GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Getting a college scholarship in any sport is not an easy accomplishment.
It takes a lot of work and dedication, and some exposure to college coaches never hurts.
Michigan Xtreme, the wrestling training center in Grand Rapids, has always helped with the hard work. And it also helps with the exposure, as it will be hosting two 'College Showcase Camps', one for each gender.
The boys camp, for grades 7th-12th, will take place May 2-4 at the Michigan Xtreme Training Center, 3494 Plainfield Ave. NE in Grand Rapids. And the girls, any age, will take to the mat for the 'Girls Future National Camp' from June 27-29, also at Michigan Xtreme.
This will be Xtreme's first all-girl camp.
“This is year eight for the boys camp, and the first year for the girls,” Michigan Xtreme owner and director Tom Bennett said. “The boys camp has been very successful. We have had 95 campers that have wrestled in college.
“This camp really educates kids and parents on the entire process of recruiting,” he added. “This gives kids all their options. A lot think there is only Division I, but this shows that there are different avenues if they want to continue the sport in college.”
All those avenues will be present at the College Showcase Camp, as colleges represented will be: Central Michigan (DI), Wisconsin-Parkside (DII), Olivet and John Carroll (DIII), Indiana Tech (NAIA), Davenport (NCWA) and Muskegon Community College (NJCAA).
“The important thing is this will give them a good idea of the process,” Central Michigan coach Tom Borrelli said. “What's important to what college coaches expect and need, and if that's the direction they want to go. This not all about wrestling, but about the admissions process, and the differential of DI, DII and DIII wrestling.”
Borrelli acknowledges that these camps not only help the athletes and parents, but also them.
“This is very helpful. It is important for the student, but I also think it is helpful for the coaches, on getting an idea what kids are interested in wrestling after high school,” Borrelli said. “It puts them on our map. I'm going to try and be down there, but I know (CMU assistant coach Ben Bennett) will be down there for sure.”
Ben Bennett, Central Michigan's only four-time All American, was once a camper.
The girls camp is also there for any student/athlete that wants to compete at the college. For girls, this opportunity continues to grow.
“The girls also need the same grass-roots training that the boys have had for years,” Tom Bennett said “They need the same doors open for them, to better themselves and be a good competitive wrestler.
“These girls need to be educated on what it takes,” he added. “All the clinicians there have been successful in the sport.”
Technicians at the girls camp will be Julia Salata, Shauna Isabel and Steffanie Hampton.
Interest in both camps, call Tom Bennett at 616-635-7559, or go to Michigan Xtreme's web site for registration details!