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Hempfield wrestling camp provides chance to learn from Penn State coach, sport's best

| Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Revie
Penn State wrestling coach and Olympic gold medalist Cael Sanderson demonstrates a move at the Vince DeAugustine Elite Wrestling Camp on Thursday, June 13, 2013, at the high school.

The fifth annual Vince DeAugustine Elite Wrestling Camp featured a star-studded group of clinicians, headlined by Penn State coach Cael Sanderson.

The camp was held at the Hempfield Area High School for 79 wrestlers, and more than half of the campers were from the Hempfield School District. It was held June 10-13.

Other staff members included two-time NCAA champion and United States Olympian Jake Herbert, NCAA All-American Nico Megaludis (a sophomore at Penn State), NCAA champion American University coach Teague Moore and new University at Buffalo coach John Stutzman, who coached Bloomsburg University this past season.

DeAugustine said what impressed him the most about the staff was how they interacted with the wrestlers.

“When the staff talked to the kids, they had their full attention,” DeAugustine said. “The biggest thing that I liked is how they explained is how to think like a champion and how they prepared for the big tournaments. It was a fantastic week.”

Some of the top wrestlers from Westmoreland County attending included state champions Sam Krivus of Hempfield, Tyler Smith of Franklin Regional and George Phillippi of Derry Area. Others attending were two-time state champion Jason Nolf of Kittanning, Kiski School's Dom Scalise and Ethan McCoy and Southmoreland's Austin Griffiths and Jake Beistel.

Sanderson doesn't do many clinics away from campus, but he felt it was important to come to DeAugustine's camp.

“When you come to a clinic like this, you want to show your passion for the sport and give them some technique and insight in what it takes to be successful,” Sanderson said. “What kind of attitude and drive it takes and the hunger for progress and how important it is.

“I've received quite a few questions. They've been here for a while, and they're doing a good job. There also are a lot of little kids, and it's tough to keep their attention, but they did a good job.”

Sanderson said he was pleased how Megaludis worked with the kids.

“Whatever Nico does, he gives 100 percent,” Sanderson said. “He's an awesome student, an Academic All-American. He's all-in when he teaches technique. He's gotten where he is based on work and determination. That's the type of guys you want your kids around.”

Megaludis is training for the University World Championships in July in Russia.

“This is a big area for us (WPIAL),” Sanderson said. “We have a lot of kids from this area on our team, and hopefully we get a lot more.”

DeAugustine said every clinician added something different.

“(Sanderson) is not only the greatest wrestler of all time, he's a great person who is great with the kids,” DeAugustine said. “Jake and Teague had a fun little battle going on Twitter, and John was very good.”

Herbert and Moore attended North Allegheny High School, and Herbert urged the kids to ask Moore who was the greatest wrestler ever at NA.

“Moore had a great response in telling them his assistant coach beat Herbert in college,” DeAugustine said. “It got a laugh from the kids.”

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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