Warriors wrestlers wrap successful season in Prince George

Special to the Westerly News The USS Warriors Wrestling team travelled to Prince George February 26-March 2 to take part in the BC High School Wrestling Championships. The team sent 10 athletes to compete against the best wrestlers in the province over the weekend and they put in a tremendous effort in the season’s culminating event. Wrestlers Autumn Irwin, Kyle Grilli, Gordy Taylor, Marlowe Mathieson, Murrin Bewick, Heather Morrison, Van Law, Everett Watson, Mayben Crabbe and Lukas Bewick gave all they had on the mats and represented the West Coast with pride.

“The kids did great,” said Coach Mike Rhodes, “It was a long few days and there were a lot of close matches, back and forth. I got a lot of positive comments from other coaches on how well our athletes performed.”

The final standings saw four USS wrestlers placing in the top six with Autumn Irwin, Heather Morrison and Mayben Crabbe placing fifth along with Marlowe Mathieson in sixth.

“Having four athletes come in the top six of their weight classes is a fantastic accomplishment,” noted said Coach Norannda Sigmund,

“but it’s definitely a team effort as all our wrestlers train together and work to make each other better. They’re also on the side of the mats cheering and supporting each other. We’ve had a great team approach this year.”

Each of the girls battled through injuries and bounced back from tough losses to finish ranked among the tops in the province. Another notable result included grade 12 wrestler and Island champion Gordy Taylor narrowly missing out on the top six, finishing with 3 wins and 2 losses.

“Gordy had a great tournament to finish his high school career,” commented Coach Rhodes, “He’s worked really hard the past couple of years and come a long way. He made it in to the quarter finals at the BCs and both of his losses were really tight, close matches to two of the medalists this year so he should be really proud of what he accomplished.”

The Warriors had to battle long days and frigid temperatures up in the frozen interior as the thermometer dipped to almost -30’C. “It was a great trip overall,” said Coach Sigmund, “Just to be able to travel together to someplace so different from our mild and moist West Coast was a memory making experience in itself for our kids. We had some long travel days and long days on the mats but they’ll take away memories that will last them a lifetime. And,” she added with a laugh, “they also learned that wet hair will freeze when you walk outside in minus 20 weather.”

The Warriors team also wanted to thank the sponsors, supporters and communities that helped make the season possible.

“This amazing season couldn’t have happened without the amazing support of our West Coast communities,” said Coach Rhodes, “Whenever we travel I’m reminded of just how fortunate are kids are to have the backing of all our communities, allowing them to train hard, have fun and compete to the best of their abilities. A lot of other teams around the province struggle with this and it really makes me proud say our Warriors have the whole West Coast with them.”