The city of Turlock is well known for its wrestling programs. With teams at Turlock High, Pitman High, Dutcher Middle School, and Turlock Junior High, as well as a long-established youth program in the Turlock Youth Wrestling Club, many Turlockers have grown up with an affinity for the mat.
But one man wants to add to Turlock’s wrestling culture and bring a program to town without school affiliation or school district divides.
“This is a mecca for wrestling, but it’s mostly school based,” Tim McCabe said. “We’re trying to break down the walls of the rivalry. You want a good rivalry, but you also want to give the kids an opportunity to have fun and learn without that pressure.”
McCabe, who recently moved to Turlock after coaching at Charter Oak High in Covina, is the current head wrestling coach at Dutcher and an assistant coach at Pitman High. He also teaches for the Pride.
After spending a year in town, McCabe decided it would be a good place to start up the Champion Wrestling Academy, a youth program—sharing the same name as his San Diego County based program—with the goal to educate and develop a fresh crop of future wrestlers.
“It’s not connected with Pitman, I just want to get the youth involved,” McCabe said. “My goal is to incorporate coaches from both Turlock and Pitman. I want it to be a hand in hand thing.”
“Parents and kids from both sides seem excited,” he added.
Though the Champion Wrestling Academy has yet to be officially established—no practice area or official sign ups yet—McCabe has already succeeded in partnering with the Turlock Youth Wrestling Club and signing up 25 wrestlers for an upcoming Summer camp featuring wrestling superstar Mike Krause.
The camp headlined by Krause—former Michigan State University wrestler, founder of Team Shamrock, and “Youth Coach of the Century” according to FLOWRESTLING—is set to act as a kickoff for McCabe’s new wrestling academy.
“We’re really good friends. He travels all over the nation doing camps; he’s the number one guy,” McCabe said of Krause.
There are an estimated 50-70 open spots remaining for the summer camp which will be held June 11-13. There will be multiple camp sessions per day with a $120 price tag, though there is a $10 discount for teams of 10 wrestlers or more.
As for the Champion Wrestling Academy, it will compete in both freestyle and folkstyle competitions.
“Once we start our practices we’ll separate them into different age groups and ability,” McCabe said.
For more information on the upcoming summer camp or the new youth program, contact McCabe at (626) 252-0470.