|
|
|
Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Demon wrestlers invade Colorado for premiere camp

  • In the continuing evolution of the Dodge City High School wrestling program, the Red Demons continued their never-ending onslaught of hard work and preparation in hopes that this season will be their time for contending for a State title.


    • email print
  • In the continuing evolution of the Dodge City High School wrestling program, the Red Demons continued their never-ending onslaught of hard work and preparation in hopes that this season will be their time for contending for a State title.
         Under the direction of head coach Lars Lueders, the Demons have appeared in force during the 6A State competition all four years and have received a top-10 finish during each of their appearances. The season which begins in the winter months, usually begins in the summer — there are no days off for this bunch.
         During the period of June 20-24, the Demon program crossed state lines to participate in the "longest running camp in America" as they traveled to Gunnison, Colo., and Western State College for the 2012 Rocky Mountain Wrestling Camp.
         Around 28 schools and 550 participants showed up for the five-day camp and it's because of sessions like these that the Demons have seen their success in recent years catapult past previous accomplishments of years past.
         "As always, it was a great experience for the kids," Lueders said. "Our number one goal for the kids was to become closer as a team. That goal was definitely achieved and we feel like our kids know each other a lot better and will be a closer family coming into next year."
         The group consisted of 24 wrestlers, which was split into two even teams of 12 for the dualing sessions. The first day was strictly technique workshops, as the participants learned from some of the best in Division II wrestling. Lueders, a former member of the Western State wrestling squad, is no stranger to the Gunnison environment.
         The final four days of the camp are set aside for duals between wrestlers, as they are pitted against some of the best from each state. Dodge City's teams finished 14th and 15th, respectively, in the large field, as wrestlers like Dane Edwards (15-1) took down State champions during the course of the competition.
         "Each kid got double digit matches in, so that's nearly a third of a season in four days of wrestling," Lueders said. "There was teams there from Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, just to name a few. All of the kids filled out a reflection paper at the end of the camp and it seems like they realize what kind of work it's going to take to be successful at this level. Hopefully they will stay motivated to put in the work in the offseason."
         Many of the wrestlers that went came back with successful records, as kids who aren't even at the high school level yet were beating juniors and seniors at the camp. Wrestlers like Clay Weil (13-3) and Howard Johnson (13-5) made a push to show how far the offseason wrestling workouts have come when developing Demon athletes.
    Page 2 of 2 -      Also, seasoned vets like Edwards, Jaquan Graves (17-3), and Santiago Garcia (9-6) continues to put in the work to make this upcoming season at Dodge City one of the best on record. For a wrestler like Graves, a performance like that in Gunnison can really jumpstart a wrestler's mentality and confidence once the season scoots closer.
         "It's kind of like last year, when we had kids coming out of nowhere and end up almost placing at State," Lueders said. "Jaquan Graves is a great example of that. He came out and wrestled really well and put out a great record. Also, a lot of younger kids wrestled very well. There's a lot of kids that really wrestled well and it has us excited for the future."
         Finally, in an effort to keep the ball rolling on the wrestling renovation project, Lueders said that the coaches are hosting free wrestling workouts on Tuesdays and Thursday beginning at 7 p.m. in the high school wrestling room. He offered up just one piece of advice for any kid looking to come out.
         "Be there by 7, don't be late," he said. "We'll work on technique for 45 minutes to an hour and then we leave. Anyone is welcome to come."
     

        calendar