For the first high school tournament of the season, the local wrestlers had a very good showing. Four schools from the area sent 26 athletes and 21 wrestlers came home with medals from the FW Johnson pre-season tournament in Saskatoon.
“A lot of the kids that we brought were first year wrestlers. We were pretty happy with the results. I think the kids are pretty proud of themselves. They have all worked really hard and we have a really great group of kids,” stated coach Rob Villenueve.
The wrestlers all represented their schools at the tournament — Peacock sent 23 athletes, Vanier, Central and Assiniboia all sent one athlete each. However, the Moose Jaw Kinsmen Wrestling Club has been working with all the athletes to prepare them for the season.
“At the wrestling club, we are coaching all of the Moose Jaw high school kids and they are all working together,” said Villenueve. “They all have been working really hard in practise.”
They all practise four days a week, Monday-Thursday right after school for a couple hours.
“We’ve got a really good class this year and everyone is really enthusiastic and they are right into it. They all are here to learn and I think we will see good results from them all year,” he said. “They all want to know how they improve.”
Even though the wrestlers represent their own schools, they work together to better themselves, which helps everyone.
“It is definitely going to benefit everyone because Vanier only has one and they wouldn’t be able to have a program, same thing with Central and Assiniboia,” he said. “The more partners, the better…it just makes for a better atmosphere.”
Those that finished first place included — Dalton Shaw, Gavin Wilders, Spencer Nancarrow, Cassandra Busch, Vicki Busch, Kurtis Busch, Devin Kiryk and Ty Nordick. Six wrestlers finished in second place — Makaliah Marasse, Shaye Hartman, Kolton Pippuis, Tanner Shier, Seth Schmaltz and Peter Ntignee. There were seven athletes that finished in third place — Amanda Bartel, Zachary Klyne, Kylan Prestie, Maddie Marasse, Cortni Dixon, Kim Powers and Taylor Wandler.
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.