2-time NCAA Champ Gabe Dean to host wrestling clinic at Canton

Two-time NCAA wrestling champion and four-time All-American Gabe Dean will be making a visit to Canton for a two day wrestling clinic on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Cornell University standout will bring with him the opportunity for area wrestlers to learn from the best in the sport and allow the kids to work on technique they can use for the upcoming season.

Canton coach Lyle Wesneski will be hosting the Cornell grappler in two 5-hour sessions at the Canton elementary school at 9 a.m. both days, with open enrollment continuing until 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. District 4 wrestlers will be able to learn technique from their feet and on the mats.

“It’s a great way for the kids to pick the brains from some of the elite guys.” Wesneski said.

Wesneski wants to continue the idea of bringing in high level talent for area wrestlers to learn from after he brought in Ohio State’s Logan Steiber in 2018.

Dean will highlight the importance of handfighting and getting in position to set up shots and how to get off bottom as a high school and early college wrestler. These were some areas Wesneski highlighted where district 4 wrestlers struggle in during the season.

“It gives the kids an opportunity to pick up two or three moves that can help in match situations.” Wesneski said.

Seeing the results and the turn out from Logan Steiber last year, Wesneski agreed to have Dean be the clinician this time around. “One bad weather day last year I was scrolling through social media and saw Steiber posted some dates he was available to travel and put on a clinic, so I texted him and he responded quickly, we set up a date and it worked out that he was wrestling in the World team qualifier, Final X match in Penn State one weekend that he was available.”

Wesneski views the opportunities as a way to grow the sport of wrestling in the district.

“A lot of kids right now don’t want to put in the extra work in the summer, so this is an opportunity for the ones who want to make the commitment to take two days out of their summer and learn from a name they recognize who has had success at the top level. It’s a way for the kids to be around a multiple time national champion and seeing what the training is like, what their mindset is like and how the lifestyle is. It’s a way to motivate the kids help them understand how the sport works.

Wesneski hopes to contine to bring in big name wrestlers as the sport is continuously changing high school rules to be more like college, and for some of the big name wrestlers to show technique.

“I want to keep the kids invested in the sport by learning new technique and ultimately be lifelong learners of wrestling.”