Crawfordsville wrestling coach Chris Ervin is continually impressed every time he attends Brian Anderson’s wrestling camp at Wabash. Each year, Anderson brings in big national names. Last year, Anderson brought in Rulon Gardner and Brandon Slay — who both competed in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney — to his camp.
This year, Anderson brought in Henry Cejudo —a 2008 gold medalist at 121 pounds at the Beijing Games — on Tuesday. Wednesday, legendary coach and wrestler Dan Gable instructed the morning and afternoon sessions.
Gable, who won a gold medal at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, was the third Olympic gold medalist Anderson brought into his camp.
“The thing I like about this camp is there is something new every year and the high quality of wrestlers he brings in here just amazes me,” Ervin said. “You can go to a camp at Ohio State or Indiana for two or three years in a row and it just gets old because you are hearing the same stuff over again. But here there is always something fresh.”
Nine Crawfordsville wrestlers attended the camp this week. Dylan McBride, an incoming senior who competed in the state finals as a heavyweight this past winter, is attending his third straight camp this week.
“I just enjoy being with my teammates and learning new stuff,” McBride said. “They don’t get into too many extensive moves here, they just work more on the basics.”
Wabash wrestlers help Anderson with the camp.
“Personally since I don’t participate, this is good way to watch what some of the instructors are doing and maybe I can pick up some different moves that way,” said Wabash junior Graham Youngs, who wrestles at 157 pounds for the Little Giants.
With attendance growing each year, 320 youth wrestlers from three states have made the trek to Knowling Fieldhouse this week. That compared to the first year, when Anderson had to pay $250 just to have the camp.
Anderson said he’s using the camp more as a recruiting tool. Most of Wabash’s incoming freshman class this year is filled with wrestlers who have attended the camp.
“We have used this as a camp to bring people into Wabash,” Anderson said.
Anderson said he hopes to have everything settled for next year’s camp by November, so he won’t have to worry about that when the college wrestling training season begins. Anderson has continually brought in big names to increase attendance, and this year is no different. Monday, Anderson brought in Olympic gold medalists Bruce Baumgartner and Cejudo. Tuesday, Joe Heskett, a coach at Ohio State, and Reece Humphrey, a member of the Ohio State wrestling team, taught the camp. Heskett was a four-time All-American at Iowa State. Humphrey won three state championships in high school and has qualified for the NCAA National Championships each of his first two seasons at Ohio State.