CROSS RIVER, NY -- Danny Ventura attended the New York State Wrestling Camp as a newcomer to the sport when he was going into seventh grade. Ventura, now a Fox Lane senior, said he wanted to learn about the sport so his first modified wrestling season would run smooth.
He returned to camp the following summer and it resulted in an undefeated eighth-grade year for Ventura. He has gone on to establish himself as one of the elite wrestlers in Section 1, after a second-place finish at 119 pounds in the 2011 New York State large-school championships.
Ventura returned to the four-day camp Monday and is now a counselor. He is one of the many Section 1 wrestlers who is working as counselors. The camp runs through Thursday at John Jay-Cross River High School. Five-time New York State wrestling champion Troy Nickerson is the featured clinician. Former Mahopac great, 1999 state champion and two-time all-America at Cornell, Joe Mazzurco, will be running the Thursday night session.
When I first came here, I was videotaping everything Nickerson was teaching and I picked up a lot, Ventura said. Watching that videotape, I was able to use a lot of moves Nickerson taught. Ventura, the 2011 Section 1 large-school 119-pound runner-up, is enjoying his first year as a counselor. He was working with some high school wrestlers, including Hackleys Daniel Shaw and North Rocklands Troy Feniger.
Teaching moves helps me better understand it, Ventura said. You have to pay attention to detail when you are listening to Nickerson. I like being here and working with the Section 1 wrestlers. We had a lot of state finalists this year so by working with the section wrestlers, this is where we can help Section 1 continue to stay on top.
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