Young Wrestlers To Showcase Skills

Little Longhorn tourney takes place Saturday in Wilson Dome

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About 40 aspiring wrestlers turned out for the Little Longhorn wrestling camp held over a three-week period in Wilson Dome. The campers have been separated into teams and will compete tomorrow, March 7, in a tournament.

Aspiring wrestlers who recently attended Payson High School’s Little Longhorn camp will have the opportunity to showcase their new skills in a tournament to be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. tomorrow, March 7, in Wilson Dome.

“It ought to be a lot of fun for them,” said PHS assistant coach Joe Harris.

About 40 campers, in grades three through eight, are expected to participate in the mat fray.

For the tournament, the young grapplers have been assigned to teams coached by PHS varsity wrestlers.

The coaches are Nick Goodman, Ben Lee, Garrett McNeeley, Joe Spear and Jake Spear.

The wrestling camp, which was held three days a week for the last three weeks, focused on teaching campers the fundamentals of the sport including basic body positions, moves, pinning combinations, takedowns, strategy and sportsmanship.

Also on the youth wrestling scene, Harris and head coach Travis Kopenhafer will host “open mat” sessions from 4 to 6 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday during the school district’s spring break, March 9 to 20.

The sessions are free of charge to athletes from third-grade through high school.

The youth camp, tournament and open mat sessions are some of the activities Kopenhafer said were need to bolster the sagging PHS wrestling program that was once one of the finest in small-town America.

After being hired last fall, he said “feeder programs and camps are one of the keys to success … we must get (young wrestlers) interested and involved.”

For information, call Harris at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.

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