Area Youth Wrestlers Get Opportunity to Learn from National Youth Coach


Lisa Patrick

The Ashland Beacon


   Last weekend, youth wrestlers around Ashland got the opportunity to learn from Coach Mike Krause, who is considered to be one of the best youth coaches in the United States. The two-day camp took place Saturday, November 14, and Sunday, November 15 and was hosted by Gillum Drug and the Ashland Area Wrestling Club.

   Coach Krause has been traveling around the United States for the last 15 years, coaching wrestling camps and clinics. He has coached wrestlers in every state except Alaska and Hawaii. Krause likes to “excite kids and get them to love the sport of wrestling.”

   Blake Gillum had the opportunity to take his son to a clinic the first time that Coach Mike Krause came to Ashland a little over a year ago. “The way he ran a practice, the way he commanded his audience, the kids, the way he kept their attention and moved quickly between things so that they weren’t getting bored and they stayed entertained, I could just tell within a few minutes how impressive he was as a coach,” Gillum said. “I made up my mind that we needed to bring [Coach Krause] back.”

   Gillum Drug, along with AAWC, was glad to be able to bring in “someone who is as highly regarded as the number one youth coach in the United States to be here in Ashland to work with our kids, to help them get better, because the more they improve, the more fun they have with the sport” said Blake Gillum. Gillum’s son, Carson, said that he was sore after only one day. Coach Chuck Williams’ sons, Nick and Nathaniel echoed that sentiment. But all of them, along with more than 20 other youth wrestlers, showed up the second day of the camp ready to learn despite their sore muscles.

   Coach Krause is “a firm believer that wrestling is just like life. Wrestling is hard. Life is hard.” Krause has played golf, baseball, and football but the keyword is that he played those sports. “When you wrestle, you are a wrestler,” said Krause. “Wrestling is what you do. It takes over your whole life.” Krause continued “you can play baseball and eat pizza all day long, but wrestling is a whole different mindset. It teaches you how to handle life.”

   “This is intense, high-level instruction, the best you can get in the country,” said Blake Gillum, “so it’s not a pushover, it’s not a joke, this is as serious as it gets.” Some of the youth wrestlers have been on the team for several years and Gillum sahred that “they are ready to learn high-level stuff from high-level instructors.”

   This being Coach Krause’s second time in Ashland, he said, “I love the coaches. I love the kids. I love the city. The Delta Hotel is just fantastic.” and he “appreciates the opportunity” to visit Ashland and to work with the youth wrestling team here.