You could call it "Wrestling 101".
The Rubicon Introduction to Wrestling Camp, held in the Solanco wrestling room July 23-25, is designed to teach the basics to kids entering kindergarten through sixth grade.
Solanco Elementary Wrestling program coaches served as the lead clinicians for the camp, which is free for Solanco students.
"The mission of the camp is to introduce the younger kids to the sport of wrestling," Solanco elementary school coach Chris Shertzer said. "We're really focusing on introducing the kids to what wrestling is and showing them some moves and having fun with it."
Some of the participants are new to the sport. "We have 32 kids here and I would say 12 of them have never had any mat experience," Shertzer said prior to last Wednesday's session. "We practice as one group. We try to focus on having some of our kids with experience work with the less experienced kids because they can show them a little bit better. When we do games, we do split them up by weight."
Instructors, including several Solanco High wrestlers, teach positioning and a few moves. "The first thing is just having fun," Mules varsity coach Tony Mendez said.
"Then, teaching them the basis of wrestling. It's not professional wrestling like what they might see on TV. It's one-on-one but there's a team aspect. Size doesn't make a difference like with football and some of the other sports. That would be the main thing, just to introduce them to the sport altogether."
The camp was conceived as a way to convey the most basic concepts of wrestling. "The first year (2017) that we started it we brought a lot of kids who had interest in wrestling, but had never done it before," Mendez said. "Basketball, baseball, football, you see on TV so kids watch it and understand it. Wrestling, you don't see a lot of so they're not sure about the sport. By bringing them here, we're educating them about the sport of wrestling and they get to learn some things. I think we've gained a lot of interest and it shows with our elementary sign-ups."
Solanco's elementary school wrestling program, for students in kindergarten through sixth grade, gets underway the Monday before Thanksgiving and runs until early March.
Signup information will be available on the school district website in September. Wrestlers are placed in two groups – introductory and advanced – and participate in matches against other Lancaster-Lebanon League schools in addition to some tournaments.