DL camp hosts 50 area wrestlers
Just five months ago, the Detroit Lakes wrestling program was cramming nearly 50 wrestlers into a room that was the same size as a one-stall garage for their practices.
Now, with a new facility and a new attitude, the program is focused on offering the best opportunities for area wrestlers to practice the skills for the sport that has excelled in the area during this decade.
This past week, the Detroit Lakes wrestling program hosted a camp for area wrestlers to come and learn from some of the best wrestlers from the University of Minnesota.
The camp was host to 50 area wrestlers ranging in age from third grade to seniors in high school.
"We have the facility, and we want to give our kids the opportunities," said Rob Ullyott, who is the head varsity wrestling coach for Detroit Lakes. "We used to do camps, but now we can do larger camps and have more in the schedule."
Ullyott and his fellow Detroit Lakes coaches enlisted the help of some of the best wrestlers the University of Minnesota has to offer.
Two of those athletes grew up and went to high school right here in the Detroit Lakes area.
Brent Eidenschink graduated from Detroit Lakes High School in 2006, with many school records in the sport. He is the program's all-time wins leader, with 165 victories.
Over Eidenschink's career he reached the state tournament three times, with a pair of state-runner up finishes and a third place finish.
Frazee graduate Matt Nagel also had an impressive career, with much experience to offer to the are youth. Nagel was Minnesota's first five-time state champion during his high school career.
He then went on to be an All-American at the University of Minnesota, before becoming a coach at St. Michael-Albertville -- one of Minnesota's powerhouse wrestling programs.
The other three Gophers brought in to teach were Dustin Schlater, Jayson Ness and Mack Reiter; all of whom were All-Americans and have had impressive careers.
"We were fortunate to get these guys to help us," said Ullyott. "It helped that some of them were area guys. They spend a lot of time doing this, and we appreciate them coming here."
"I'm just trying to give to area teams," said Matt Nagel. "We like to give something different, but still have the same points that the coaches give."
Nagel and Reiter both were asked to help coach at the Concordia Cobbers' wrestling camp, and Reiter also runs his own camp at his high school in Iowa.
"I like giving back whenever I can," said Reiter.
When Reiter was asked about the facility, he said, "It's awesome to see what this community has done to help the program. It's nicer than the one we have at the University."
The youth were exposed to many different techniques that helped the Gopher wrestlers throughout their careers.
Ullyott said that the camp was established not only to help kids learn the sport, but also to help them be better athletes and people.
"I see all sorts of opportunities for our program, and that's what we're about," said Ullyott.
Each of the coaches had different messages to share about the sport and what is important about it.
"No matter how good you are, it's the same for everyone," said Nagel. "Pay attention to the small details and it's amazing how far you can go."
"Any one can be successful," said Reiter. "Hard work is the only thing you can control, but it's also the most important."
The camp is the first of many, as the DLHS wrestling program plans to make it an annual event.
"I just want to thank our coaches and boosters," said Ullyott. "Hopefully, we can build from here."