Local U.S. Club Keeps Viking Grapplers Busy
Union Pines head wrestling coach Matt Ragsdale is the director of the Copperheads, a United States wrestling program, which is based out of Union Pines.
"The club is for kids aged 4 to 18 and is an opportunity for them to wrestle in the spring and summer in both freestyle and Roman Greco competition," Ragsdale said. Several Union Pines' Viking wrestlers are members of the Copperheads.
The team recently returned from the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior nationals held in Virginia Beach. "This was a great trip, which provided invaluable experience for our wrestlers," said Ragsdale, "there were over 2500 wrestlers from every state in America, with 25 mats sprawled across the floor of the arena."
This Friday and Saturday the Copperheads will take part in the Tar Heel state classic, then the club is hosting a tournament Sunday at 2pm. The event is a "wrestle-off" for the North Carolina State Coaches Association (NHSCA) national duals in Salisbury, Maryland.
"Several Viking wrestlers have made this trip in recent years," said Ragsdale, "which always features some of the very best competition in the nation. We will also be running one mat Sunday for the younger (middle and elementary school) and for the less experienced high school wrestlers."
On April 25 the Copperheads travel to Morehead High School, in Eden NC, for a tournament on Saturday on the 26th. May 8, 9, 10 at Union Pines, the third annual Bucknell Bison Camp will be held At Union Pines.
"We will have a total of four clinicians this year including all American Jeff Ragen from Oklahoma State University, Dan Wirnsberger, the NCAA runner-up from Michigan State University, and NCAA All-American Mike Clayton from Navy."
This will a three day camp for Viking/Copperhead wrestlers and a two-day camp for any other schools wanting to attend. Registration forms for the camp can be obtained on Ragsdale's office door at Union Pines High School. The camp fee is fifty dollars.
"We are having an outstanding spring with lots of kids participating," said Ragsdale.
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