Wrestling with passion in Clark County

'Coach-A-Roo' camp draws around 90 grapplers to Camas

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University of Northern Colorado wrestling coach, and former Evergreen High School wrestler, Ben Vom Baur (far left) directs kids on the the mat Friday, during the final day of the Clark County Coach-A-Roo wrestling camp, at Skyridge Middle School in Camas.

o Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Skyridge Middle School, 5220 N.W. Parker St. in Camas

o $40 per person

o Register at the door, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Clark County wrestlers of all ages look up to Ben and Cory Vom Baur.

Between 1996 and 98, Ben compiled a record of 102 wins and 0 losses, and captured three state championships, when he wrestled for Evergreen High School in Vancouver. He also won two Pac-10 championships and became a two-time NCAA All-American, at Boise State University.

Also wrestling for Evergeen, Cory capped off his high school career with a state championship in 2005. He qualified for the NCAA tournament all four years he was at the University of Wyoming.

On Thursday and Friday, the Vom Baurs returned home to headline the second Clark County Coach-A-Roo wrestling camp at Skyridge Middle School in Camas. Around 90 kindergartners- through 12th-graders attended the week long camp. Attendees included Camas High School wrestlers Tyler Weiss, Dakota Safford, and Tye and Taryn Lommason, and Evergreen High School wrestlers Michael Nguyen (103-pound 4A state champion), Matthew Nguyen (state runner-up at 112 pounds) and Stephanie Simon (145-pound girls state runner-up).

“It all made for some great match-ups,” said camp director Brody Faler. “This year felt more like a community wide effort, which is what I was striving for. That dynamic between the college, high school, middle school and elementary kids is what’s going to keep this camp going strong in the years to come.”

o Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Skyridge Middle School, 5220 N.W. Parker St. in Camas

o $40 per person

o Register at the door, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Ben and Cory Vom Baur enjoyed sharing their passion for wrestling in the area they grew up in. Ben was head coach of state wrestling champion Wasatch High School, in Utah. He also coached at the University of Wyoming, before his current job as assistant coach at the University of Northern Colorado.

“I like when they do camps like this, especially for the little guys. When I’m involved, I try to make it fun for them,” Ben said. “This sport has given me a lot, and I try to give back as much as I can. If these kids can take one or two moves from this camp, and implement them into their wrestling, then this has been successful.”

Cory is an assistant wrestling coach at Evergreen High School, while working on a teaching degree.

“We are trying to expand the skill levels of county wrestlers at all different age groups. We want to develop future champions at all different levels,” he said. “What I’ll remember most about this camp is seeing those first-timers on the mat becoming wrestlers. They’re taking good shots and starting to understand the fundamentals, and that’s only after just one week of practice.”

Eleven-year-old Riley Frazier of Vancouver turned heads with his aggressiveness on the mat.

“I’ll remember all the moves we went over,” he said. “We just drilled and drilled and drilled. It kind of all became muscle memory.”

Riley’s older brother Rudy just graduated from Heritage High School. Rudy is going to wrestle in college at Dickinson State, in North Dakota.

“I just want to make him proud, and become a state champion,” Riley said. “Your younger brother should be better than you, that’s what Rudy always says.”

Faler wants to continue to be a part of this county wrestling camp in some form. After two years of leading the Camas Junior Wrestling club, the former Papermaker accepted a teaching and coaching position at Kelso High School.

“I would love to see this camp continue to do its part by building relationships and helping promote the wrestling culture in the county,” he said. “Camas will always be a place that I call home. This is where I grew up, graduated from high school, and this is where my family is. I care a lot about wrestling in this area. Not just at Camas, but all around Clark County.”