CROSS RIVER, N.Y. Adam Santoro was looking into various summer wrestling camps when his Iowa Style Wrestling Club coach, John Degl, made a suggestion.
Coach Degl told me to come to this camp because it was a good camp a lot of good kids were going to be here, including kids from the club and because Troy Nickerson and Joe Mazzurco were great coaches and instructors, said Santoro, a Valhalla resident and freshman-to-be at Fordham Prep.
Santoro was referring to the ninth annual New York State Wrestling Camp at John Jay Middle School. The camp began Monday and runs through Friday.
Mazzurco is a three-time Section 1 champion and 1999 New York state titlist. The Mahopac great finished with 191 varsity wins. He was also a state runner-up and third-place finisher. He went on to be a two-time All-American at Cornell. Nickerson, an Iowa State assistant wrestling coach, is a five-time New York state titlist and also All-American at Cornell.
Santoro had the pleasure, if you can call it that, of wrestling Nickerson. It was not something Santoro volunteered for.
Coach Degl suggested I wrestle with him, Santoro said. It was a great opportunity to wrestle with someone of his caliber. I was excited to wrestle with him. I wasnt going to say no.
Santoro experienced what it was like for Nickersons opponents to wrestle against him, let alone score a point.
It was fast-paced wrestling against him, Santoro said. Everything I did, he had a quick counter for. It was very hard to even grab his leg and hold onto it. It was even tougher to score on him.
I didnt go in against him scared. I had a couple of good shots and was trying different things. After we finished, he told me I did a good job and shook my hand.
Even before Santoro wrestled Nickerson, he was benefiting from his first two days.
I like the intensity of the camp, Santoro said. I also like the technique, because you are getting a taste of different techniques. Also, we are getting great conditioning from wrestling live for a long time.
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