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MEEKER I Four-time All-American Joe LeBlanc held a wrestling clinic in Meeker on his birthday Thursday before Meeker High School wrestlers participated in the Paonia team camp last weekend.
“It was great to come home,” LeBlanc, a MHS alumnus and recent graduate of the University of Wyoming, said. “There is a lot of support for the team and there is a resurgence of the Meeker wrestling tradition, and I’m happy to come back and help. So many came back to help me when I was in high school, I’m glad I was invited to contribute to the great tradition.”
LeBlanc was traveling with former Wyoming teammate Brandan Richardson, a red-shirt sophomore for the Cowboys from Idaho. LeBlanc has moved to Bloomington, Ind., with his wife Amanda and sons Tyson and Colby. LeBlanc will be the assistant coach for the University of Indiana, under former Colorado state and national champion Duane Goldman.
The Meeker Community Wrestling Club hosted the clinic in the MHS wrestling room and held a barbecue with a dessert auction as a fundraiser for the club.
“We had good participation and the barbecue went well, hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves,” Meeker head coach J.C. Watt said.
The day following LeBlanc’s clinic, 13 Meeker kids traveled to Paonia for the annual team camp and Watt said his team wrestled 12 duals, including one against a team from Arizona and another from Nebraska.
“I saw kids use some techniques that Joe showed them and they worked,” Watt said.
Watt said Josh Cochran, Nick Burri, Calvin Shepherd, Robby Jensen, Tristin Pelloni, Jacob Henderson, Aaron Cochran, Anthony Watt, Willis Begaye, Devon Pontine, T.J. Shelton, J.R. Crawford and Kylloe Goedert all wrestled in Paonia.
“We camped out on the football field and the kids had fun,” Watt said.
Watt said his team will compete in another team camp this weekend at Western State College in Gunnison.
“The kids get to stay in the dorms and eat in the cafeteria, giving them kind of a college experience, which they like,” Watt said.