Wrestling Camp Draws 20 Athletes

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A pair of soft-soled shoes, shoes, T-shirt, gym shorts and a good attitude was all aspiring wrestlers needed to participate in a fall break grappling camp hosted by Payson High School coach Dave LaMotte.

About 20 youngsters, in grades three through eight, participated in the clinic, held each morning Oct. 2 to 6 in Wilson Dome.

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Coach Dave LaMotte gives instruction to a camper enrolled in the recently completed Longhorn wrestling camp. LaMotte plans to host the camps during fall, winter and spring breaks.

LaMotte's goal is eventually to attract 50 to 60 youngsters to the clinics, which he will host, free of charge, during fall, winter and spring breaks.

LaMotte called the clinics "a fantastic opportunity to learn the sport and become a part of the tradition of excellence in the Payson wrestling program."

Some of the Longhorns finest wrestlers began their careers at the camps that were originally begun by PHS coaching legend and former national high school coach of the year Dennis Pirch.

Among the past greats who used what the learned at the camps as springboards to success and college scholarships include R.C. LaHaye, Nate Lee, Zach Lee, Tyler Goodman, Larry Wilbanks, Christopher Pirch, Jeff LaMotte and Dave LaMotte.

Campers who show a keen interest in the sport are eligible to participate on the Payson Wrestling Club, which competes in off-season USA Wrestling tournaments around the country.

Of course, the grapplers also can become members of the highly successful Longhorn wrestling team that has been a state championship contender since the 1970s.

At the conclusion of the fall camp, LaMotte said the sessions were a complete success and his goals of building interest in the sport, having fun and learning the fundamentals were all accomplished.

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