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Youth wrestlers attend ACMS camp

Nathan Ham nham@civitasmedia.com

April 17, 2014

Young wrestlers from different parts of the High Country came to Ashe County Middle School last Saturday for a one-day wrestling seminar hosted by professional MMA and wrestling coach, Jeff Bedard.


Kids from elementary school up through middle school and even a few high school wrestlers from Wilkes County made the trip up the mountain to be coached up by one of the best known wrestling coaches in the United States.


“I was blessed to have Coach Bedard, a good friend of mine, to come up here and do this camp for me,” said Alex Wray, who is the head coach of the middle school wrestling team as well as the Ashe County Mat Monsters.


Wrestlers spread out through the gym and worked on several different takedown techniques, defensive techniques and wrestling holds.


Bedard is the lead trainer at Compound Wrestling just outside of Atlanta, Ga. Athletes that have wrestled there have made it to the top form of the sport whether it is making it to the UFC or having a shot at the United States Olympic Team. Bedard has been a part of it all.


“I don’t think people realize how big of a deal it is to have Coach Bedard up here in Ashe County doing this camp for me,” added Wray.


Bedard was a two-time All-American at Carson-Newman University and has more than 25 years of experience in wrestling and MMA. Bedard coached 27 All-Americans and two national champions in seven years as a college head coach.


Young wrestlers who attended the all-day training session learned a lot about what it takes to succeed in the sport. Coach Bedard pointed out the importance of being aggressive and willing to take a few risks to get takedowns and work for the pin while not being afraid to give up points in some situations.


“If you take me down, then good for you. That just means I need to work harder and take you down at least two times,” Bedard told the eager wrestlers.


You can learn more about Coach Bedard and Compound Wrestling at their website, http://cmptrained.com/.


*Nathan Ham can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @NathanHam87