High School SportsHigh School Wrestling


East Helena Shootout Wrestling Camp welcomes past Capital City greats

EHHS wrestling camp day 3
Posted at 2:10 PM, Jul 27, 2023

EAST HELENA — EAST HELENA — The new and improved East Helena Vigilantes have officially started the next phase of their wrestling program.

In his second year as head coach, Tim Baird has already implemented his plans for the Vigilantes with the 2023 EHHS Shootout Wrestling Camp.

“We’re starting with the basics, we’re just trying to build the future, build a culture here that lasts,” he said.

Baird spoke to MTN Sports about the challenges of coaching at both the high school level as well as for local club teams, such as the Helena Outlaws.

“My wife’s amazing, that’s all I can say. It’s a lot of time, a lot of effort, but it’s so worth it,” added Baird.

Not only did these future Vigilantes learn from local coaches, but EHHS welcomed two-time Helena High state wrestling champ and former Montana Grizzlies football player and wearer of the No. 37 legacy jersey, Ryan Fetherston, as well as U.S. National Team member Toby Erickson, a Helena High grad who won the U.S. Open Championship in 2017 and was ranked No. 2 at 130kg in 2017-2018.

Erickson recently moved back to Montana from Colorado once his wrestling career concluded.

“If I could go back and do it all over again, I would, absolutely,” he said.

EHHS camp day three
Tim Baird and former Team USA member, Toby Erickson lead camp on day three in Easty

The nearly 80 athletes who came out to partake in this initial East Helena camp were able to utilize the new high school as they had the entire gym to themselves,

“So, I’m jealous of these kids that they have this high school, I’m a Bengal through and through, but there’s always that part of me, growing up, I wish we had this," added Erickson.

Erickson and Fetherston both graduated from Helena High although they are originally from East Helena.

“I’m looking forward to wrestling at a higher level and having fun, I think (this camp) has been great, I love the coaches, they help you through everything,” added Tanner Baird, who placed sixth at state last year.

The first of its kind, this fresh camp gives the youth in our area another opportunity to learn from some of the state's greatest mat warriors.

“What helped me be successful and what I saw at the international level, is simplicity works. You see the beautiful throws, you see these great, awesome techniques that look so complex, but really, they’re a simple move. So, that’s what I’m trying to teach these kids, the best wrestlers are the most simple wrestler’s,” mentioned Erickson.