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NCAA champion provides training for local wrestlers

  • Friday, June 27, 2014

Roger Lee/Journal Scene Campers Austyn Grady and Jaylee Crabtree double team camp instructor Tony Davis.

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The Summerville Wrestling Camp has turned into a valuable tool for the Green Wave wrestling program.

Summerville High School has hosted a summer wrestling camp for approximately 20 years. This week, it hosted a large group of wrestlers ranging from preschoolers to rising high school seniors.

“I’ve just kept rolling with what Coach (Steve) LaPrad and coach (Kenny) Walker put in place,” Green Wave wrestling coach Darryl Tucker said.

Guest clinicians are brought in to work with Green Wave wrestlers but since they also work with younger campers the annual event helps generate interest in athletes who represent the future for the SHS wrestling team. This summer, Tucker brought back two-time All-American Tony Davis to help with the camp. Davis, a former NCAA National Champion for the University of Northern Iowa and current assistant coach at N.C. State University, has now served as the featured clinician for the camp three times.

“He’s a great instructor who can reach the young kids as well as the kids who have wrestled for a while,” Tucker said. “He knows so much about technique that we haven’t seen it all yet because there is only so much you can squeeze into a three-day camp. He is directly responsible for a few of our kids winning a state championship.”

Tucker says he has taken lessons Davis taught during camp and worked them into Green Wave practices.

“Tony is a guy who you want to just soak up everything he has to offer so you can pass it along to wrestlers who have a similar athletic style to his,” he said.

Davis is the founder of the Shoot Fast/Shoot First Academy so campers worked extensively on their takedown maneuvers.

“The statistics are staggering,” Tucker said. “The person who gets the first take down, I think it is 75 to 85 percent of the time, they win the match.”

However, the camp isn’t too intense. Former Green Wave wrestlers and Summerville Takedown Club coaches work with campers on agility drills and footwork and also arrange games and live wrestling.

“We mix it up and let them wrestle guys in a different weight class and things like that,” Tucker said. “With the younger ones we don’t show them extensive moves. With them it’s about showing them how to have a good stance, good balance, lowering their level and changing their level so they will be in position to take a good shot.”

Campers were also treated to sparring matches between the 38-year-old Davis and current collegiate grapplers such as The Citadel’s Aaron Hansen and Coker College’s Gavin Perkins.

“Tony is still very slick and he trains all the time,” Tucker said. “In addition to his camps he works out with guys and gives them personal instruction so he is still in good shape. It was good to see guys come back and mix it up with someone who has credentials and has been on that national stage. That can help Aaron and Gavin gauge where they are in their career.”

For information on next summer’s camp, go to www.greenwavewrestling or contact Tucker at dtucker@dorchester2.k12.sc.us.

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