Serving the community since 1970

Wrestling camp teaches on the mat and off

The Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church will be holding its annual Summer Wrestling Camp next month, Monday-Friday, July 17-21. The camp is operated by Pastor Pat Coyle and a staff of volunteers that teach children basic techniques, such as takedowns and escapes, and also some exercises and workouts that will help develop their endurance and overall fitness.

Coyle is a former competitive wrestler, competing in high school and college, carrying that passion into his desire to teach and help the youth of Shafter and the surrounding area as they learn the sport of wrestling.

A unique feature of this camp is that it not only teaches the kids on the mat, but they also teach them off the mat. This year's theme is "First Move."

"First Move refers to people being directed to "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness." Coyle and volunteer staff help the wrestlers with their techniques on the mat, while letting them learn in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere, building their confidence and strengthening their knowledge of the sport while giving them a positive perspective.

"This camp helps them prepare for their respective competitive teams as they look to move forward in their wrestling experience," he explained.

The camp is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. each day, concludingwith a special exhibition event held on Friday evening at 7 p.m. This is a chance for the parents and friends to watch what the kids have learned throughout the week and to socialize with one another as they watch the matches over dessert.

The camp is for incoming kindergartners through sixth graders. The cost of the camp is $20l those interested can register online at


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