VT wrestlers teach county kids

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 27, 2007

ALABASTER &8212; Wrestlers from across the Birmingham metropolitan area brought their state championship dreams to Thompson Middle School Thursday and Friday to take instruction from Virginia Tech head coach Kevin Dresser and his players.

Dresser chose to come to Alabaster after being told about coach Shawn Weltzin&8217;s new program at Thompson Middle and the new Thompson High program to start this fall.

&8220;I thought it would be a great way to kick them off a little bit, and at the same time, we want Virginia Tech wrestling to have a presence in Alabama,&8221; said Dresser, who is on the third of five stops of the State Champ Boot Camps tour.

Weltzin and members of his teams were glad to receive instruction from a coach who landed the third best recruiting class in the nation this summer.

&8220;Around in Alabama, you don&8217;t get that kind of coaching to come and help out your program and help out the Birmingham area,&8221; said Weltzin, who started the middle school program this past season.

Eighth grader Cody Albrado, who posted an undefeated season for the inaugural Warriors&8217; squad, says this camp is one of the best he&8217;s seen.

&8220;I&8217;ve been to a lot of camps like this, but not with this many coaches. It&8217;s very good,&8221; Albarado said.

Youth wrestler Dominic Latona, 9, says his favorite part was &8220;just getting to know the college wrestlers and getting to be around those guys.&8221;

Dresser and 10 other members of the VT wrestling team taught basic wrestling moves for points, pins and takedowns. In addition to wrestling, Dresser and his team have another message to share after a player&8217;s roommate was one of 32 students killed in the on-campus shooting spree in April.

&8220;My message to my team after it happened, and my message this summer as I go around, is you&8217;ve got to make the most of life,&8221; Dresser said. &8220;Life is fragile and you have to make the most of it.&8221;

Campers ranged from age 7 to high school seniors and came from as far away as Huntsville