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2/28/2013 Bobcat Cameron Ham takes state mat victory

He’s first Custer County wrestler in 28 years to bring home the gold

Kudos to Custer County High School wrestler Cameron Ham!

Ham, a senior who weighs in at 106 pounds, won the 2A state wrestling title last weekend at the state wrestling competition in Denver. He is the first Bobcat wrestler in 28 years to win the state title.  That wrestler was Greg Torrea.

“I’ve been wrestling since I was four years old,” said Ham. The teen credits his dad for getting him hooked on the sport. “Dad coached Peewees so he was always coaching me and I kept sticking with it.” Ham also said, “It was really nice to win the state championship since this is my last year competing at the high school level.”

Additionally, Ham recalled the four matches he won to take home the state 2A title. “I was really excited. I knew when I saw where I was seated at the tournament that I would have a good run,” said Ham.

Ham said that during each of the four matches he stayed calm and wrestled at his full potential.

As for what’s next on the horizon, Ham said he would like to wrestle at the college level, however, he has not yet determined a school.

He also offered some advice to those who think they would like to wrestle. “If you like it, stick with it; work hard at it and don’t give up.”

Ham is the son of Mike and Sheila Ham. He has two siblings, Brendon and Serenity.

Prior to moving to the Valley with his family in the sixth grade, Ham lived in Texas and Las Animas.

But Ham’s story is not the only one to be told as Bobcat wrestlers senior Wyatt Wommack, junior Manny Pedigo, and sophomores Titus Crawford, Weldon Rusher and Kody Aldrich also competed at state last weekend. The team finished 20th out of 44 teams.

Rusher was able to push past the opening night nerves and come out strong Friday morning with a win, but then dropped his third match.

Although Pedigo was not intimidated by the crowd and held his composure, he was unable to pull out any wins.

Bobcat grapplers not competing in the tournament were on hand to cheer on their fellow team members.

Coach Brad Anderson encouraged the team to attend the event together to further instill his philosophy that being able to see the work required and the work put in and then see the rewards gained helps to validate the process.

Reflecting on the season, Anderson said the team being there showing their support is proof of a successful year. “They felt like a part of it, and wanted to be a part of it,” the coach observed. “They’re the ones behind the scenes that helped get us there and made Cameron’s win possible. Through all the drills, conditioning and practices, there was a positive atmosphere all year; there were no weak links.”

Under Anderson’s leadership, the team learned and implemented new moves and habits helping them become more effective on the mat. Wednesdays regularly found the team getting a little extra practice on throwing techniques in the pool, as Club America’s student membership afforded opportunities to include swimming and sauna in their training schedule.

Coach Anderson believes this year’s success can carry into future years and Custer County can be a name announced more often at state.

 As part of the process in the state tournament, coaches must register their finalists for the Parade of Champions. When he was doing this, Anderson discovered Cameron had mistakenly been listed from Crowley County. Upon correcting it, the coach received a surprised response, then an apology accompanied by, “you (Custer County) haven’t usually been here, so we didn’t realize there was a mistake.” To which he replied, “Well, get used to having us here!”

Closing out his first year as head coach, Anderson wants to thank the community and school, especially the Board and administration, for giving him a chance to coach. “My family has been here since 1993, and my wife and girls and I love this Valley,” stated Anderson. “It’s been great to have the opportunity and be trusted to coach the kids.”