Future All-Stars Train At Summer Wrestling Camp


If promising young wrestlers are to succeed on the USA Wrestling circuit, they must condition and train more intensely than any opponent they might face.

That's the advice straight from the mouths of the highly acclaimed Payson High coaching staff, who spend much of their summer months tutoring the young matmen.

Among those athletes who chose to heed the prodding of the local coaches by enrolling in a Payson camp held last week in Wilson Dome, were 60 teenagers from around the state.

Longtime PHS wrestling coach Dennis Pirch a former national Coach of the Year said the intensive curriculum of the Payson Regional Training Camp was designed to prepare the campers for the rigors of USA Cadet (15-16 years) Western Championships and Junior (17-18 years) Nationals later this month. The Cadet tournament will be held in Pocatello, Idaho and the Junior event in Fargo, N.D.

In practicing for the competition, the Payson campers worked on perfecting their techniques, motivation, confidence building and attaining topnotch physical condition.

Pirch said most of the goals were achieved during the sessions.

Hosting the camp along with Pirch were Tempe Marcos de Niza coach and former Arizona State University All-American Joe Romero.

Also on the staff were Tucson Flowing Wells coach Pat Weber and Longhorn coaches Doug Eckhardt and Dave LaMotte.

Several collegiate stars participated to lend their considerable expertise. They included Jeff LaMotte (West Liberty State in West Virginia), Ronnie Stafford (University of Northern Colorado) and Chris Pirch (Cornell University).

Both Jeff LaMotte and Chris Pirch are former Payson High School stars.

Four of the Rim country wrestlers who trained at the camp will be testing their newly learned skills in the upcoming USA tournaments.

Zack Lee (132 pounds), Brett Williams (152) and Luke Schmidt (183) will travel to Idaho for the Cadet regional tournament.

R.C. LaHaye, a two-time defending state high school champion from PHS, is entered in the national competition in North Dakota. For LaHaye, who will be a senior at PHS next year, the tournament could turn into a showcase for his wrestling skills.

The youngster is hoping to earn a major college wrestling scholarship next year and the prestigious tournament might be just the opportunity he's looking for to prove he's capable of wrestling at that level.

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