LAURINBURG — St. Andrews University is hosting wrestling camps for back-to-back weeks this month, and the younger grapplers get the first crack at competing on the mat.
SAU wrestling coach Joe Baranik welcomed 18 campers to the school Monday for the week-long Knights Wrestling Fitness Day Camp that concludes Friday. The camp, which begins at 9 a.m. each morning and wraps up around noon, is geared towards kids in kindergarten through sixth grade.
Baranik will host a more advanced overnight wrestling camp next week for seventh through 12th graders.
“They’re good kids, and there is a lot of talent in here,” Baranik said during Wednesday’s camp.
The number of campers is nearly double that of last year. Baranik said the campers wrestle for more than an hour each day, then play games like kickball, tug-of-war, wiffle ball and handball, something Baranik hopes keeps the experience fresh for the youngsters.
“We try to break it up, we even went swimming yesterday and we’re going to swim again Friday.”
Baranik said a variety of promising athletes are among this year’s camp class, including kids who star for their travel baseball teams. But this week, their focus is improving in a sport where they have to put aside the glove and cleats and instead don a sturdy pair of sneakers.
“We try to show them fundamentals and they just want to wrestle,” Baranik said.
St. Andrews will welcome more youth to the school next week for the Knights Wrestling Fitness Overnight Camp. Participants will stay at the dorms on campus and eat in the school’s cafeteria throughout the week.
The cost is $335 for the week and will include wrestling instruction, live wrestling, conditioning tests, running, fitness games, gymnastics, swimming, and a T-shirt. St. Andrews varsity wrestlers will assist in teaching the campers.
For information, contact Baranik at 910-277-5012. Camp flyers can be found at www.sauknights.com.
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.