A little more than one year ago, the Maple Ridge Secondary Ramblers were riding high.
The girl’s wrestling team had just clinched their second provincial title in a row, and the combined squad had also won the aggregate team title.
The banners still hang in the gymnasium.
Coach Bill McCrae is confident the girl’s would have been in a position to three-peat had the pandemic not put a halt on this year’s season.
“This girl’s team is the best team I’ve ever coached in 34 years,” he said.
Despite little chance of a season, the team began to practice outside on the school’s track in November.
“We tried to add some normalcy to the kids’ life,” McCrae said.
“This is something they had been doing since Grade 8 – training three-to-four times a week, and working towards the goal of a provincial championship.”
A dozen members participated in the training rain-or-shine.
They were not able to train contact drills, but the coach said they were in ‘phenomenal’ shape.
“If we were on the mats, that’s how we would have won,” McCrae said. “We would have gassed our opponents, we would have out muscled them –the cardiovascular and muscle endurance were all there.”
This was supposed to be McCrae’s last year as a full-time coach for the Ramblers, but he said he is planning on coming back for next season.
“I’ve got to make up for a lost year,” he said.
In the meantime, he wanted to say good bye to the graduating seniors – Gabriella Di Girolomo, Ivy Threatful, Solei Brooks, Lexi Lewis, Adrian Truong and Ryan Beranek.
“Thank you for representing our school in such a fine fashion, and good luck both on-and-off the mats,” he said.
McCrae also thanked the Women’s Auxiliary of the Maple Ridge Legion for their support for the club.
The charity donated $1,000, which was put towards wrestling activities, and split between the graduating wrestlers.
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