WESTON, W.Va. – A big part of growing a sport in any given area is providing young athletes with role models to look up to. That’s exactly what the goal of the Lewis County High School wrestling camp was today.
Put on by a program with plenty of champions in its own right, the camp set out to show aspiring young wrestlers exactly what they could become with hard work as WVU All-American wrestler Peyton Hall joined the event, helping to lead drills and teach techniques.
Former Minutemen state champion and Mountaineer Kyle Rogers organized the camp and says the idea came to him after seeing Hall compete with the best of the best in the NCAA tournament.
“It was awesome to see a West Virginia guy, born and raised here, four-time West Virginia state champion go to WVU, be an All-American,” he said.
“I said then to my dad, ‘I’d love to have him down for a camp’ and Lewis County has never had anything like this that I know of and I’ve been around this for 20 years here and I wanted to do something big and Peyton seemed like a great guy to have down and he’s just really proved that he has been.”
Growing up in Chester in the northern panhandle and attending Oak Glen High School, Hall spent plenty of time honing his craft at events like this but he agrees, a factor just as big as the learning was seeing older wrestlers that he could aspire to be like.
“Whenever I was younger and going to camps, just seeing the top guys just motivated me to want to be in that position and if you’re never around people who have done big things then you don’t understand what it is to do that so it’s really good to get around people and just get an idea of what you want to do in the future,” he said.
With over 20 wrestlers from Lewis County and several more from the surrounding area coming out for the camp, Rogers certainly considers the first event a success and has hopes to make it an annual event and grow the turnout each and every year.