BENNINGTON — The Mount Anthony wrestling camp is back in session for it's 28th year and is off to a great start.
On day two of the camp Monday night, youth and high school wrestlers attending got a great instructive lesson from two-time NCAA national champion Gabe Dean.
The Cornell University wrestler showed the kids a couple of wrestling moves to use on the mat and also some life skills to take out into the community.
"It's great to have a guy like Gabe come out here to help teach the kids and talk to them about what goes into being a wrestler and how he got to be a national champion," said Castleton University and former MAU wrestling coach Scott Legacy. "We try to get our kids exposed to people like Gabe who are very successful in wrestling, to give the kids a inside look. Give them a chance to learn things that can help them be a better wrestler on the mat and things that can help them be a better person in life."
One of the first things Dean did when he addressed the campers was respect towards the coaches and himself, as well as the importance of paying attention to the moves that were being shown during the course of the session.
"We've got a great group of people coming in to teach the kids this year," said MAU coach Brian Coon who is co-directing the camp with Legacy. "Getting these types of wrestlers and coaches to come to the camp is really beneficial to our kids and I think the kids see that."
As usual, kids from Bennington to kids from all-across the New England Northeast states are attending the camp.
Because of that, many of the kids are partnering up with kids from the different states to help provide some better competition to go up against.
"One things that is great about the sport of wrestling is that you can always learn from each other and pick things up from people to help you become a better wrestler," Legacy said. "Wresting is always evolving and as a coach or as a wrestler it's important to always keep learning because that's going to help you to continue to get better."
For Dean, one of his favorite things to do is working with kids and trying to help them become better wrestlers.
Previously working at the Hoosick Falls camp earlier this year, Dean was more than happy to come out to be an instructor at MAU's camp.
"I really enjoy coming out here and helping these kids become better wrestlers and also teach them the life lessons that can come from the sport," Dean said. "I was very humbled by Mr. Legacy's request to have me come to the camp to be an instructor and I really have enjoyed working with these kids. They're all hard working kids, so that makes it more fun as well."
For the last two days of the camp, Rutgers University wrestler Anthony Ashnault and Leigh University Associate Head Coach John Hughes are scheduled to be guest instructors at the camp.
Princeton University assistant coach Nick Heflin was the guest instructor for the first session of the camp on Sunday.
Over the years, the best part about the MAU camp has been the fact that it has made kids better wrestlers and that still continues today.
"You see it all the time how our kids pick up things from this camp and that helps them get better for the next season," Coon said. "The camp really allows these guys to work on their craft and learn things that are going to help them now and the rest of their life. The more you're on the mat, the more you're going to get better, so this is a great camp for, as you see, people from everywhere to get better and help them reach their wrestling goals."