Archive for Thursday, July 25, 2002

DeWitt wrestles with strategies

Coach teaching takedown methods at summer camp

July 25, 2002

New Eudora High School wrestling coach Bill DeWitt spent three evenings last week teaching 30 Cardinal wrestlers a few new strategies.

"There are specific moves I want them to have," DeWitt said. "I have been trying to introduce the system I've used the last five years as a head coach."

At the camp the former head wrestling coach at nearby Tonganoxie High School focused on the step series, which included inside and outside takedowns. He said the moves are "high percentage takedown" strategies.

The team worked on riding and pinning combinations the second night. On the final evening, the athletes put together everything they learned and picked up a few new moves.

DeWitt enjoyed the experience of taking to the mat with the wrestlers in grades seven through 12. The camp, which ran from 6 to 8 p.m. each night, was free of charge.

DeWitt said having the camp allowed him to get to know some of his athletes before the season starts in November. He hoped to continue the wrestling success Eudora has enjoyed in recent years.

"Another team may be stronger or more experienced than we are, but they will not outwork us on the mat," DeWitt said.

He has created a Web site, www.ehscardinalwrestling.com, which he has been building throughout the summer.

"I knew I came to a place where kids would work hard," DeWitt said. "I've been pleased with the numbers and it has given me a chance to meet the kids. They're eager, they love the sport, and they're going to work hard whoever the coach is."

Five seniors return from last season's wrestling squad, James Barr, Shane Grant, Michael Paxton, Luke Powers and Austin Roberts.

Barr, a wrestler in the 160-pound weight class, attended the first two nights of the camp. He said DeWitt's ability to teach by example proved beneficial.

"It's a lot like what Coach Abel used to teach us," Barr said. "He's a pretty cool guy. He's real physical when he's on the mat and wrestles hard with us like (former assistant wrestling) coach Barnett used to."

DeWitt said he was pleased with the fact that many Eudora wrestlers play other sports during the fall season, mainly football, but also cross country and soccer.

"I think it helps," DeWitt, a former Tonganoxie assistant football coach, said. "Most of my wrestlers are football players. They've conditioned all through the fall."

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