Three of the biggest names in amateur wrestling are expected to provide expert instruction this summer when local enthusiast Greg Schroeder hosts the inaugural MidAmerican Academy of Wrestling Champions July 5-9 at Rend Lake Resort and Rend Lake College.
Providing world-class instruction at the camp for ages 8-18 will be 2000 United States Olympic Gold Medalist, National Champion at 167.5 pounds and Outstanding Freestyle Wrestler Brandon Slay, along with two high-ranking USA Wrestling officials, Development Coach Dave Bennett and Development Director Larry Nugent.
Camp applications have been distributed to wrestling coaches and programs throughout the Midwest, according to Schroeder, a resident of Mt. Vernon. The registration deadline is June 5.
The organizer is encouraging anyone who strives to be the best he can be to "join us for the country’s newest, premier instructional wrestling camps. Learn from those responsible at USA Wrestling for building our future Olympians and champions.
"Take advantage of the opportunity to spend time with a wrestler who has conquered the world both on and off the mat. Let Brandon Slay help you develop the skills necessary to become an all-around champion."
A typical day will begin with breakfast from 7-8 a.m. and activities until 9:30 p.m.
Three camp sessions daily will focus on drills and techniques that can take a participant’s wrestling abilities to the next level. Work will include set-ups, take-downs, mat skills and pin holds. Instruction also will be provided on such related subjects a nutrition, strength training, flexibility, conditioning and many other important topics.
"Emphasis throughout the week," Schroeder reiterated, "day and night, will be given to learning how to train, wrestle and live like a champion!" Each evening, one of the instructors will share his unique perspectives with coaches and/or campers on pertinent subjects designed to help participants succeed.
Former University of Pennsylvania grappler Slay qualified for the NCAA Tournament all four years from 1994-98, twice earning All-America status while placing second in his class. Slay also was Pacific World Games Champion in 1995 and was a two-time University National Champion.
Nugent advanced to the Olympic Trials finals on two occasions in Greco-Roman and Freestyle. He served as Assistant Coach at Brigham Young University and as Head Coach for Pacific University before becoming USA Wrestling Assistant to the Executive Director from 1998-2000.
Other camp activities available will include boating, fishing, swimming, batting cages, weight room, volleyball and softball.
Coaches who bring groups with seven or more wrestlers may attend free. Costs range from $290 for local Commuter Campers and those qualifying for a team/group rate and $350 for Resident (overnight) Campers. Coaches accompanied by fewer than seven wrestlers will pay $200.