Holten Ewing

Wrestlers take the mat

Wrestlers in Campbell River are in high gear as they prepare the Campbell River Invite wrestling tournament being held at Timberline on Saturday and the upcoming Alberni Invite, Zone Championships, and Provincial Championships being held in the following weeks.

“Our kids have been really working hard at practice and in competitions over the past few weeks,” said high school coach and tournament organizer, Paul Murphy. “They are pretty pumped at the prospect at doing well in front of the home town fans this weekend.”

When asked about the upcoming tournament in Campbell River, elementary coach Soshanna Assu described her young athletes as being “excited and a little bit nervous about wrestling in their first tournament.”

Club coaches, Matt Sparling and Pat Berrovoets are also looking forward to the tournament, as this year there will be competition coming not just from the Vancouver Island area, but also from the lower mainland. Sparling said, “Our once modest tournament has gained the reputation over the past decade of being very well run, and offering excellent competition for wrestlers of all ages and ability – and now we are getting attention from teams off the island.”  The tournament begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. It is free of charge for spectators, and there will be a concession for the purchase of food, drinks, and coffee. The coveted “Most Outstanding Wrestler” BELT and plaques for the top teams will be awarded at 2:30 p.m.

Here’s a wrap of recent wrestling action:

  • A large contingent of 23 local wrestlers competed at the Cougar Invitational held in Chemainus on Jan. 14, bringing home a number of medals. From Timberline Secondary, finishing with bronze medals were Griffin Demoskoff and Colby Ladret, while Joel House, Kasey Kletke, and Noah Poustie earned silver, and Kyle McDonald was crowned champion of the 86 kg. senior division. Ecole Phoenix Middle School wrestlers also did extremely well in their respective elementary and junior weight divisions, with Owen Olney earning silver, and Alex Anderson, Scott Assu, Hailey Ricard, and Sadie Dowler winning gold. Southgate Middle School also had wrestlers attending the tournament, with Keaton Hiltz earning bronze, Ty Andrew and Gage Balle finishing with silver, and Henry Young with gold. From Carihi Seconday, Corinne Holmes finished with bronze, and Kaitlyn Jinda and Holten Ewing returned home with gold medals.
  • Campbell River was represented by the same four schools at the prestigious Western Canada Age Class Tournament held on Jan. 21. Holten Ewing, Kasey Kletke, Corinne Holmes, and Gage Balle finished with top 6 finishes in their respective age categories and weight divisions. Bronze medalists were Joel House, Alex Anderson, Scott Assu, and Tess Bodenham (Timberline). Hailey Ricard of Phoenix lost a very close match against the reigning Canadian Champion, to earn silver, and Sadie Dowler, Chymira Aubry, and Ty Andrew won gold. Defending Age Class Champion, Kaitlyn Jinda was impressive, winning another gold medal at the tournament.
  • “I was not only impressed with the results,” said Campbell River Wrestling representative Scott McKenzie, “but also with the level of determination, sportsmanship, and class our athletes showed at the tournament. Our adult supervisors received many compliments about our kids on the ferry, in the town of Kamloops, and at the Tournament Capital Center where the tournament was held.”