Wildcat has a future in wrestling
Cody Osborn’s ascent to the status of elite wrestler has been fast, and hints that there could be a high ceiling on his talent.
Osborn started wrestling with the Westview Wildcats in Grade 8, but only started club wrestling a year ago. Joining the clubs, which offer more opportunities for training with some of the best grapplers in their region, is the sign that a kid is taking the sport seriously. They become the best of the best.
This year, Osborn won silver in the provincial championships, and it could easily have been gold. He lost the B.C. final to a kid he had beaten two weeks earlier.
“I didn’t have a good match,” he said.
However, at the nationals in Winnipeg last month, Osborn left with a bronze medal and absolutely no regrets. He lost his first match to the eventual national champion, and then took six straight to win the bronze.
“I was pretty happy. Even against the guy I lost to, it was a close match,” he said.
He wonders what might have been. Osborn had to cut a lot of weight to get down to his 63 kg weight class, and the effects of that lingered through his early matches.
“It took me time to recover, and it left me feeling pretty drained,” he said.
Osborn is fit, with great cardio, but those first matches left his chest heaving.
“Throughout the day, I gained my strength back.”
He dispatched his opponents in tough matches. His patented move is the cross-ankle, which sees him wrap his arms between an opponent’s legs, when they are laying on their front, and then roll, painfully wrenching their legs, and turning them for points.
The tournament ended with him on the podium, a national bronze medal around his neck, and recognition that he’s one of the nation’s best high schoolers.
He also took national bronze in the Greco wrestling style, which does not allow fighters to grab the legs. It is based on upper-body grappling and throws. Osborn had limited experience, but used a few basic moves, like the classic bear hug, to reach the podium for a second time.
His trophy case has two provincial bronze medals in addition to this year’s silver, a Canada Games bronze, and gold from the B.C. Summer Games.
Wrestling means more than medals to Osborn.
“It has developed me a lot as a person,” he said, clarifying that the sport has left him stronger and more confident.
“I know I can compete at the highest level. To be a good wrestler you need determination. Heart. You’ve got to believe in yourself.”
The sport is tied to his future. Numerous Canadian universities are interested in having him join their team. He is planning trips to Saskatoon and Winnipeg, to see what the universities of Saskatchewan and Manitoba have to offer.
“You can be successful in any wrestling program, if you put in the work,” he asserts.
Simon Fraser is high on his list. He has already trained with the Clan wrestling team, and they have taught him a lot. He also likes that they compete against tough U.S. schools.
“And their style fits my style perfectly – they’re grinders who wrestle all day.”
“Grind” is the word. Collegiate wrestlers do endurance training, strength training, and spend hours on a daily basis wrestling other people.
“It’s got to be one of the hardest sports out there,” said Osborn. “Experience and talent will take you only so far…”
He wants to pursue an education in kinesiology and the health sciences, with fitness and nutrition being his areas of interest.
His new goal, starting this September, is to win a national championship at the university level.