Women’s Wrestling Camp Brings Statewide Programs

Along with various wrestling tournaments, the Sweet Home High School Wrestling program continues to stay busy in their off season. The most recent of their accomplishments was the Santiam Women’s Wrestling Camp that started Saturday, June 29 and ended Monday, July 1. 

This camp, put on by Sweet Homes’ Head Coach Steve Thorpe and Thurston’s’ Head Coach Mike Simons, started in 2021 with only 23 girls attending. 

This year, the camp saw almost 100 girls and even some of the original participants. Paige Chaffin was one of those wrestlers, being a three-time state champion and is currently wrestling at Southern Oregon University (SOU). Along with Sweet Home Alumni, Thurston’s’ Kaylee Annis, who was also a three-time state champion and is attending SOU, attended this camp. 

“They were two of the original group that came back to the camp,” Thorpe said. “Now they’re both wrestling in college and they’re coming back and giving back.”

Along with this, multiple ’23 graduates were also in attendance, using this opportunity to practice and get better. Thorpe attributes the high turnout to multiple schools bringing multiple groups. 

“We had them all over the state of Oregon,” he said. “We had Scappoose, Banks, Heppner, Irrigon, Sweet Home, West Albany, they [all] brought literally groups.” 

The camp began with a group picture, and followed with various warm-up exercises. After this, the girls got busy practicing in the main gym and the wrestling room. 

Thorpe didn’t create this three-day summer camp alone. He credits Simons for helping put on. 

“Mike and I wrestled at Oregon State together, he’s one of my best friends,” Thorpe said. “We did this venture together, the women’s camp and the men’s camp.”