National champion attends Washington wrestling camp

Published 6:49 pm Thursday, July 18, 2019

Head wrestling coach Chris Penhollow held a wrestling camp at Washington High School on Wednesday and Thursday for middle and high school students in two different sessions.

To help lead the camp, Penhollow invited University of Northern Iowa wrestling hall of famer Tony Davis to the event. Davis won the 146-pound national championship at the 2000 NCAA championships held in St. Louis, Missouri. He was the first national title winner in 37 years at UNI when he accomplished the feat. In high school, Davis claimed a 65-1 record, winning a state title in 1994 and placing second in 1995. He also won the Golden Glove title as a boxer during his freshman year at Mt. Carmel High School in Chicago.

Campers said they were excited to learn from Davis, and Penhollow said he was happy to have him be a part of it.

“The camp went great,” Penhollow said. “We were very fortunate to have some amazing, knowledgeable and successful wrestlers in our area to draw a knowledge from.”

This will be the last wrestling camp Washington wrestlers will participate in with Penhollow until the season starts.

“We set this up so we can get some of our football guys in because they’re shut down this week. After this week we shut it down until October,” Penhollow said. “Last week, we took 10 (wrestlers) to North Carolina State to a dual-team camp and stayed in the dorms. They got to wrestle about 10 dual matches against teams all throughout the country.”

TAKE DOWN: Washington Wrestling Camp attendees Steve Cannaday and Alex Hopper practice their wrestling techniques on Thursday afternoon. (Mitchell Thomas / Daily News)


In October, the Pam Pack will ramp up conditioning for the wrestling season. Washington may have a chip on its shoulder after falling to Croatan High School in the East Regional finals by two points in the last match of the day last year.

“This should be another successful year for our program,” Penhollow said. “The way we lost last year by two points from getting to the state finals should sting a little bit and motivate them.”

One of the senior leaders on the Pam Pack wrestling and football team, Mykel Warren, explained how his goal was to respond this year after being ousted in the state semi-finals last season.

“The camp was exciting, especially for the young guys to come out and learn some things,” Warren said. “My goal (for this year) is to be a role model for the young guys and be a state champion.”

Rising sophomore Isaac Campbell said he had fun at the camp but has the same ultimate goal in mind as his teammates and coach.

“We worked on taking shots, worked on our stances and working fast. It was fun,” Campbell said. “The goal is to place first in state. I’m running cross-country to help keep me in shape.”

The camp will likely be in a different location next summer, according to Penhollow, but he was pleased with the turnout of this year’s event.