The second annual Sting of Summer wrestling camp, put on by The Wrestling Academy’s Dustin Kawa and instructors, proved to be not only a time for learning but also a point of focus for the Rockmart High School wrestling team.
“We’re just trying to give them a new approach,” RHS wrestling coach John Garner said. “They’ve got everything that the staff has taught them. We’re just taking it one step forward.”
Kawa was a three-time Georgia high school state champion at Shiloh and went on to win two ACC championships at North Carolina State.
Lasting three days, the camp has become not just a clinic for the refinement of skills but also a place where kids learn new moves and techniques.
“There are thousands of wrestling moves and Kawa has shown them some stuff that maybe we haven’t shown them,” Garner said.
Reaching out to kids ages K-12, the camp is looking to grow even bigger. This year, participants were split into individual groups based on age, experience and size.
“That has been good for their competitiveness and they’re doing really well,” Garner said.
“They respond well to to the coaches they have here and they’ve all worked hard. We’re all bumped and bruised and bleeding but it’s been great.”
Garner said the majority of the kids are from Rockmart’s programs, whether it be the Takedown Club, middle school or high school.
The camp comes in the middle of a sort of resurgence in the Rockmart High School wrestling program where Garner has been able to take between 20 to 25 wrestlers to each duals this summer.
“It’s been a great summer for us,” Garner said. “We actually had some other duals scheduled for the rest of the summer but the boys have been working so hard during the first part that we’re going to take it easy for the rest of the summer.”