Ramblers grapple with expectations

MRSS had sights set on top prize at 2016 provincials but loss of team members hinder chances, says coach

MRSS senior wrestler Daniel Jo works on technique with Dionte Hurtado during practice on Wednesday in preparation for the first meet of the season this weekend

The goal was to compete for a provincial wrestling title in 2016.

Maple Ridge Secondary head coach William McCrae said that was the goal five years ago when he had a promising crop of seven young grapplers take to the mat for the first time.

But coming into the 2015/16 season, the head coach is dealing with the recent loss of two of his top wrestlers from last year, who have decided not to come back

The loss of those team points will seriously hurt their chances for a team title.

“Going to be very difficult to win the B.C’s this year, but I still think we can be in the top six.”

Leading the way for MRSS will be team captain Cameron Hicks. The Grade 12 won bronze at the provincial championships in February of 2015 in the 48 kg class, despite battling a painful shoulder injury.

Hicks won the provincial title the previous year and placed second at the nationals.

The team will also be relying on senior Oliva McDonnell, who won gold at the Fraser Valley championships last season. The head coach said he’s excited by the number of new recruits joining the team.

MRSS will travel to North Vancouver this weekend for the first meet of the season, the Roberts Rumble.

“It will be a good test for them. They’ll take some licks, but the experience is important,” he said.

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