The Virginia wrestling team has placed in the Top 25 at the NCAA championships in three of the last four years.
The Cavaliers are looking to share those skills and experiences with high school and middle school-aged kids at training camps throughout the summer, beginning with their Elite Camp Saturday at University Hall.
Around sixty kids were on the mats at U-Hall for the start of the UVa wrestling camp.
UVa junior Nick Sulzer says, "I think it's a great way to build relationships, and give back to the community. Being a Division I athlete means a lot sometimes, to some people. Anytime you have a chance to help out high school kids in the short time that you have is always important."
The Cavaliers have a lot of local wrestlers in the old basketball arena, even borrowing mats from Albemarle, Monticello, and CHS.
Virginia head assistant wrestling coach Alex Clemson says, "We filled U-Hall with mats, just about every square inch. It's the best sight I've ever seen on a basketball floor."
The camp can be beneficial to the current UVa wrestlers, as Clemson says the best way to learn is to teach.
"You've got a pretty captive audience of 50, 60 kids, who are watching you do every little step," says Clemson. "They're hanging on your every word, so you have to really have to think about it."
UVa redshirt senior Jon Fausey says, "Once you really start doing those, and teaching those things to kids at a slower pace, you realize you actually learn it better yourself. You learn things you wouldn't necessarily have learned by drilling it and repping it out."
The future of the program is at the camp, as the Cavaliers even have some incoming freshmen participating as campers this summer.
Clemson says, "We've got five or six guys here training for nine days, who have paid for camp, and want to be around our staff, and our team, and are going to benefit from, heck, running the stairs here at U-Hall a couple of times."
Sulzer adds, "Hopefully we develop these kids. That would be the best-case scenario: They come to the camp, we help them out, and then they come wrestle for UVa. That'd be great."
In 2014-15, the Cavaliers will play Virginia Tech, Louisville, Wake Forest and NC State two times each. Virginia will host Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, NC State, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest at John Paul Jones Arena.
In 2014-15, the Cavaliers will play Virginia Tech, Louisville, Wake Forest and NC State two times each. Virginia will host Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, NC State, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest at John Paul Jones Arena.Full Story