July 30, 2013 at 12:08 AM
WEST ORANGE, NJ - Olympic wrestler and renown coach Ken Chertow held his Gold Medal training camp at Seton Hall Prep in West Orange for over 100 youths from all over North Jersey, July 26-29 . Chertow, who has been coaching for 30 years and running camps for 25, wants "to develop passion for the sport of wrestling" among the 6-18 year olds in attendance.
There seemed to be no lack of passion as Chertow began putting the boys through high energy warm-ups, drills, and coaching sessions. The boys were separated into age groups as Coach Chertow began preparing them for a rigorous schedule that included videos, training, and instruction in various pinning combinations.
Wrestling is a big sport in New Jersey. In fact, according to Amateur Wrestling News, in 2011 the state of New Jersey was ranked number 8 in the country for wrestling. In an article in Wrestling Insider News, in 2013 New Jersey was ranked number 5 in the country. Chertow attributes the growth to feeder programs that start the kids early in the sport, and the enthusiasm that youths and communities have for wrestling. He noted there are at least 85 Division One Colleges and 200 Division Two Colleges that offer wrestling scholarships (part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics). Chertow referenced wrestler Gene Mills, a New Jersey native who attended Syracuse University, winning two NCAA championships and who was Syracuse University's first and only four time All American.
Ken Chertow himself is a US Olympian; a three-time Academic All American; a three-time NCAA All American, and a two-time Junior World Champion. Chertow grew up in West Virginia and recalls that his mother first put him into a wrestling program at 10 because he was a 'small kid'. By the time he was in middle school, he knew he had the energy and drive to pursue wrestling. It took years, but Chertow finally broke the 500, and he soared to the top of the country's wrestlers. He attended Penn State while an Olympian. He later coached there, as well as at Ohio State.
Chertow is passionately dedicated to his camps and the kids, and recruits outstanding staff to assist him .The Gold Medal Training Camp is one of the most highly organized and successful in the nation, drawing hundreds of campers. It is estimated that from 1998-2010, high school campers won more than 500 State Championships, and younger campers won over 250 AAU, NHSCA, & USA National Championships. Scholarships are offered for campers in need.
The Gold Medal Camps run the gamut of curriculum instruction, drills, video/analysis, nutrition, and actual wrestling. When asked what his favorite move was, Coach Chertow did not hesitate to say "the lateral drop" and proceeded to demonstrate on some of the campers. "Who's my next victim"? he smiled.
For more information on Ken Chertow and his Gold Medal Wrestling Camps, go to kenchertow.com.