Campbell River wrestlers clean up at the Vancouver Island Novice

It was an exciting and successful day for the Phoenix Wrestling Team at the Vancouver Island Novice Wrestling Tournament held Dec. 2 at Ecole Phoenix Middle School.

“There was plenty of nerves, but our kids did a great job in their first tournament,” said Phoenix coach Steve Rose, describing his large group of new wrestlers.

The Island Novice Wrestling Tournament is traditionally a tournament for beginner wrestlers, who compete in similar age and weight categories. The Phoenix team has a large group of new grade 6 and grade 7 wrestlers.

“These young kids were dynamite! They all did really well in their first go at this,” said Phoenix co-coach Mike Munsie.

As a group, the grade 6/7 Phoenix wrestlers took first place overall, for the elementary-aged team award. Notable finishes in their respective weight divisions were: Paig Ziola, earning fourth; Spencer Uzzell-Paulos, and Grace Mergaert, earning bronze; Ivy Wakabayashi, Jason Sekulich, Dawson Gage, Michael Smith, and Luke Penhall all won silver medals; and Willum Ashurst, Lucas Milne, Logan Courtney, and Isaiah Lawrance brought home gold.

New grade 8 wrestlers from Phoenix all placed in the top three at the tournament. Deigo Christensen earned bronze, while Haley Knight and Takeo Wakabayashi all won silver medals.

Southgate was also represented by novice wrestlers Brandon Boyd and Gage Balle, who both brought home silver medals.

The Phoenix and Southgate novice wrestlers were to join other more experienced Campbell River Wrestlers from the secondary schools, for their first trip of the year out of town. They travelled to Chemainus Saturday, for the Cougar Invitational Wrestling Tournament.

“This tournament promises to offer some solid competition for our elementary, junior, and senior aged wrestlers,” replied coach Rose.