The Maple Ridge Ramblers introduced their athletes to the grind of grappling in the annual Icebreaker Tournament on Tuesday afternoon at MRSS.
The Ramblers are always the biggest, toughest wrestling team in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District, and their wrestlers took on grapplers from seven different Fraser Valley wrestling teams in their host tourney.
Adrian Truong picked up where he left off in his phenomenal Grade 8 year, as the Grade 9 won all three of his matches with ease, and took the school’s Athlete of the Week honours.
Ramblers coach Bill McCrae said Truong’s 63 kg weight class has Grade 12 wrestlers at the top end, which will present him with tough competition this year. But at any age class events he will easily dominate, and he will give wrestlers of any age a good match.
Lucas Kolobara finished second in the province last year, and the Grade 12, team captain of the Wrestlers is a favourite to medal at the BC championships again this year.
He had a gutsy performance at the provincials, which saw him limp his way to the final on an injured knee.
Ryan Hicks took second in the province as a Grade 9. He is out for vengeance, and for gold this year, and is focused on the wrestler who beat him in last year’s B.C. final, who is now in his senior year.
Hicks went through last season undefeated until the final match, when he settled for silver.
Marquesis Haintz is another wrestler who could medal at provincials, after finished fourth last season as a Grade 9.
Ivy Threatful won a bunch of medals as a Grade 8, and should be up and down the podiums again with a year of experience, said McCrae
The Ramblers have good numbers, with 25 athletes out of the wrestling team this year. McCrae is optimistic about how they will fare this season.
“I love my team. They’re fun, they work hard, and they respond well to challenges,” said the coach.