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Lake City Falcons host wrestling zone championships

Coach Ian Pare said the Williams Lake team exceeded expectations

Lake City Falcons emerged from hosting the North Central Zone Wrestling Championships with four golds, three silvers and one bronze. Kai Pare was named top female athlete and the girls team won top female team.

Members of the team include Alexis Bailey, Adrienne Brommit, Shailynn Brommit, Nathaniel Curtis, Sam Holmes, Abby Ostrom, Kai Pare, Baileigh Stowell and Kaden Toop.

“The team exceeded expectations with us being in a rebuild to some extent,” said coach Ian Pare. “Half of them are brand new to the sport yet everyone placed.”

Pare said the group is unique in its very limited practice times but the athletes go over and above to look at what they can do to excel outside of scheduled practice times.

The girls’ team came into the tournament as champions from the last four years so there was a level of expectation for them to continue that streak and they blew the other teams away, he said, noting the boys came in a very closed second.

“As a coach the biggest thing for myself is to watch everyone’s progress from October to now, and see how not only the wrestling has improved but the emotional and mental aspects as well.”

Pare said it takes a tough kid to battle for six minutes, get beat up on, shake hands and walk away smiling looking for the next match.

“It’s great to be able to host a tournament in the school and for the other teams to put in the effort to participate.”

Next the Falcons move on to provincials at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, Feb. 23 -25.

After that, Pare said some of the team’s athletes will be competing at world trials in Ontario, for a spot on the PanAm team and then in late March some of the athletes will be competing at the Nationals, also held in Vancouver this year, March 24-26.

Over the last six years the Lake City Falcons have achieved three national titles and three individual provincial titles, Pare said.

“The southern city coaches always joke about the toughness of the country teams,” Pare said. “A lot of the times the kids are not as technical as say a club team from Vancouver, but these kids more often than not tend to outwork and are more tenacious.”

Pointing to 15-year-old Sam Holmes, Pare said he was raised on a ranch and knows about hard work and discipline.

While Sam may not be very technical, Pare described him as crazy strong and “not even remotely enjoyable to wrestle against.”

“He has no quit and at 15-years-old is handling himself against college athletes. I’ve never seen a kid like Sam who will get his butt handed to him on occasion and still walk off the mat with a huge smile on his face, saying ‘woah that was awesome.’”

Starting in the spring, Pare said he and some others are looking at running a year-round program outside of the school season with wrestlers from six to 18 years old.

READ MORE: High school regional wrestling tournament in Williams Lake Feb. 10

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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