The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

25 grapplers get guidance from college wrestling coaches


August 15, 2018

Jaryd Cline

Coach Keith Goff, in the circle wrestling, was one of the two coaches who guided the 25 grapplers throughout the three-day satellite camp in Goldendale. Above, Goff shows the group one of the moves on Saturday in the Goldendale Middle School gym.

Shortly after school got out for the summer, Goldendale Grapplers Youth Wrestling Club President Rachele Williams and head coach Chris Williams were mulling over summer opportunities for many of the youth wrestlers in the area.

At first, they thought about opportunities out of town and sending some of the kids to camps in bigger cities, but many of the grapplers in the club were too young for out-of-town overnight camps.

With a large youth club and many motivated junior high and high school grapplers, they thought it would be a good idea to try and host a camp here in town.

"The more we threw around possibilities the more it made sense to try to hold a camp for our wrestlers here," Rachele Williams said.

They went through and looked into a couple of different satellite camps, where a coach or coaches travel long distances to work as guests at camps hosted by other institutions, and stumbled upon Jon Sioredas, head wrestling coach at Cal Poly, an NCAA DI school about 200 miles northwest up the coast from Los Angeles.

They talked with Sioredas a couple of times, and the veteran collegiate coach was more than interested in hosting one of his satellite camps here.

"He was excited about the possibility of coming to Goldendale to help us strengthen our program and move forward in building our wrestling community," Williams said. "Jon is passionate about helping build strong wrestling programs, especially in smaller areas where wrestling isn't a predominate sport."

Shortly after, the schedules were made up and Sioredas and Keith Goff, a head wrestling coach at a few schools in Virginia, would be in Goldendale mid-August for the camp.

Goldendale was fortunate that Sioredas chose to make Goldendale one of his stops for a satellite camp. He only holds around 10 or fewer of his camps each summer, and has hosted camps in Arizona, Georgia, and Maryland, and finishes the summer with a camp in Tennessee.

"We were extremely fortunate that we were able to secure one of his clinics here in Goldendale," Williams said.

Twenty-five kids were on hand last Thursday through Saturday for the camp, which was broken down into two-hour segments with a lunch break in between.

The wrestlers in attendance varied in skill and experience, but the coaching staff did a good job at going over things and breaking it down for the younger and less experienced kids.

"It's great that (the coaches) were able to adapt to everyone's needs and then still allowed the kids plenty of time to drill to really get the feel for some of the new techniques," Williams said.

The kids learned a lot of new moves and techniques, and also had a little extra fun with some skill and conditioning building games, but it wasn't just the wrestlers who picked up some tips and tricks.

"As coaches, we learned a lot of great new drills that we will be implementing into our program," Williams said about her and her husband.

Sioredas was there for Thursday's session, but had to take off after that to prepare for his next camp in Tennessee.

The veteran coach Sioredas has plenty of coaching experience and is more than welcome to continuing to share his time and knowledge.

He has 12 years of collegiate coaching experience with four NCAA schools (Cal Poly, Grand Canyon, Tennessee Chattanooga, and Old Dominion), Sioredas has coached five top-25 teams, one NCAA Division I national finalist, four NCAA All-Americans, 42 national qualifiers, 12 Academic All-Americans and helped with six top-20 recruiting classes.

As a wrestler in college, he was an All-American while competing at Tennessee Chattanooga, finished fifth in the 165-pound weight class in the 2005 NCAA Division I Championships. He was a two-time Southern Conference Champion and 2005 SoCon Wrestler of the Year and Tournament MVP. He was recently inducted into the UT Chattanooga Athletics Hall of Fame, joining Terrell Owens and many other standout athletes.

Chris and Rachele have already been talking about continuing the camp next summer and Sioredas and Goff are interested in returning to Goldendale next year.


The campers all pose for a group picture on the last day of the camp on Saturday. Coach Keith Goff is standing in the middle with the Cal Poly T-shirt.

If the camp returns next season, the Williams are hoping for even more grapplers to come out. The majority of the wrestlers attending last week's camp were from Goldendale, but some from around the Gorge attended as well as a group of kids from Medical Lake.

Both Chris and Rachele are thankful for the support they've received from the parents and community, along with Goldendale Middle School and Principal Dave Barta.

"Chris and I are very fortunate to have found such a great support system in the families of our wrestling club, The Goldendale Grapplers and are excited to continue to grow and gain even more community support for this great sport," Williams said.


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