The turnout at the Payson Wrestling Camp wasn't an overflow crowd. But those who took advantage of the opportunity learned from one of the state's best father-and-son coaching teams.
Longhorn head coach Dave LaMotte joined forces with his son, Jeff, now a middle school/junior high coach in Queen Creek, to spearhead the annual Payson camp, held June 25 to 29 in Wilson Dome.
During the weekday sessions, held from 9 to 10:30 a.m., the dozen aspiring wrestlers who attended were taught the basic skills.
"We covered takedowns, stance, position, motion and the mat techniques of top and bottom wrestling," Dave LaMotte said.
Although Jeff LaMotte now teaches and coaches in the Valley, he is no stranger in the Rim Country.
A 1998 graduate of PHS, Jeff led the Longhorns to the Class 3A state championship his senior season, by winning his weight class.
He was later named an Arizona Coaches Association All-Star and an academic All-American.
After graduating from PHS, he wrestled on the junior college level for one season before transferring to West Liberty State in West Virginia -- his father's alma mater.
In 2001, he won NCAA Division II All-American honors in the 165-pound class, by virtue of a top-eight finish at the national championships.
Dave LaMotte said it was a treat for him to be able to coach the Payson wrestling clinic alongside his son.
The local clinic was held free of charge, as a part of the Longhorn wrestling program and was open to those entering grades four through eight.
LaMotte said more free clinics would be held in the near future.