The Lillooet Secondary School Wildfire wrestling team took on a new level of competition on Jan. 26, when the wrestlers traveled to Abbotsford to compete in their first-ever Western Canada Age Class Championship.
The two-day tournament saw competitors from across Alberta and B.C. meeting in competition in both age and weight classes. LSS brought 21 students to the competition, with only four having previous match experience, according to coach and vice principal Dave Remple.
While the experience was new for many, the team rose to the challenge and won an impressive 35 matches at the event.
The young athletes followed their team motto - “Mobile, Agile, Hostile” - and “challenged their opponents with offensive prowess,” said Remple. The team brought home a combined nine individual medals, and finished in fifth place out of 150 teams. Remple noted that the team was, “led by gruelling breakout performances from their second-year athletes.”
Coach Remple went on to say that, “while the awards and accolades were a huge confidence boost for a young team, the coaching staff was more impressed by how athletes conducted themselves both on and off the mat.” He continued, “numerous tournament officials were quick to praise Wildfire athletes for their respect and sportsmanship.”
Wildfire wrestlers are back to practice and Remple has noticed a “renewed resolve to continue improving.”
Next, the team will hit the road again in late February to meet and defend its title at the Okanagan Zone Championship in Salmon Arm.
The team will also be competing in Port Alberni at the B.C. High School Wrestling Provincial Championships.