By Chuck Reherman
Yukon head wrestling coach Joe Schneider decided to take a little different route when it came to his team participating in a camp.
And, the team didn’t have to make a long trek to participate.
The Millers instead participated in the Team Mathena Camp, hosted by longtime YHS supporter David Mathena and it worked out well for the Millers.
The wrestlers spent three days at the Mathena Barn working with the Miller staff and former members of the Millers that included a pair of All-Americans.
The Millers had gone to a team camp at the University of Nebraska for several years and in recent years had gone to a team camp at Oklahoma State University.
“It was a good three days, I think the guys had a lot of fun learning from the alums,” Schneider said. “We had some good team building drills, had some good relay races and we had the seniors working with the freshmen.
“We had 38 guys total, so that worked well,” he said. “We brought in four guys Chase Vincent, Studd Morris, Jaxon Gilmore on the first day and then Boo Lewellen spent two days. All four of those guys had won the Mathena Scholarship award that he likes to pass out at the end of the year, so that was cool.
“Studd is at UCO, Chase and Jaxon are OCU and Boo just finished at OSU, so they have had a lot of experience. We did two sessions Wednesday from 4-6 p.m. fed them dinner and worked out at 8-10. While we were training, up walked four deer while we were walking out, so that was really cool.”
The Millers had wrestlers at all the weights or close to so they were paired up according to weights for the workouts on the techniques and wrestling moves. The team ended the day with relay races and contests to break up the workouts.
“I was really excited about the number of guys we had come out,” Schneider said. “I was expecting about 15 to 20 guys, but to have 38 guys come out and work on the fundamentals and techniques, especially with those guys from college.
“I was even taking notes because I am always a student as well,” he said. “These guys have learned techniques as the college level and were showing our guys. Hopefully we can take what we learned and apply them into next season.
“We have eight returners this season and that is a lot for us. We have eighth qualifiers and two of them placers are back and that is going to help us as well.”
The wrestlers worked on all phases of the game, from defensive positions as well as offensive positions. The four that Schneider brought in also worked with the wrestlers on specialized areas.
“The first day was a drill and learn with those guys and what they were really good at. Jaxon was good at his peak defense, his over hook and things like that. Studd was good at headlock positions and he showed that to the guys. Chase worked on some offense and defense from his feet at well.
“Boo showed the guys some of that as well, but he also focused more on top and bottom. We covered all areas and I thought it went well.
“The guys were excited about working with those guys and went out and got after it. There wasn’t much fooling around that was for sure.”
Schneider was deciding on going back to the OSU camp, but when he was told that camp was not going to happen, he decided to keep it in-house and even stayed when he got the call that the camp was back on.
“Oklahoma State told me they weren’t going to have their team camp and then at the last minute I got an email saying that their camp was back on,” Schneider said. “I already had this set up and everything. So I don’t know if we will use this as a camp at a different time because Dave wants us to come back out there every year.
“This compared to an OSU or a Nebraska team camp is really good, except we are not competing against other teams,” he said. “It was good for us to compete against each other and good drills and hands on and more of a focus for our team.”