New Payson High School wrestling coach Dave LaMotte is wasting no time in putting his mark on the Longhorn program.
On his summer agenda are a series of summer wrestling camps, clinics and an old-fashioned barbecue.
Grappling for grub
First up is the hamburger fry set for 6 p.m. May 7 in the big ramada at Rumsey Park.
The meal and social hour will give parents, fans and athletes the opportunity to meet with the new coach and discuss the program.
"Find out what the future has in store and about all the great opportunities available this summer," LaMotte said.
Assistant coaches Don Heizer and Doug Eckhardt will also be on hand. Both are veteran coaches who worked hand in hand with former coach Dennis Pirch before his retirement earlier this spring.
"We're certainly glad both those guys (Heizer and Eckhardt) are coming back (to coach)," LaMotte said. "They're quality people."
LaMotte is asking those who plan to attend to register by calling 472-9777 or 472-5727 to ensure there is plenty of food available for everyone.
Next on the summer scheduled is a summer wrestling camp May 29, 30 and 31 in the Wilson Dome wrestling room. Sessions are from 9 a.m. until noon each day. The camp is open to youngsters ages 7 and older.
The fee is $25 per camper or $35 for a family.
LaMotte and Eckhardt will run the camp, teaching the campers folkstyle (high school) essentials skills.
Joe Romero, a former NCAA All-American, will coach freestyle wrestling skills. Sunkist Kids standout Jeff Funicello is scheduled to teach Greco-Roman techniques.
Also on LaMotte's agenda is USA Wrestling practice sessions from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the summer in Wilson Dome.
June 2, LaMotte and his staff are set to host the Grand Canyon State Games in Wilson Dome. The Longhorn wrestling club will pay the expenses of all Rim athletes who participate.
A training camp for athletes advancing to the AAU National Championships will be held June 27 to June 29 and July 2 to July 4. Times of the sessions will be announced.
The Nationals will be held July 5 to July 7 in Albuquerque.
The wrestling club pays the expense of all locals who participate. For the program to continue to be one of the country's best, LaMotte said, it's important that all wrestlers and their parents become involved in the off-season training program.