By Terese Toennies, USAG Humphreys April 2, 2013
CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea (April 2, 2013) -- Since the age of eight, wrestling has been Jeremy Larson's sport. His impressive grappling resume includes winning the individual Minnesota state high school championship as a senior, followed by a scholarship to the University of Minnesota, where he wrestled for five years. He and his team won the NCAA national championship and the Big Ten team title in the 2006 to 2007 academic year.
The Army has brought Larson, a captain assigned to Bravo Company, 602nd Aviation Support Battalion, here, and the garrison's youth now have the fortune of learning from an expert in the sport. He has volunteered his experience as a coach of Humphreys' newly formed Youth Wrestling Club.
"Since graduating in 2008, I've missed the sport," he said. "I'm hearing from my friends and teammates back home, who are still involved in wrestling, and I wanted to get back on the mat."
Larson plans to do just that, by instructing children in his style of wrestling, which focuses on maintaining control over an opponent and points achieved through pins and is the most common variation of the sport at the high school and college levels.
He will also provide instruction in the more internationally popular freestyle wrestling, the object of which is to score points using the entire body. Participating youth will build on basic skills, developing fundamentals as they proceed in the club.
Wrestling not only builds physical skills, it offers an opportunity to impart character traits.
"I want to instill determination, that's a big thing that wrestling teaches," he said. "I also want the kids to learn to have fun with the sport."
Other key traits that wrestling demands are self-discipline, confidence and mental toughness, he added. Weight classes ensure physical fairness among competitors, so it is also a sport that anyone, regardless of body type, can feel welcome in and excel at.
The club meets from 5:45-6:45 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, at the Humphreys Community Fitness Center's (Super Gym) combatives room.
Boys and girls of all experience levels, in grades 3-12, are welcome to join at any time under the condition that the Child, Youth and School Services paperwork is on file prior to participation. There is a $20 cost, which includes training through August and a wrestling club t-shirt. For more information, contact Youth Sports, at 753-5602.