Travis Linsacum’s love of wrestling started as soon as he could walk.
That love carried him through four years of high school, a state title and two years of college.
Now at age 25, the 2002 Moffat County High School graduate wants to help other youngsters learn the fundamentals of the sport he loves.
“I want to give these kids a good core of the basics and to start from,” he said. “More than anything, I just want to make it fun for the kids, make them enjoy the sport and want to be a part of it.”
To do that, Linsacum, who was the 2002 state champion in the 140-pound division and a mixed martial artist, is trying to start a youth wrestling program.
The program would cater to pre-school to fifth-grade grapplers. Unlike the Craig Bad Dogs youth wrestling team, however, Linsacum said the program won’t be competitive.
“They already have the Bad Dogs, but they are only allowed to let so many kids in, and there’s still a lot of interest,” he said. “The Bad Dogs are an elite program. Those kids travel the nation, and they are very good at what they do. It’s at a different level.”
Linsacum said he doesn’t want to compete with the Bad Dogs, but rather offer an alternative to youths starting the sport.
Kids learning the sport when they sign up with another program might become disinterested and decide not to continue wrestling if they find the competition is too tough, Linsacum said.
“That’s what gave me the idea,” he said. “It will be more of the basics and fundamentals of wrestling.”
Linsacum said he had several goals for program participants.
“No. 1 would be to get these kids some basic knowledge and teach them the fundamentals so they can build from that,” he said. “With the Bad Dogs, they are so advanced they are doing moves that need some basic knowledge just to get up to it.”
The program would likely practice once a week, Linsacum said, but he isn’t sure when it would begin.
“They do offer a peewee program in Craig, but it’s a month long and the parents I’ve talked to thus far said it’s four practices and you’re done, and its not enough for them,” he said. “I’ve been leaning towards three or four months, depending on the feedback I get from the parents, and what they want to see happen.”
To know for sure when and where the program will start, Linsacum is waiting on the wrestlers.
“First, I need to make sure there’s enough interest in the community to do it,” he said. “If I get into a situation where I’m looking for a facility and looking into insurance, I have to have enough kids signed up to justify doing it.”
Linsacum said he decided to help young grapplers learn to wrestle after his wrestling and cage-fighting career was over.
“Now, I’m at a point where it seems only right that I share some of my knowledge,” he said. “This is an opportunity to give back to the youth in our community.”
For more information, call Linsacum at 846-7514.