A group of neophyte wrestlers have seen the results of their hard work, with four from Heritage Park Secondary School qualifying for the upcoming provincials.
According to coach Jon Curtis, the transformation of his athletes over the course of the season is nothing short of remarkable, with many now aggressively applying the lessons and techniques and dominating their opponents.
Cyprus Wales, Emily Skillings, Julianna Bouwers and Bruce Martin will be representing their school in Penticton from Feb. 23-25.
Given it’s a new team this year, Curtis had high praise for the mat warriors.
“As a new team I knew we had our work cut out for us, so we ran practices five days a week. Our team lives by a simple formula, success through hard work,” he said. “But I wasn’t surprised [by their success], because these kids really made sacrifices on a personal level. They changed their diet, got lots of rest and made practices.”
All the wrestlers were asked at the start of the season to write down their goals on a piece of paper, and several said they wanted to make provincials.
Curtis, a local Brazilian jiujitsu instructor and freestyle wrestler, brought in some professional help from Maple Ridge Academy, head wrestling coach Greg Brock.
He volunteered his time and put on a week-long winter break training camp for the high school students, and hosted them at the academy so they would have new sparring partners against whom to test their skills.