Former Olympic wrestler and new Queens University head coach Ken Chertow recently held a youth camp at Fort Mill High.
Chertow is the first wrestling coach at Queens University in Charlotte, which just added wrestling to its sports program. Fort Mill head wrestling coach Chris Brock said it would have been foolish not to take advantage of Chertow’s wisdom and knowledge of the sport. With him being so close to Fort Mill, Brock reached out and together they put on the one-day camp at Fort Mill High.
“To say Ken Chertow is synonymous with American wrestling is an understatement,” Brock said. “He has contributed so much to American wrestling. Having him in our back yard is a valuable resource.”
Chertow was a three-time NCAA All-American at Penn State, where he went on to coach as well as at Big 10 rival Ohio State. He also is a two time World Junior champion, Pan American games champion and competed with Team USA in the 1988 Olympic games in Seoul. In the mid-1990s, after coaching at the college ranks, he opened his Olympian Summer Camp and wrestling school in West Virginia, where he would go on to produce seven high school state champions, 14 AAU national champions. In 1997, his Olympian Wrestling School team won the Wresting U.S.A National College Cup.
He opened a second camp at State College, Penn. in 1998.
“I went to a lot of wrestling camps and study the sport and learned the art of wrestling combining the physicality with the technique,” Chertow said. “Once I got done with college I started running camps myself. I have built a great system here nationwide.”
Chertow said he’s happy to be in the Queen City to get a new program off the ground.
“I am real excited to be in the community,” Chertow said. “I am real excited about the interest. My goal is to expose (wrestlers) to Queens University and inspire them to get a good education.”
Chertow said he wanted to help the Fort Mill camp attendees get focused and use wrestling as a way to get to college and further their education.
“With the young kids, it’s about getting them focused on using their brains and not just their brawn and preparing them for the future by getting good grades and taking school serious,” he said.
The camp portion lasted an hour and attracted hundreds of youth from as far south as the Columbia area. After the camp, the kids divided up into weight classes and had a mini-tournament to finish out the day.
Chertow will be holding another camp July 2-6 at Queens University. For more information regarding the camp or how to get involved, visit kenchertow.com and click “enroll.”
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @MacBanksFM