MOSES LAKE — Summer camps make winter champs, or so the old adage goes.
It also helps when a four-time high school state champion and two-time NCAA All-American Chandler Rogers is in town to impart wisdom. Moses Lake hosted its second annual “Chiefs Only, No Bologna” camp over — mostly — two days at Zamora Park. The camp shifted to the high school when the weather turned dicey on Thursday.
“I knew what we needed help on after seeing it and assessing it,” Moses Lake head coach Jaime Garza said. “This is what we need to get better at and let’s host a camp where we can focus on those areas instead of taking kids out to a camp where they may not learn what they needed to work on.”
Wrestlers spent much of the two-day camp in stance and motion. Friday afternoon, Rogers would demonstrate a technique and then the group of 30-plus wrestlers, which was close to last year’s total, methodically practiced the move.
Rogers won three state championships at Mead High School before adding a fourth at Stillwater High School in Oklahoma. Rogers didn’t travel far after high school, matriculating to Oklahoma State University where he was an All-American twice.
Rogers was “extremely” helpful, Garza said.
“Just showing small little variations to the moves and things that I’ve showed and I’ve learned and he has tweaked that a little bit,” Garza said. “Now I understand why it’s very applicable because of the adjustments that he’s made so I’ve been very pleased even if I pull five things out of this camp it’s something that we definitely can use for that next one and it’s working on some of our issues.
“He (Rogers) really focused on hand-fighting to a shot and I just loved the drills he went through and it’s definitely something we’re going to incorporate into our wrestling practice.”
The camp featured a group of mats in the — fortunately — shaded area of Zamora Park while tents sat clustered adjacent to the instruction. Othello head coach Rudy Ochoa was in attendance Friday to see some of wrestlers hear from the NCAA All-American.
“The atmosphere is much different and sometimes you get locked into those four walls and it’s like, man, we need to get out of here, you know what I mean?” Garza said. “The different scenery has been really helpful for these guys.”