The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Independent Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By A.J. Etherington
The Courier 

Strong and Getting Stronger

Scottie Wrestling Camp Keeps Building Program


August 14, 2019

Ramazan Attasauov (bottom) takes down Charlie Klepps (top) while Iowa State coaches and assistants, left to right: Derek St. John, Willie Miklus and Brett Metcalf, look on.

Last year the Scottie Wrestling Camp set a new record, they reached a total attendance of nearly 120 wrestlers. This year from Aug. 5 through 7, 2019, the camp drew numbers in that same arena coming in at 119 wrestlers in attendance. The success of the camp is its draw for elite level wrestlers. Students travel from as far away as Portland, Ore. and Nebraska to learn from the instructors – all of which compete at the NCAA level and many of them are multiple All-American and top level contenders out of Iowa State.

Still, as the Glasgow High School Wrestling Coach Jory Casterline put it, many of the participants are from Montana and many are from schools that return year after year for the training. "We've got kids from Bozeman to Great Falls and Havre to Sidney," stated Casterline. "One thing that's kind of exciting is all the girls. We've got some really competitive H.S. Level girls." He continued that the sports expansion to include girls and women at upper levels of the sport has been, "good for the sport." In 2019, eight upper-level girl wrestlers attended the camp.

Casterline also credited the timing for the camp for its success – at least for Glasgow area youth. "You provide an opportunity for these kids, you bring in these five guys (referring to the Iowa State coaches and athletes) and everything is over and nothing has started yet," explained Casterline discussing how the fair and other summer events had ended and no fall sports had started. "There's no excuse if you want to get better."

The quality of the camp is in the coaches and instructors. Each year Iowa State Wrestling Assistant Coaches Brett Metcalf and Derek St. John bring along NCAA athletes and junior coaches to assist in the program. This year they brought along Iowa State wrestlers Ramazan Attasauov, Jarrett Degen and Charlie Kepps as well as graduate assistant coach Willie Miklus.

Attasauov is originally from the Caucus region of Russia and has been wrestling since he was five years old. When he first started in America he was in Pennsylvania and then Massachusetts before finally landing at Iowa State.

Like many of the wrestlers travelling along to help instruct the camps, Attasuov has a passion for passing on the sports traditions and what he has learned from it. "I love working with and helping the kids," stated the grappler, "I just love wrestling."

Degen had the same views. He picked up the sport as a preschooler at four years of age and has held onto it for the last 18 years of life. He's wrestled the last three years at Iowa State a fter leaving Virginia Tech alongside coaching staff that had drawn him there.

As far as why he started wrestling Degen is unsure, "I don't know. My mom is here she's the one to ask." But as far as why he stayed in wrestling, he is unequivocal, "I loved it. There is something about wanting something so bad and chasing it to the next level. You're never done climbing the ladder in wrestling."

Degen, like Attasauov, was also at the camp to give back to the sport. "I love giving back to the kids. I loved growing up doing these camps and having the college kids from Montana help out. It's just great to help them get better."

Degen wrestled in Belgrade, Mont. before heading to Iowa State. He took the Class A Champion Medal all four years of his high school career. He has also been a two-time NCAA qualifier and a one-time All American for his seventh place finish at the NCAA National Finals.

Klepps is also a native Montanan out of Billings, and like so many top level competitors he got into the sport at a young age, starting in the first grade. "My family always did it," said Klepps on why he wanted to be a wrestler. He also added, "and it was a good way to release energy, you know, and all that."

That energy release took him to the NCAA level where he is still competing for Iowa State. His sentiment on going to the next level was simple. "It's like the highest place to be in wrestling and I wanted to see if I was tough enough to make it," stated Klepps.

That same energy was on display at camp. Klepps said he was interested in doing the camps so he could use what he has been given by the sport and give it back to the kids present. He recalled how when he grew up going to wrestling camps he was inspired by college level athletes he viewed as celebrities, so giving back was a natural choice.

The participants, instructors and coaches of the 2019 Scottie Wrestling Camp.

Miklus graduated recently and has remained on to assist the coaching staff at Iowa State. He has been wrestling for 20 years – since he was just six years old – and he has the career to back it up as not only a four-time All American but as a four-time Academic All American as well.

Like many of the others, wrestling was a family thing but it became a passion for a different reason. "It's what I love to do. It's just fun, enjoyable and something I've always done," explained Miklus.

He made his way to Montana for all the same reasons the other competitors came up to Glasgow – to help kids gain a passion and proficiency for the sport. "I really like being around kids. I feel like it's a way to give back to the sport," explained Miklus. "I mean it's hard to put into words what the sport has given me, so I like to give it back."


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