The Nevada Union and Bear River wrestling teams got some Olympic-caliber instruction earlier this week when silver medalist wrestler Stephan Abas helped out at NU’s West Gym.
Abas, a three-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion while attending Fresno State and freestyle silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic games, spent Monday and Tuesday running drills and working with the area’s prep wrestling teams.
“We worked on a lot of motion stuff,” Abas said. “Things that will help them set up their shots.”
NU wrestling coach Gary Sumner said the visit from such an accomplished wrestler had a major impact on his team.
“You could hear a pin drop,” Sumner said. “They were all really focused on him.”
The West Gym was packed with family and friends of wrestlers Monday when the Bear River and NU teams took instruction from Abas and later competed in a scrimmage.
Abas, revered for his impressive single-leg take down, ran drills and offered tips throughout the two-day visit and said he may return at a later date to offer some more of his expertise.
Those in attendance were glued to Abas’ every word, and the wrestlers viewed it as the chance of a lifetime, said Sumner.
What impressed Abas was the wrestlers’ thirst for knowledge, Abas said.
“They appreciated my accomplishments and were more than willing to learn,” Abas said. “I wish the team good luck and hope they keep learning.”
Abas is currently a mixed martial arts fighter and hopes one day to break into the UFC. Abas is 3-0 in his MMA career.
Nevada Union gets its wrestling season kicked off Dec. 1 when it heads to the Vista Varsity Invitational.