Last weekend at Esquimalt high school, there was adrenaline pumping when Campbell River’s new wrestlers stepped on the mats for the first time at the annual Island Novice wrestling tournament.
The Island Novice is a beginner tournament meant to build confidence and gain experience by giving new wrestlers the chance to compete with others at the same level.
Teammates stood on the sideline cheering on their peers as individual medals were won.
“It was a pretty exciting team building experience for these kids,” said coach Matt Sparling, who is a former Carihi wrestler and is now coaching all local wrestlers at the club level. “I am impressed with the natural ability of our new wrestlers, considering some have only been wrestling for 2-3 weeks.”
Once again Campbell River wrestlers were recognized individually and in team categories.
The Phoenix girls wrestled their way to an impressive second place finish in the junior division (grades 6-8), while the Phoenix boys earned a third place finish in the junior division.
Gold medals were won by Phoenix’s Corrine Holmes, Aden Lovely, Natalie Flottvik, Brady Assu, Jeff Lindenbach, Jared Payne and Darion Nohr.
Gold also went to Timberline’s Alex Nyugen and Southgate’s Amanda Anderson.
Silver medals were won by Phoenix’s Jocelyn Staniorth and Jade Flottvik with a bronze medal from Jasper Osperhast (Southgate) and Victoria Brown (Phoenix).
Rounding out the top six placings were the following Phoenix wrestlers: Kaitlyn Jinda, Alexis Verschuur, Aydin Anderson, Braeden Piere and Maxton Hall in 4th place, Jordan Pentney 5th and Thomas Conner at 6th.
Next weekend some these wrestlers will travel with Campbell River’s elite to compete in Duncan at the Cougar Invitational.