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Trip to Ohio pays off for Rebels
Fifteen Effingham County High School wrestlers made the trek to Ohio to take part in the Jeff Jordan State Champ Camp. - photo by Photo provided

The Effingham County High School wrestling team is on its way home from the Jeff Jordan State Champ Camp in Ohio, and coach Nico Guggino was thrilled with how his charges competed.

“Going to the Jeff Jordan camp in Ohio was a great experience for us as a team,” he said. “Not only did we get to see and wrestle with some great wrestlers throughout the week, the kids also got an understanding of how wrestling is a way of life up north. Some of our kids now understand that wrestling is not simply a sport one participates in outside of football during the winter. It is a sport that requires dedication, discipline and a desire to become better.”

Guggino said his wrestlers also learned more about what being a wrestler entails.

“Because these kids came to this camp and went through the daily grind of drilling and wrestling live, the desire is there,” he said. “Most of our kids came home beat up and sore, but they now have an understanding and a respect for the sport that was not there before. As a coach, I feel this will really benefit them next season because now they understand why the practices and preparation are so hard during the season.

“Being the best is not easy, and if these kids want to achieve their goals in this sport and in life, hard work is a quality they must have.”

The trip to Ohio also showed his wrestlers parts of the country they hadn’t seen, Guggino noted.

“The kids also had a great time experiencing life outside of Effingham County,” he said. “Driving through the mountains and meeting wrestlers from around the country is an experience they will never forget. Wrestling is a sport that can open many doors for athletes in our area, if they simply give it the chance.”

The Rebels coach also has hopes for the future of wrestling in the area and believes the experiences his wrestlers have now can build a foundation.

“The sport has grown tremendously over the past 10 years,” Guggino said, “and hopefully it will continue to grow and we can become a perennial powerhouse throughout the state. By taking 15 kids to Ohio, we are heading in the right direction.”