The Moose Jaw Kinsmen Wrestling Club cleaned up nicely at their first tournament of the season.
The club sent 10 athletes to the Weyburn Wrestling Tournament over the weekend and all wrestlers came home with medals in their respective divisions.
“It was just to get their first tournament under their belt. A few of the kids were competing in their first tournament. Most have wrestled before,” said coach Lee Cushway. “We wanted to give them some exposure and get them into the swing of things.”
Not only was the attendance down for the tournament itself with just less than 100 kids, the club also usually sends more athletes to this event.
“We have been practicing for two weeks, so some of the parents didn’t necessarily feel like their kids were ready to go,” explained Cushway. “Everybody was in the same boat and trying to get going and shaking off the rust.”
Some clubs got started practicing in early November, but the Moose Jaw club started a little later than that. Athletes were divided into pools of about four kids and the top three medalled.
“Everyone wrestled up to their potential. It was decent competition and everybody wrestled up to their potential like we were hoping they would,” said Cushway.
Christopher Nelson won a silver medal and Kaleb McCrystal won a bronze medal in the Freshie division. In the Novice category, Colby Cushway won a gold medal. In the Pee Wee division, Abby Busch won a gold medal, Campbell Andrews won silver, Jaxsen Weibe also won silver and Tony Cushway won bronze. Kiana Perron won a gold medal in the Bantam division and Curt Busch and TJ Busch both won gold medals in the Cadet division.
“It was a good match. It was one of my toughest people I’ve wrestled in awhile,” stated Curt Busch. “I was hoping to just try my best and go for fun.”
Curt has been wrestling for 10 years and the 14-year-old moved in the Cadet category this year.
“I was always the oldest in my group, so I was the first one to go up in my rank, so all the kids were different. It is a little more nerve-racking because I don’t know them or their strengths,” he stated. “My goals are to get stronger, learn more moves and get to know my competitors.”
TJ Busch has been wrestling for eight or nine years and also moved up in the Cadet division this year. Although he won a gold medal, the competition was tough for him.
“It was fun. I got some good experience. It felt good (to win),” he said. “It was pretty good competition and higher than I was expecting.”
The athletes practice twice a week in three groups — younger kids, older kids and high school program. The club will be practicing for some tournaments in January.