June 25th, 2024

Local wrestlers seek Provincials glory

By Lethbridge Herald on March 16, 2023.

Herald photo by JUSTIN SEWARD Lethbridge high school wrestlers Reese Ferguson,in grey, and Tamryn Bly practice throw downs on Wednesday at LCI ahead of Provincials.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

There will be 330 high school wrestlers from across the province convening at LCI today and Saturday to compete in  Alberta Schools Athletic Association provincials.

Of those 330, 11 wrestlers are from Lethbridge including Tamryn Bly (47 kg class), Payton Shields (61 kg), Thomas Ellis-Toddington (65 kg), Solomon Prenevost (68 kg), Ryder Lowry (90kg), Tyler Saruwatari (98 kg), Nolan Gobeil (120 kg plus),  Reece Ferguson (57 kg),(72 kg)  Dayna Braun (65 kg) and Christien Lowry (68 kg).

“It’s going good,” said coach Patrick Selk, on preparations.

“We had to do … a win in tournament. It’s called Rurals, it includes everybody outside of Edmonton and Calgary. And so from that, we had all of our kids qualify for this tournament which is great. So I’m excited, a lot of these kids worked really hard and it should pay off. They did really well last year and they had a whole other year with them.”

For those 11 wrestlers, Selk thinks they’re going to have wrestle hard to win medals.

“Some of them were just doing some nationals training out in Ontario,” said Selk.

“They’re going to have to wrestle hard. Alberta’s very competitive. Edmonton has  a lot of good wrestlers, Calgary has lots, but we’re right up on there in the same page as them. So we’re excited. They just have to wrestle hard and be smart and don’t do stupid stuff.”

Selk said they need to understand their opponents.

“They’re going to have to do strategy with that,” he said.

“Most of them have wrestled the other wrestlers before. Some of them had high success against them. But just like any sport, if you don’t come on the day of (and) if you eat something bad and you’re not feeling too good, it can catch you. They’ve just got wrestle hard and be smart, that’s the biggest thing.”

“We want to make it look good,” said Selk with hosting provincials.

“It’ll be pressure on the wrestlers. It’ll be our job as coaches to make sure we kind of mitigate that pressure about wrestling in front of family (and) wrestling in front of all your friends. But wrestling as a sport, you learn to mitigate that regardless. You’re all by yourself on a middle of mat wrestling somebody else. So you’re always going to have that pressure.”

Coaches have been pushing the wrestlers to become more proactive than reactive this year.

“So be the one that’s kind of driving the ship instead of reacting to their stuff,” said Selk.

“And they’ve actually been doing that, which has paid off. They’ve surprised a lot of opponents because instead of them reacting to the other person doing something, they’re the one that’s kind of starting it.”

The ASAA wrestling provincials kicks off today with the opening ceremony from 3-3:40 p.m. before preliminary rounds go from 4-9 p.m.

Preliminary rounds conclude Saturday morning before the medal matches begin at 1 p.m.

All matches are at LCI.

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