Audio Interview: Steve Farrell
A who's who of college wrestling greats - a collection of NCAA champions, All-Americans and even a recipient of the Hodge Trophy as the sport's top competitor - will hit the mats in Goose Lake, Iowa, over four days next month to help develop future stars.
The Iron Sharpens Iron team camp is the brainchild of Northeast High School coach Steve Farrell, who has attracted a collection of clinicians from across the country to assist in a camp that already has registered high school teams from five Midwestern states.
"We had close to 200 kids at our first camp and this year, we are anticipating between 300 and 400 participants. We'll be using two gyms to give everyone plenty of space to work,'' Farrell said.
After taking his own high school team to team camps that charged as much as $500 for kids to participate, Farrell wanted to design a more affordable option.
His camp charges $60 per individual and Farrell found plenty of coaches willing to participate at the camp, which runs June 18-21 in the Clinton County community.
Technicians include four two-time national champions from Iowa, 1998 Hodge Trophy winner Mark Ironside, Mark Perry, T.J. Williams and Chuck Yagla.
Former national champions Jon Reader of Iowa State, Steve Marianetti of Illinois, Ryan Phillips and Ryan Birt of Upper Iowa, Nick Ackerman of Simpson and Jim Miller, the head coach of 10-time national NCAA Division III champion Wartburg College, also will provide expertise to both athletes and coaches in attendance.
Farrell didn't find it difficult to secure top-level instructors.
"I simply reached out to them and asked," Farrell said. "This is a camp where we are trying to raise funds for our program at Northeast, but it's not a camp where I or my coaches are trying to make money off of. It's a pretty grassroots situation and a chance for wrestlers and coaches to learn a lot."
Somewhat unique to the camp is that in addition to the work on technique and skills, teambuilding exercises are part of the daily schedule for the four-day commuter camp.
"The idea was to create something different, something affordable and something that will help our sport grow," Farrell said. "We feel two years into it, we're off to a good start of accomplishing that."
For information on the Iron Sharpens Iron team wrestling camp call 319-404-0722.