Maple Ridge’s Ryan Hicks defeated Vancouver College’s Heath Yee Fung in the male 66 kg division at the 2020 BC Secondary School Wrestling Association Championships at Langley Events Centre on Feb. 18. (Gary Ahuja/Langley Events Centre photo)

Pair of Maple Ridge wrestlers earns full ride at SFU

Marquesis Haintz and Ryan Hicks are two of B.C.s top young grapplers

Maple Ridge Secondary’s “terrific” 2019-20 wrestling season was capped off recently with some honours for its leaders on the mats.

Ryan Hicks and Marquesis Haintz, both 18, have accepted full scholarships from Simon Fraser University.

The pair will get a chance to wrestle in one of Canada’s finest post-secondary grappling programs, and their high school coach Bill McCraecould not be prouder.

“Coaching them has been a wondrous experience,” McCrae said.

“They’ve been my male and female captains for the last three years and they’re good role models both on-and-off the mats. They’re fantastic for our school and our sport.”

READ MORE: Maple Ridge Secondary’s wrestlers dominate zones on home mats

Hicks said he has been wrestling for as long as he can remember. His father put him in classes in Grade 2 and the MRSS captain never looked back.

“I don’t think I’ve ever even missed a practice,” he said. “I’ve always stayed consistent with it.”

That consistency won him this year’s provincial championship, as well a national high school title in 2018 for Greco-Roman wrestling, and a place as runner-up for freestyle in the same year.

His teammate, Haintz, is a three-time provincial champion, who won the award for most outstanding female wrestler for the 2019-20 season.

While she’s incredibly strong, her brain might be her most powerful tool.

Haintz holds a 95-per-cent average in her studies, which has lead to her being accepted to the SFUs Beedie School of Business.

“During the season, I wrestle four-or-five times a week, as well as weight train three or four times. And, in between, I would have a lot of homework to do in order to keep my grades up.”

Success is no stranger to the Haintz house. Marquesis’ sister, Mateya, was given a full-ride athletic scholarship to the University of North Carolina for her hammer-throw skills.

“My family is really athletic,” Marquesis said. “They have always been very involved with sports, so it was expected for us to get scholarships.”

While Maple Ridge will miss the two top wrestlers, their example will be followed by their younger teammates.

“Their success perpetuates down the line,” coach McCrae said.

“We’ll have two more just like them next year. Ivy Threatful won the B.C.s and Adrian Truong is incredible, too.

“So I told the SFU coach, get ready, I’ve got two more for you next year to follow in their footsteps.”

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