Screven County wrestling coach Andy Tomlin helped build Bulloch Academy into a statewide power in wrestling. Under Tomlin's guidance the Gators won four straight state titles, and he helped a number of Gators to individual state championships as well.
Tomlin is now the wrestling coach at Screven County where he helped the Gamecocks to the state tournament this year. Besides winning, Tomlin has also carried something else he started at Bulloch Academy, and that is his Takedown Camp, which takes place June 5-7th.
"This has been a growing project for three years," Tomlin said. "It began as a last minute thing we put together at Bulloch Academy in 2017. My wife was pregnant at the time, and our team would usually travel to South Florida for camp, but because of her condition, I felt it was important to try and stay closer to her."
Bulloch Academy coach Barbara Conner gave me the idea of trying to bring the camp to Statesboro," Tomlin said. "It was a huge success the first year, and we had a good group out last summer for our first year at Screven County."
As area wrestling continued to grow in popularity, the Takedown camps give plenty of student athletes an opportunity to go to a camp with elite instruction that they typically can only find hours from Southeast Georgia.
"On one end of the gym, we will have youngsters learning the basics, while at the other end of the gym we have middle and high school kids taking that next step with some advanced skills that they will see at the elite levels," Tomlin said. "Then there is the group in the middle which aren't beginners, but they aren't quite viewed as advanced that really are able to work to a higher level with other kids that are in the same boat as them."
"When you have 6 full mats down on the floor, and wrestling coaches and clinicians constantly walking around helping, teaching, and mentoring, your child is going to leave out of there with a positive mindset towards the sport," Tomlin said. "They will have great self confidence, and will be better on the mats in the fall and winter seasons."
The instruction comes from area coaches as well as some former collegiate wrestlers with pretty impressive resumes.
"We cover everything from the most basics of basics to the most advanced," Tomlin said. "Our world Class clinicians are Georgia grown including: Ryan Millhof who was a two time All-American at Arizona State and Oklahoma, Dustin Kawa who was an All-American at N.C. State, and Chip Ness who was an All-American at The University of North Carolina. We are all Gwinnett County Natives. Dustin( Owner of the Wrestling Academy and Takedown Sportswear) and I grew up together in Snellville, GA right outside of Atlanta."
The camp runs June 5-7 from 9 a.m. until noon. Registration is $150.00 and includes lunch each day and a camp t-shirt