Coaches host Gering wrestling camp alongside former Division I All-American wrestler Bunch
     2011-06-23      By Gering Citizen   
Summers are a good opportunity for athletes to get into shape, work on weaknesses and power their strengths for their upcoming season. Fortunately, we have coaches who take time from their schedule and run camps whether it’d be basketball, soccer, football, wrestling, etc.

After many years of absence Frank Ybarra and Randy Hughes decided this would be a good year to start wrestling camps at Gering. Previously, Ybarra mentioned he could not remember the last time there was a wrestling camp in Gering.

Starting a camp would not be all Coach Ybarra and Coach Hughes sought to do. With the camp, both coaches came up with the idea of bringing in an experienced and accomplished wrestler that could teach the kids some of his moves and give the campers advice whether it had to do with wrestling or life.

Shawn Bunch is a 2011 United States World Team Member. He is also a former two time Division I All-American, four time EWL Champion and two time US National Champion. And that is only to name a few of his accomplishments on a list that keeps going.

This year Gering’s wrestling camp had 78 participants and it was a great turnout for what can be considered the first wrestling of many to come.

“The camp turned out great. Everything Bunch taught was stuff the kids needed to work on. They are moves that work for him, and it was cool for the kids to work on stuff that actually works,” said Coach Ybarra.

Several mats were placed down around the Bulldogs gym floor, and the campers continuously worked on their moves with campers of same skill level or age.

After a certain amount of time, the campers would reunite in the middle of the gym. When Bunch was ready to speak and show his next move, the campers immediately got quiet to show the accomplished wrestler respect.

Then again, with the knowledge Bunch holds who wouldn’t zip their mouth and open their ears!
Bunch has attended camps before, so experience in working with kids was second nature to him.
“It’s been a good experience so far. I’ve been having a great time helping these kids out and learning. Hopefully they take something out of it,” said Bunch. “When I was younger I had a guy like myself come in and it helped me out along with the rest of us. So hopefully I can help some of these kids out.”

The camp began on Monday June 13, and continued until Wednesday June 15. On that first day of camp Coach Ybarra and Coach Hughes had a questions and answers session between the campers and Bunch, where the campers received an opportunity to learn more about where Bunch wrestled, some of his accomplishments, how he got there, what he had to do to get there and any questions the campers were curious to ask Bunch.

Along with respect, the young campers showed a comfort in Bunch showing that they were able to simply go up to him and chat with him for a little. The youngest campers tried to climb on top of Bunch hoping they can bring the champ down.

For Bunch, what he hopes the campers will learn besides his wrestling moves is, “for them to have fun and get something out of it and learn. If anything to learn something about life and help them learn from some of my experiences.”

With the great turnout and as successful as the camp was, Coach Ybarra and Coach Hughes look to continue putting on camps for wrestlers. Not only that, they hope to keep the trend of bringing in accomplished and well known athletes in the wrestling world.

“I am hoping to put on a camp every year for as long as possible. Bunch said he could come back but it depends on his schedule during that summer. If not we’re hoping to get high profile wrestlers, some that the kids will know,” said Coach Ybarra. It’s neat for the kids to see the accomplishments of other wrestlers. It gives them a motivation to pursue the sport, knowing that if it’s out there they can do it.”

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