Among the goals Casey Woodall identified when he took over as head Payson High School wrestling coach two years ago was rebuilding the program from the ground up.
A man of his word, Woodall is rebuilding the program through ambitious off-season offerings that include sponsoring a USA Wrestling club team and hosting the Lil’ Longhorn Wrestling Camp for aspiring grapplers in third- to eighth-grades.
The next edition of the camp will be held 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Feb. 28, 29, March 1, 6, 7 and 8 in the Wilson Dome wrestling room on the PHS campus.
Registration is $25 per camper.
Among the main attractions of the camp is that wrestling hopefuls will be tutored by most all of the varsity team members including state champion Jacob Spear.
Assistant coaches Zach Lee, Rocky Berry and Dave LaMotte will also help oversee camp activities.
“We will mostly teach the basics of wrestling like stance, preparation steps, a few set-ups and shots and the basics on mat of stand-ups and Half Nelsons,” Woodall said.
The Half Nelson is considered to be the easiest, but most effective move in prep wrestling. It is done using only one hand, passing it under the arm of the opponent and locking the hand at the opponent’s neck.
While teaching the nuances of wrestling is a camp objective, Woodall would also like to use the sessions to build interest in the sport.
“Our goal is to introduce new kids to the sport, get them to fall in love with wrestling and hopefully introduce parents who are new to the sport to the values that wrestling can teach,” said Woodall. “I feel no other sport teaches discipline, work ethic and individual accountability to the degree that wrestling does.
“In our society these days you see those values less and less, so that is what I think our sport can offer.”
The coaching staff also hopes the camp builds interest in participating on the USA Wrestling club team, which begins in early March. There is no fee to compete on the club team. To register for the camp, log on to: www.paysonrimcountry.com/ParksRec.aspx.