Moffat County wrestlers come to grips in clinic with NCAA champion
The Moffat County High School wrestling room was abuzz Oct. 19 and 20 as athletes at the youth level and older engaged in a clinic with Ben Cherrington, a Colorado native and champion grappler.
Cherrington was a three-time state champion while competing at Granby’s Middle Park High School and continued his success at the college level. He achieved an NCAA Division I 157-pound title in 2006 for Boise State University, compiling multiple conference and All-American honors in the process.
Cherrington also served as head coach at University of Northern Colorado from 2007 to 2012.
Since stepping down from higher levels of the sport, he has offered smaller sessions for younger athletes as a way to give back and instill a love for wrestling.
“It’s something they can carry with them as they progress through bigger and better competitions,” he said. “When you get the basics, you can always stay consistent. It’s a very individualized sport, and kids struggle with different things, but one big thing is learning how to move an opponent out of position and find positions they work good in. It’s tough to learn that, looking for the right opportunity instead of creating it.”
Cherrington said he focuses on the important beginning elements of grappling such as positioning and holds to make sure pupils keep it simple to start to make future learning easier.
“The basics are just that — the foundation of wrestling,” he said. “This is the kind of stuff they can have in their toolbox now and learn the flashier stuff later.”
MCHS coach Dusty Vaughn said he was familiar with Cherrington both in high school and college and seized the opportunity to have about 50 wrestlers work with him.
Despite a smaller turnout due to a heavy hunting weekend, Vaughn said the clinic was a huge success.
“He’s been great, just phenomenal,” Vaughn said. “He’s provided a real solid base of technique, and just the caliber of individual that he is makes these kids rise up another level with their competition just being around the guy.”
The grandeur of a a Hollywood musical and the sensibilities of the big top were on display Friday night at the Center of Craig.