By Jeremy McDonald
OREGON CITY, Ore.– Working on their technique on the mats, we’re kids aging from elementary school kids to high school athletes, boys and girls, were practicing their sport at the Clackamas Community College Wrestling Camp.
Ran by Head Coach Josh Rhoden, with the help of some of his wrestlers and some fantastic guest speakers; Rhoden hope to provide the kids in attendance an opportunity of an lifetime.
“it’s been awesome for us because, like I finish today saying, just getting to have the opportunity to reach so many kids at so many levels in wrestling and age groups, it’s invaluable really,” said Rhoden. “I remember growing up and going to camp and having great experiences.
“We want to provide an awesome experience for kids who are the best kids in the state or the kids who are just starting off in wrestling this week at this week and I think we do a really good job at that.”
The camp helped athletes to work on their craft of wrestling, learn new tools and techniques or teach the sport to those new to the sport of wrestling.
As the camp was coming to a close on Wednesday; wrestlers worked on their live wrestling, it’s all in the hopes that it’ll pay off come the winter.
“I think I’ve improved a lot,” said soon-to-be North Marion Senior Lane Stigall. “ I saw a lot of different techniques from a lot of different wrestlers, coaches and everyone. Just adds a different angle to techniques and it just helps to get in that extra time in the summer where a lot of people are sitting at home or going to the river.”
In terms of guest speakers, they’ve had guest speakers like Troy Steiner, Austin Morehead and Tarrence Williams to name a few that spoke to the campers.
But to end the camp, was an unique guest speaker. Former Clackamas Community College Wrestler and motivational speaker Rich Jensen, who’s journey and story was featured on ESPN’s Outside The Line a few years ago and he shared that journey with the kids at the CCC Wrestling Camp.
For Jensen, who still wrestling well into his fourties, enjoys seeing the newer generations of wrestlers continuing the sport that he loves so much.
“I love it because the thing is what the sport has done not just for myself, but I’ve witnessed what it does to other kids and their lives, it could be the most important recipe for these kids,” said Jensen. The thing about wrestling is, it’s about live. These kids learn so much more than winning a match.
“They learn so much more and they’ll carry these lessons and these experiences onto their lives. They’re going to be challenged, it’s more than just getting your hand raised, it’s so much bigger. Kids may not recognize it yet, but they will as they grow and they’ll mature and they’ll tape into those things that they learned and they’ll use it in their everyday life.”
From the kids all the way up to Rhoden’s athlete’s who helped out with the camp, they’re taking what people like Jensen are sharing and will incorporate it with they’re wrestling careers.
“With the guest speakers, a lot of them have done things that I’m trying to do, (they’ve) been to the places I want to go so everything they say I’m taking it like a sponge, I’m soaking it all up,” said CCC Cougars Haszell “Bam” West. “Taking it all in because I want to do some of the things that they’ve done.
“Any knowledge that they have passed down to me, any advice they have to give, I’m taking it all.”