Maple Ridge Secondary’s gym was filled with men and women in wrestling singlets ready to go to battle for school, team and personal pride on Friday (Feb. 7).
The inaugural North Fraser Zone Wrestling Championships saw schools from Burnaby, Tri-Cities, Maple Ridge and New Westminster grapples for bragging rights and a chance to go on to the provincial championships in Langley this weekend.
Cheers rose up for the home team Ramblers on every take down and pin; and a game Westview Wildcats squad brought their best stuff to the mats too.
MRSS used the home crowd to their advantage and put together a historic performance. For the first time in 32 years, every one of their wrestlers who competed at the zone championships has qualified themselves for the provincial championships.
The school won two of three available banners, with their girl’s team placing first, their boy’s team finishing second and the school winning first overall out of 17 schools competing.
Head coach Bill McCrae said one of the most impressive performances he saw came courtesy of Anthony Kim. The Grade 12 athlete, who is wrestling for the first time, overcame an eight point deficit in order to squeak through to the provincials.
“I’ve never seen the fans that excited before,” he said, “They were standing on their feet for him… all cheering their heads off.”
In order to have any success next weekend, McCrae said the wrestlers need to keep grappling the way they were in their home gym.
“It was really impressive how aggressive the wrestlers were,” he said.
“They were actually taking the match to their opponents. Early in the season we were sitting on our heels letting them come to us but through some extra motivation, we’re actually attacking and being successful.”
Fitness played a big role in their confidence, McCrae added.
“We were putting the pressure on them, passing our opponents because we’re all in very good shape.
“Our cardiovascular and muscular conditioning are very good ,hence come the second round we’re still strong and our opponents are starting to falter. We can smell blood in the water and we go after it.”
MAPLE RIDGE SECONDARY RESULTS:
Marcus Menic -gold
Scotty White – 4th
Jacob McLure – gold
Austin Li- 5th
Adrian Truong – gold
Ryan Berneak – bronze
Ryan Hicks -gold
Kasra Tabatabaei -silver
Ivy Threatful – gold
Charly Caranoo- silver
Marquesis Haintz – gold
Ashton Senko – 4th
Kaia Haintz – silver
Lexi Lewis – gold
Teegan Maschke – silver
Maddy Grof – gold
Solei Brooks – silver
Cheyenne Kryavac – bronze