CAC Wrestling Program Continues to Invest in Little Rock Wrestling Community
In June 2008, Arkansas became the 49th state to add high school wrestling as a sanctioned sport through the combined efforts of Greg Hatcher and Don Schuler. Central Arkansas Christian Schools was at the forefront of that decision and proudly became the first private school in Arkansas to add wrestling to its Athletics Program.
Since 2008, CAC’s Wrestling Program has earned three State Championships and placed in the Top Three a total of six years. The program boasts 21 Individual State Champions, five Outstanding Wrestler awards, one Victory with Honor recipient and a Dave Shultz award winner.
Neil Erisman, the head coach for UALR’s new D1 wrestling program, recognized the effort and commitment made by CAC to bring competitive wrestling to the high school level in Arkansas.
“It’s important to note how big of an investment CAC made into wrestling, and how much of an investment they continue to make,” Erisman said. “CAC is part of the founding of high school wrestling in Arkansas and helping to get it sanctioned. They jumped on that train early, which was a big deal.”
CAC continues to carry on that commitment to wrestling in Arkansas as they enter the 2018-2019 season. The varsity 11-man team is led by six returning student-athletes and five newcomers who compete in a total of nine weight slots. CAC’s head wrestling coach Richard Burton said he is excited about the great attitude and skill level the student-athletes bring to the team this year.
“It’s a really good group of guys,” Burton said. “They work really hard, and they are serious about it, but they also know how to have a good time. They have a good time together, but when it’s time to work, they work hard. And as a coach, that’s exactly what you want from your guys.”
By nature, wrestling requires a specific skill set that focuses on an individual’s ability to master and execute techniques. According to Erisman, wrestling teaches athletes how to control their bodies – how to fall properly, how to break a fall and how to be resilient. The fundamental skills learned through wrestling can easily be transferred to other physical activities and sports, and provides a solid foundation for physical activity for years to come.
This December, the CAC Wrestling Program – along with Coach Neil Erisman and 4x NCAA Champion Pat Smith – is excited to host a free Holiday Clinic for wrestlers, coaches and parents in the Little Rock area. Any wrestlers ages Kindergarten – 12th grade (any skill level) are welcome to attend and learn the fundamentals of wrestling, or to practice new techniques and improve overall understanding. Special sessions for parents and coaches will be offered during the day and will cover topics such as: The Importance of Wrestling, How Wrestling Shapes Your Child, Building Your Program, and more.
“Our goal for the clinic is to show skills, techniques and drills that can be used and applied to help kids become better wrestlers,” Erisman said. “We want to help kids understand that wrestling is an avenue that they can use to get out there and tell people who you are and what you believe in. It’s a good platform for kids for the rest of their lives because it teaches a lot of discipline, a lot of perseverance and a lot about real life situations.”
The clinic has already garnered tremendous interest and spaces are limited! If you or your student-athlete are interested in attending, Click Here to register and for more information.
The future of wrestling is bright in Little Rock, and CAC is proud to be part of that ever-growing community!