Club Sports News

Two summer camps designed to develop champions on mat

April 17, 2013  |  Lynchburg, Va. 

Middle- and high school-aged wrestlers spar during last summer's second camp session.

Liberty University's sixth annual summer Wrestling Camps will cover all the bases in equipping young wrestlers to achieve their goals in the sport and handle challenges in life.

"There will be physical training, with instruction and a competitive camp tournament," Flames head coach Jesse Castro said, noting the camps also will include seminars on weight cutting, weight lifting, and mental conditioning. "They will address the spiritual aspect, too, with a testimony from one of our athletes in the afternoon and a Bible study every evening."

The in-camp tournaments, held on the last day, will give participants an opportunity to apply what they have learned in a competitive format.

"We will break them up into teams and they will have a series of dual meet tournaments, getting the team aspect of tournament competition," Castro said.

Besides Castro, instruction will be provided by Messiah College head coach Bryan Brunk and Heritage High School head coach Allen Hackmann, with assistance from eight to 12 current or past Flames wrestlers and Jefferson Forest High School assistant coach Randy Horning.

"The camps are open to any level, but for the guys that are a little more advanced, we use our college kids quite a bit to train with them," Castro said.

Held in the the Wiseman Wrestling Room, located at the south end of Williams Stadium, the camps run in week-long sessions from June 17-21 (for elementary school students ages 6-12) and July 14-18 (for middle and high school wrestlers ages 12-18).

The first session will be a day camp starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 3 p.m. each day except Friday, which will conclude at noon.

"We get a pretty diverse, wide range of experience levels in the elementary camp so we try to mix it up more in activities," Castro said. "We'll get them swimming and doing other games, as well as teaching them the fundamentals of wrestling."

The July camp is for overnight campers and will start on Sunday and run through Thursday.

Castro said participants in the middle and high school camp have gone on to wrestle for Liberty.  

"We do get potential recruits," he said. "This is more developmental, not just designed for recruiting. But it inadvertently becomes a recruiting tool."

Cost is $250 for the first camp and $375 for the second, with discounts available for those registering by May 31, siblings, and groups of 10 or more.

To sign up, contact Castro at (434) 582-7463 or

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