Excel Wrestling Camps06 Jul 2016
By Melanie Johnson - ICW staff
Looking for some great competition, a beautiful location which happens to be in Estes Park, Colorado and some top notch instruction in wrestling technique, Steve Knight's Excel Wrestling Camp is a great place to find all that and more. Last Wednesday, I got to spend a little time with Coach Knight and approx. 125 wrestlers from 7 different states. With 13 teams in attendance, high school ages, there was no lack of competition for the day as all teams competed in the team dual portion of the camp on Wed. A week already filled with white water rafting, technique clinics with Coach Steve Knight and Coach Brandon Slay, these wrestlers were ready to hit the mat. Dickinson North Dakota returning to this camp for their 4th year in a row, brought 18 wrestlers, 2 teams, which included 4 state placers. When asked " What draw's you to keep returning to this camp each year", both Coach Dobitz and Coach Irwin had the same answer. The competition is great, the technique is solid and you can't find a more relaxed environment to create a team bonding experience. Coach Irwin stated " By the time we leave here we are definitely a family". 145 pounder Chase Thompson from Pleasantville Missouri has been to several camps in the past. He was in a pretty good mood when he and I chatted , especially since his team walked away with the championship at the end of the duals. Thompson has every intention of returning next year to Excel National Team Camp. His insight " One of the most laid back and organized camps he has ever been to ". Coach Pete Gomez from Hemingford, Nebraska brought 9 wrestlers this year. He said you just can't beat the atmosphere, the amount of matches the wrestlers get and the quality of instruction. Kade Kelso from Southern Iowa wrestled for Coach Knight since his freshman year. He was there with an injury but was able to help coach his team of 9 wrestlers and fill in as a ref during the tournament portion of the camp. He loves Coach Knight's camps and feels Coach Knight is a huge part of his wrestling success. Wednesday afternoon involved a technique clinic with Ohio State Head Coach Tom Ryan. Coach Ryan has had great success with the Buckeyes and coached some top name wrestlers along the way. Logan Stieber, Nathan Tomasello and most recently added to that list is Kyle Snyder. A golden opportunity for any wrestler who attended this camp and were able to learn from such an outstanding coach as Coach Ryan. Coach Matt Engelking , Longmont High School, Colorado brought 6 wrestlers. Not having to travel far was a bonus for Coach Engelking and his team. He was really happy with the amount of live wrestling and the solid technique that was being taught. Wednesday evening concluded with an amazing opportunity for the wrestlers and coaches to receive a different message about " Honor and Courage". Salvatore Guinta, attended the camp. A former U.S. Army soldier and the first living person since the Vietnam War, to receive the highest U.S. Military decoration for Valor. The "Medal of Honor", . He showed a video receiving his medal and talked with everyone about his experiences. Coach Knight can be quoted as saying " It was a very powerful experience and message". Thursday the final day of camp included an individual tournament with trophies being handed out at the end and a feeling of bonding that left many wrestlers and coaches already looking forward to next year. Please keep up with Insidecoloradowrestling as we will pass along next summers dates for Coach Knight's Excel Wrestling camps as soon as they become available. Definitely a camp you won't want to miss. Teams attending were Fort Collins, Estes Park, Longmont, Lyons (Colorado teams) , Dickinson North Dakota, Las Cruces, New Mexico , Concordia, Kansas, Central Decatur, Iowa, Pleasantville, Missouri, Western Nebraska and West Monona ,Iowa
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