The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Local church helping kids take down competition


Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

The attendees will learn a variety of moves, including basic take downs, and also some valuable training exercises to do to get their bodies prepared for the mat.

The Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church is holding their 11th annual Wrestling Camp this month, helping local grapplers with techniques, strategies and moves.

Led by Pastor Pat Coyle and a group of volunteer instructors, the wrestlers will get instruction each day culminating in an exhibition match and dessert held on Friday night, July 19, at 7 p.m. This session is for the wrestler's family and friends and will show them what they have learned throughout the week.

This camp has become a mainstay on the local wrestling calendar. Every year, Coyle and his staff teaches kids some valuable moves that they can use on the mat, including basic take down and escape moves, and the proper way to wrestle.

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

The week ends with an exhibition match to demonstrate what the young wrestler have learned.

Pastor Coyle was a standout wrestler in his younger years, wrestling collegiately, passing on that wrestling gene to his son Ben, who was a champion wrestler for Shafter High. This passion for wrestling and for helping children combines teaching the children correct moves, but also giving them tidbits of information that help them off the mat as well. With the different themes and lessons for each day, these lessons can be used not only on the mat, but in their everyday lives at home and at school.

Every day, the kids have a workout session, break for refreshments and then go to the mat again. The week ends with the exhibition match, where their families can see what they have learned during the camp sessions. "I love helping the kids and seeing them grow as wrestlers and also as young people," Pastor Coyle said. "We take pride in teaching the kids how to compete the correct way, and also give them knowledge and confidence that they can use throughout their lives."

The camp runs from Monday, July 15, to Friday, July 19, from 10 a.m. to noon. The church, at 400 Kern St., will host the camp in its Fellowship Center.

For more information on the camp or to register, call the church office Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 661-746-4969.


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