Twenty-one aspiring young wrestlers participated in the 2018 Rubicon Wrestling Camp held at Solanco High School on Monday, June 18, through Wednesday, June 20, from 9 a.m. through 2 p.m.
The youngest wrestlers were in sixth grade; the oldest were high school students. In addition to Solanco, they came from several school districts including Penn Manor, Hempfield, Manheim Township, Octorara and Oxford.
Following the collapse of the wrestling building in late winter, the camp was moved to the high school’s small gymnasium, which provided a bit more work for Mendez and his support staff.
“I also want to publicly thank Coach Scott Long for making some changes in his plans during his basketball camp.”
The camp featured clinicians with outstanding credentials including Dan Neff, Solanco’s first PIAA state champion, and NCAA All-American Ronnie Perry, a PIAA medal winner and NCAA, Division I silver medalist and Chance Marsteller, four-time PIAA state champ, and currently a Lock Haven University grappler. Also offering coaching assistance was Connor Sheehan, a PIAA medal winner and Millersville University wrestler, and junior Derek Culotta, an Ursinus University wrestler, who, when at Owen J. Roberts High School, accrued over 140 wins, was a four-time PIAA place winner and a two-time finalists.
Marsteller has had his share of challenges since graduating from Kennard-Dale High School, but Mendez sang his praises.
“Chance was awesome,” said Mendez. “He worked the boys on under hooking and front head control. He spent the whole day with us.”
Mendez also praised all the clinicians who, he said, were dedicated and committed in providing the boys an opportunity to learn more about the sport. “Danny, Ronnie, Connor and Derek demonstrated how to wrestle on their feet and provided a higher level of technique.”
Mendez was also most appreciative of the support he received from those working off the mat.
“I want to thank Melissa Houghton and Connie Feldman,” said Mendez. “They worked tirelessly to provide the camp with lunches granting me a huge sigh of relief.”
For many of the Golden Mule boys attending Rubicon the intensity heightens. “Yeah, most of these guys leave Sunday for Virginia Beach for another camp,” said Mendez. “They need the next couple of days to rest and get ready.”