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By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Camp gives wrestlers a solid foundation


Last updated 7/25/2022 at 5:11pm | View PDF

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

The campers learned basic takedown techniques.

The Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church held their annual Summer Wrestling Camp this week, teaching campers how to build a solid foundation, on the mat and off.

Pastor Pat Coyle, a former competitive wrestler, led the kids in a variety of drills, exercises and practice sessions, giving them the knowledge of basic techniques wrapped in encouraging words.

The theme for this year's camp was "Solid as Stone," referring to God's counsel in Isaiah 28:16, [BEGIN ITAL]"See, I lay a foundation stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken."[END ITAL]

According to Pastor Coyle, this verse also serves as a template for the wrestlers to make sure they have a "solid" stance, one in which they cannot be shaken off of their feet.

The camp saw 30 wrestlers in attendance this year, with a variety of level abilities. "We have some kids that have been involved in wrestling clubs, and we also have some kids who have never wrestled before," Coyle said.

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Wrestlers sprint as part of their workout.

The week began with teaching of the basic stances, takedown techniques and defensive moves. Coyle had a dedicated group of volunteers to teach the kids, including former wrestlers, high school wrestlers and other volunteers taking care of refreshments and logistics for the camp.

An exhibition will be held on Friday evening for parents, friends and the community who would like to see what the kids have learned.

The camp also gives the wrestlers information and encouragement that they can take with them wherever they go. "We give the kids encouragement to use the basic techniques that we display during the week and weave them into their everyday lives," Coyle said. "The work ethic necessary to improve, as well as the positivity that is expressed as they learn and grow."

The public is invited to the exhibition at the church's Fellowship Center, 400 Kern St., beginning at 7 p.m.


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