Local West Liberty Wrestlers Give Back

July 4, 2009

Recently, some local West Liberty University athletes were presented with an opportunity to give back to the sport and community that has given so much to them: wrestling and the Ohio Valley. Hilltopper Head Wrestling Coach Brian Davis teamed up with Wheeling Park Head Coach Sean Doyle and the YMCA to conduct a four-day wrestling camp in Warwood, June 29-July 2. In doing so, Davis challenged his college wrestlers that reside in the Ohio Valley during the summer months to volunteer their time to attend the camp and work with young wrestlers from the Valley. As a result, the camp saw over a dozen past and present members of the Hilltopper wrestling team show up to lend a hand.

“It was great to see our guys show a genuine interest in helping the 37 local wrestlers that attended the camp,” said Coach Davis of his WLU wrestlers. “Most of these young men work summer jobs and had to make sacrifices to be able to help. I am very proud of how they stepped up to the challenge. They represented our program and the university very well.”

The camp saw four days of instruction from some outstanding clinicians. On the first day campers were treated to a special appearance by former Hilltopper All-American Jeff LaMotte (WL class of 2002). Lamotte currently resides in Arizona where he teaches and coaches. He was in the area visiting family the week of camp and volunteered his assistance. Other clinicians during the week included former WL wrestler and 4X All-American Richard Foston (WL class of 1997), two current WL wrestlers: 2009 NCAA DII All-American Mitch Smith (Ripley HS) and 2X National Qualifier Kayne Melko (Bellaire St. Johns HS), and former Buckeye Local standout and current Wheeling Park Head Coach Sean Doyle. Doyle was also a 3-year letterman at Cornell University in the late 1990’s.

Along with the clinicians, numerous soon-to-be and current WLU wrestlers were on hand to help. Ben Giles and Jarrod Shaw, both former Brooke HS wrestlers, were present everyday to help with the camp, as were incoming WL freshmen and Harrison Central graduates Ian Howell and Nick Risdon. Other WL wrestlers from the area that showed up to help were Dirk Bauer, Allen Earnest, Dusty Hill, Matt Hill, and Aaron Majetich, all Wheeling Park products, and Shawn Fullerton of Cameron HS.

“As coaches at West Liberty University, our administrators always encourage us to participate in community involvement activities,” explained Davis. “By allowing us to volunteer our time to work with area kids in this setting, the YMCA gave us an opportunity to do just that. We appreciate that.”

Davis, who will begin his third season this fall as the head coach of West Liberty’s storied mat program, was very pleased with the camp. “We had good numbers, the kids worked very hard, and we received some very positive feedback,” said Davis. “I think this is something we will do more of in the future.”

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