2010-07-14 / Sports
Summer camp provides experience for wrestlers
Wrestling is sometimes overlooked in the summer equation. It has become such a specialized sport in recent years that any New Jersey high school grappler who has aspirations of competing in Atlantic City — site of the NJSIAA individual state tournament— has to be active during the summer.
Marlboro High School head wrestling coach William Wernst runs the ’Stang Wrestling Camp.
Since starting the camp, Wernst’s Marlboro wrestling program has shown steady improvement and is becoming one of the better programs in the Shore Conference. Those results appear to be a sign that summer wrestling translates into winter winners.
“Experience makes a difference,” said Wernst, who said his team participates in the Wednesday night Summer Duals at Long Branch High School. “We try to get kids used to different styles of wrestling. There is a lot of instruction.”
The instruction comes from an outstanding group of clinicians. When Wernst ran this year’s ’Stang Wrestling Camp from June 28 through July 2 at Marlboro High School, among his guests was former Jackson Memorial High School standout Scott Winston, who is now wrestling for Rutgers University.
Winston is the only wrestler in New Jersey history to go through his high school career without a loss (137-0).
“The kids were excited to have him [Winston] come,” Wernst said. “We try and get the best guys around.”
Among the guests at the camp was another familiar name, Steve Rivera, who won a state title at Manalapan High School and a national championship at The College of New Jersey. He runs the Elite Wrestling Club.
“Steve Rivera didn’t just talk about technique, he provided motivation,” Wernst said. “He told the kids that he was just like them, that you have to believe you can be great in order to be great.”
Of course, Wernst added, Rivera let the campers know there is no substitute for hard work.
Others who added their experience to the camp were Nick Roy of Triumph Wrestling. Roy was an NCAA Division I All-American and a four-time Big 10 place-winner at Michigan after being a two-time state champion at Wall High School, and former Marlboro standout Charlie Frankel, a two-time state place-winner who is now wrestling for Delaware Valley College.
Being at the camp reminded Frankel of his days at Marlboro.
“I wish I was back in high school,” he said. “It was so much fun.”
Frankel said he wished there had been a camp like this offered when he was making his mark at Marlboro, because this type of camp is good for young wrestlers.
The camp is also a way for Marlboro’s current wrestlers to connect with the school’s standouts from the past.
“We have a lot of returning wrestlers,” Wernst said.
Former Mustangs like Frankel and Nick Parisi provide inspiration and motivation for those who are following them. Parisi is Marlboro’s all-time winningest wrestler. He won four NJSIAA district titles and was a state runner-up before wrestling for the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
Wernst and his Marlboro assistants Bill Terrell and Keith Masi made up the ’Stang Wrestling Camp coaching staff.