MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (July 16, 2003) -- Most people say that champions are made during the offseason. West Virginia University assistant wrestling coach Zeke Jones is helping local wrestlers achieve that goal.

This past week, with the assistance of the WVU wrestling program, several in-state wrestlers have attended the WVU National Training Camp. This week-long camp aims to prepare middle school and high school wrestlers for the Junior National and Cadet National Championships.

"The kids are starting to realize that working out with Zeke Jones, means working out with the best," said Ken Maisel, a former WVU wrestler, who has helped guide the training camp this week. "No other state has the likes of a Zeke Jones doing their training."

"We have the opportunity to help the kids in our state," said Jones. "We can assist them in achieving their goals and help prepare them for a possible collegiate career."

Jones, considered one of the finest wrestling coaches in the country, enters his sixth season on the Mountaineer coaching staff. He has competed and coached all over the world and has received numerous awards. His list of accomplishments is endless and includes a silver medal in the 1992 Olympics and a gold medal at the 1994 Goodwill Games. Jones is a four-time World Cup gold medalist and six-time U.S. Open National freestyle champion. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of USA Wrestling and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Ryan Courtney, who assists the WVU wrestling program, will take 16 kids to compete in Fargo, North Dakota. All of the wrestlers made the team by placing in the top three in the West Virginia State Freestyle Tournament in June.

"None of the coaches involved this week receive a penny. We all have the same goal of seeing these kids do well in Fargo," added Maisel.

Jones was more than happy to lend a hand. "We have the resources to better aid these kids and introduce a piece of West Virginia University to them," added Jones.

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