“Duck under!” instructs Todd Deane-Freeman from the sidelines as his son, Tyson, attempts to wrestle his opponent to the ground.
Suddenly, the momentum of the match shifts and Tyson finds himself taken by a quick reversal.
“Oh nice,” says Todd of his son’s opponent. “Uh oh, now what?” he asks his son.
Although it’s been almost 30 years since Todd wrestled in the very same gym, the sport has never left his heart, and he’s since passed down his love of the game to his two sons.
As a Maple Ridge Secondary student in the early ’90s, Todd joined the wrestling team and quickly found himself drawn to the ancient combat sport.
“At the beginning, I was kind of good at it, so I just stayed with it,” said Todd. “There was a little group of us who wrestled, and we bonded and became a team. I just loved the sport.”
Slowly, he rose through the ranks at MRSS, even getting the chance to represent the district at provincials in his Grade 12 year, where he won second place in his weight class.
But now, it’s his son Tyson’s turn to have the spotlight. Having only just started wrestling this year, Tyson is already making huge leaps and bounds, following in his father’s footsteps.
However, there is one major difference in their wrestling journeys, with Tyson representing Westview instead of his father’s alma mater.
But on Jan. 26, he got an opportunity to share the same gym space where his father once wrestled as he participated in an event hosted by MRSS.
Tyson also occasionally receives advice and tips from MRSS wrestling coach Bill McCrae, who is the same coach who led his father to the provincials all those years ago.
From the very start, Tyson found a lot of the same loveable qualities in wrestling that his dad discovered as a rookie wrestler.
“Wrestling helps me make friends,” said Tyson. “Once you’re on the team, you’re all a big family. You get to go out and beat people up and come home with nice big medals.”
When it comes to future goals, Todd is happy to just let his son have fun wrestling and isn’t too concerned about whether he brings home a ton of shiny medals. However, Tyson has a different goal in mind.
“Making Team Canada,” said Tyson.
Fresh off his recent third-place finishes at the Western Age Class tournament on Jan. 21 and 22, Tyson appears well on his way to making this goal a reality.
The next major challenge for Tyson will be the 2023 Canadian Wrestling Championships for U19, U17, and U15, which are scheduled to take place in Vancouver from March 24-26.
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