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Gannon’s Don Henry brings wrestling expertise to Samoan grapplers

Photo courtesy Gannon Sports Information.
Photo courtesy Gannon Sports Information.

Photo courtesy Gannon Sports Information.

By Gannon Sports Information

ERIE, Pa. – Gannon head wrestling coach Don Henry and former Gannon wrestling student-athlete Sean Floor are taking the program around the world.

Henry and Floor spent two weeks during the summer offseason passing along their wrestling expertise in Samoa where the duo helped the Ca-Boom Wrestling Club conduct clinics.

“It was a pleasure to work with the kids,” said Henry. “They were strong, tough and very dedicated to the sport of wrestling. They had a great foundation and understanding of the sport. The coaches at Ca-Boom did a tremendous job as the kids were prepared and in great shape when I arrived.”

Outside of the wrestling circle, Henry was able to spend some time getting to know the culture. He learned how to husk coconuts, got a taste of many Samoan delicacies and enjoyed breathtaking sights such as Sliding Rock and Mt. Alava.

“I truly feel blessed to have been able to not only observe, but actually live and witness the Samoan spirit,” noted Henry. “American Samoa is a wonderful place like no other.”

Ca-Boom Wrestling Club President Carl Floor Sr. was excited to have Henry instruct Samoan wrestlers for two weeks. “Coach Henry is a true master of the sport,” said Floor Sr. “It is up to us to provide opportunities for these kids. There is no one here capable of training our wrestlers on this level and if we are serious about being competitive at the Olympic level, we must be true to ourselves and understand that.”

The Ca-Boom wrestling clinics continued through August with the help of Floor’s sons Sean and C.J. after Henry’s departure. The clinics began each day at 8:30 a.m. and featured a variety of drills and knowledge.

In addition to the wrestling clinics, Henry also helped teach self defense classes during his stay in Samoa. Members of the local U.S. Army Reserve Unit, National Park Service employees and the public participated in the free classes. The main component of the classes was teaching the art of submission without striking.