from different coaches,” and he said the instructors focus on aspects of the sport that aren’t specific to wrestlers of an advanced skill level.

“They bring stuff that high-school kids can use,” Weathers said. “When they’ve gone to other camps, we see stuff that the average high-school wrestler can’t do. Maybe somebody like an Archie Dudley or a Rick Spivey can do it, or a Tony Palmer who’s an above-average wrestler. This is stuff that we use.”

Among the instructors this week are Haralson County coach Nick White, Northgate coach Adrian Anderson, Callaway coach Jason Boatman, as well as former LaGrange wrestler Isaac Figueroa, who is a professional mixed-martial arts fighter.

Weathers said a year ago, one of his wrestlers picked up a pointer from White that helped him last season.

“Nick taught something last summer at the camp that John Todd Bohn used,” Weathers said. “He wrestled his best kid, and John pinned him twice at the Hardaway tournament using something that Nick taught here at the camp. So, it’s stuff that he teaches that works.”

Wrestlers from a number of different schools are participating, including Callaway and LaGrange.

It’s part of a busy month for both teams as they prepare for a season that begins in November.

“We don’t try to re-invent the wheel,” Weathers said. “We drill, get better, and have a great June. We’ll do a few things in July when they want to, but let them be kids, too.”

Callaway began its summer workouts last week, and most of the team’s wrestlers are at the camp this week.

“We’ve got a good number here today,” Boatman said during a break in the action on Monday. “We’ve got a couple of middle-schoolers, so that’s good.”

Boatman is taking over as Callaway’s head coach from Josh Ghobadpoor, who has left to become the coach at Gilmer County.

“Last week was our first week getting on the mat,” Boatman said. “We’ve been lifting for a couple of weeks. Last week our numbers were consistent throughout the week. Overall, I’ve been very pleased with the turnout so far.”

Today’s instructor will be Anderson, who has built a successful program at Northgate, and he coached one of the state’s most successful wrestlers in recent history.

“He’s coached Tyler Askey, an All-American and a four-time state champion,” Weathers said. “He never lost a (high-school) match.”

White will be the lead instructor on Wednesday, and Boatman and Figueroa will take charge on Thursday.

White has been a fixture at the camp for a decade.

“Coach White, he’s a great teacher,” Boatman said. “All that experience, it just shows, all that knowledge. And they know how to relay that message to the real world.”

The wrestlers will be working for close to 24 hours this week, and Boatman said there’s no substitute for that time on the mat.

“They can put it a certain way, and it sinks in,” Boatman said. “Everybody’s different, and certain things click. A lot of it is just the reps. Wrestling is so much muscle memory. This whole month, it’s so important to get reps. You can take what you learned this week and apply it.”