A very cold day became bearable for Wetaskiwin wrestlers as eight of 10 local competitors brought home medals Feb. 2 from the UofA Golden Bears Invitational Tournament, Edmonton.
“We have a developing team where the rookies rely on our few experienced wrestlers to prepare them for competition,” said coach Shamus McDonnell. “Four of our medallists were first year wrestlers…that’s outstanding.”
Winning the golds were returning junior high wrestlers Ethan Cullen (77 kg) and William Dormaar (43 kg), as well high school wrestler Bronwyn Dormaar (65 kg). Bronwyn had the largest weight class of 20 wrestlers, and while some matches she won within 30 seconds, others went two rounds. Despite wrestling until almost 5 p.m., she went on to Red Deer to go for Alberta rugby tryouts…her athleticism equals her good sportsmanship and positive perspective in competition.
First year grade 10 wrestler Riley Dixon won silver in the 120 kg boys division. A quick learner, Dixon is also a football player who is making a quick transition to the wrestling season. His coaches are looking forward to seeing him compete in the upcoming rural and ASAA provincial tournaments.
Bronze medals were fought for by junior high wrestlers, Anthony Bonneux (63 ks), Desma Manns (75+kg) and her gr. 12 sister Natalia Manns (80 kg).
Second year wrestler Weston Pitcher (71 kg) battled his way through despite a persistent nosebleed in his first match. Coach Shane Rybak commented “Weston has enough grit for the whole junior high team, and while his technique continues to develop, the fact that he never quits gives a coach plenty to work with.”
Katie Wolff (42 kg) placed sixth, but worked hard in her matches, too, earning her a black eye and a ton of confidence. Second year junior high wrestler Darius Shuffler, had two wins and two losses but came away with lessons learned instead of a medal.