{{featured_button_text}}

SIOUX CITY — The Arena Wrestling Academy exists for a simple reason.

The AWA wants to provide youth wrestlers in the Siouxland area, not just Sioux City or of a certain school, a place to hone their craft in the offseason for free.

"We want to offer opportunities for kids to get involved in something that they like. Honestly, there is nothing that is free today. So that was something we really wanted to do," said Clint Koedam, Sergeant Bluff-Luton's wrestling coach and an AWA instructor. "The whole idea behind it is we wanted to give kids an opportunity to do something."

On Monday, the AWA hosted a free camp at Morningside College that featured Missouri All-American wrestler Jaydin Eierman. The camp continues on Tuesday.

In August, AWA will host a free camp featuring former Sergeant Bluff-Luton and former Nebraska wrestler Colton McCrystal along with former Huskers wrestler Tyler Berger.

"There are kids that can afford the $50, $100, $200 for camps and there are kids that can't. We just open up the doors for an opportunity to wrestle and that's why we want you here," Koedam said.

There were wrestlers from various communities around Siouxland at the camp. Koedam said one of the missions isn't to steal kids from another program. He wants the AWA to be a supplement to what the wrestlers are already learning at their high school, whether they are from SB-L, Hull, Holstein or Hinton.

"This program is not tied to a high school. That can be a hangup because it could look like you are trying to recruit or doing this for a particular reason," Koedam said. "In the end, it's just about making sure that kids have a place to workout to supplement everything they want to do with their high school and youth programs."

Koedam said different coaches from around Siouxland have helped as instructors. Morningside's staff has also played a role for the AWA.

"If you are a coach for a youth or high school program and you want to help and be an assistant in the room, great," Koedam said. "We rely (on Morningside's staff) a lot to provide the coaching. We wanted to avoid the stigma of this is being done to feed one particular high school. We are a come one, come all."

For more information about the Arena Wrestling Academy, visit their Facebook page.

For the last two years, Arena Wrestling Academy has been utilizing Morningside's wrestling facilities. In the fall, AWA will move into a 60,000-square foot youth sports complex that formerly housed Hobby Lobby.

The facility will have a wrestling facility along with basketball and volleyball courts, weight rooms, dance facilities, classrooms and locker rooms. The building is slated to open in the fall.

The AWA's first free wrestling camp this summer featured Eierman. The University of Missouri wrestler is a two-time NCAA All-American at 141 pounds and was the MAC Wrestler of the Year.

It was Eierman's first visit to Sioux City and he was asked to come to the camp after running into a couple of the AWA instructors at the U.S. Open in Las Vegas.

+20 
+20 
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
+20 
+20 
Sergeant Floyd Monument
+20 
+20 
Sioux City Public Museum
+20 
+20 
Mid America Museum of Aviation & Transportation
+20 
+20 
Sioux City Art Center

"I wanted to start doing more camps and get my name out there and help out with kids. I like to give back," Eierman said. "This summer I am just traveling the country and helping out wherever I can. You always want to give back to the new generation to keep them growing. I always like to help out as much as I can and help to improve and evolve the sport of wrestling."

Eierman didn't know how many camps he's signed up for this summer, but know's there are "quite a few." The AWA camp was his fourth one this summer so far.

Eierman wants to teach the younger wrestlers how important the mental part of the sport is.

"I really like them to work on mentality because I think that's what a lot of matches are," Eierman said. "If I can have them grab something from what I am showing, that's good because I show some unorthodox and creative things. You want to think in every position. If they get the mentality of what I am trying to present, that's what I am impressed with."

More video from this section

0
0
0
0
0

Load comments