My son’s high school wrestling team (Brandon Florida), was able to attend the Virginia Tech High School Team Camp in Blacksburg Virginia. I was lucky enough to be able to attend and watch the camp with the team.
A few things before I get into the meat and potatoes of the camp.
- Dorms are nice
- Dining Hall according to the kids is awesome and lives up to it’s claim as the #1 in the country.
- Pay the extra $30 for the AC dorms
- Shirts, shorts and singlet’s are expensive at the camp
So after a weigh in by team the kids are paired up on matches with some of the current college wrestlers for technique. Brandon was lucky enough to get Joey Dance for Technique. He taught some good things. My son was actually excited to have him. Last year after a live match against the team Joey Dance was coaching(each team gets a current wrestler to coach) he pulled my son aside and showed him a move he used several times through the season. No need to do it because he was not coaching my sons team last year but he did it because he saw it and was there to help all the wrestlers. This is a common theme they will correct any kid they see even if it is not the ones they are responsible for.
Our coach during the duals assigned to us was Ryan Haskett, a redshirt freshman. Did an awesome job coaching the guys during live along with Brandon Head Coach Russ Cozart. there are several technique sessions that are followed by duals. Overall we had 10 duals. Brandon was in the gold pool (top) We wrestled several tough teams including Hough NC, Winters Mill MD, Egg Harbor Township NJ, Titusville PA, Dundee MI, Western Brown OH, Jesuit LA, Chapin SC, and then in the cross gold bracket championship Brandon wrestled Cathedral Prep from Erie PA. Somehow Brandon managed to go undefeated as did Erie. The finals was a tough dual that was not decided until the 200 match. Brandon was able to pull out the win 31-23. The nice thing about the finals is the teams get to wear actual Virginia Tech team singlet’s though they must be given back after the dual.
The best thing about this camp is the stiff competition. They have 4 pools (2 gold and 2 silver) at the end of all the duals (except championship) they get the top kid in each pool and wrestle off for an all star bracket. Brandon was able to put three into the all star finals with five able to get into the wrestle off. Kids in the all star finals get to keep the custom singlet’s. Brandon went 1-2 in the All Star Finals with to be Sophomore Trey Lane winning.
The camp is $399 a kid which was a good value for the experience. There are other camps that give more technique but the live matches at the VT team camp were great and a lot of high quality kids attended.
Things I would do different. It was awesome the kids in the finals got to wear the VT singlet’s but I would let the kids keep them (use last years).
In the IBT finals on the last day I would probably separate out into two different tourneys. Kids with records above .500 and below .500 That would give the kids that got killed in the duals a chance at some matches they had a chance to win or at least be competitive.
Would drop the price in the camp store. $100 for a singlet at the camp store is expensive for high school kids.
All in all I would send my kid again even if the high school team does not go. They take singles and make a “Maroon” and “Orange” team and let them go. If teams are not full they take backups so everyone is getting matches and they encourage all the exhibitions you want. Trainers are on site and very responsive and well trained.