Lakecity wrestlers are rapidly gearing up for their 15th season of competition, and close to 100 young grapplers are expected to storm the mats for the Williams Lake Wrestling Club.
New club president, Sonia Conrod, said the high school and intermediate divisions are already underway practicing regularly at Nesika elementary, with primary wrestling beginning Nov. 15.
“Kids are always welcome to try out the sport for free before they decide if they want to commit,” Conrod said. “We always encourage them to try it out. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s affordable.”
Intermediate practices, for grades 4-6, go Mondays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. at Nesika elementary. For high school grapplers, practices go Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m., also at Nesika elementary.
Once primary wrestling starts on Nov. 15, practices go on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. at Nesika.
“We welcome all the elementary kids to come wrestle with us,” Conrod said, and noted a lack in coaches at the elementary schools as a reason to do so.
Coaching for the WLWC are Shane Hentz (high school and intermediate), Travis Heitman (high school), Kerry Normand (student athlete helping coach primary) and newcomer Dionte Jelkins (primary), who has 12 years experience teaching wrestling in the U.S. In addition, 100 Mile House coach Phil Johnston will be travelling to the lakecity once every two weeks to help coach.
Conrod said the club is looking for more coaches, also, to help lighten the load.
“We have a coaching clinic coming up Nov. 5 at Nesika,” she said. “Anybody that wants to be involved, or their kids, will be able to coach from the clinic.”
Cost of the clinic is $20 for students or $50 for adults, and includes all course material along with, upon completion, a coaching ticket.
From Dec. 7-9, for grapplers Grade 4 and up, the WLWC heads to Simon Fraser University for the War on the Floor tournament.
“That’s a huge seeding tournament,” Conrod said. “If they place top three there and top three at the Western Canada Age Class Tournament, they skip zones and got to provincials.”
Following that, on Jan. 7, the club’s elementary wrestlers head to Kelowna for the Ogopogo Invitational, where they have captured the title for the past seven years.
That same weekend, the high school wrestlers head to the Kelly Road Invitational.
“We like to encourage the kids to go to that one because it’s in our zone and the kids get a chance to see their competition,” she said.
Then from Jan. 12-14, the high school club heads to Kamloops for the Western Canada Age Class tourney.
On Jan. 28, Smackdown invades Columneetza secondary — a fun play day for elementary school grapplers from across the province.
Following that, zone championships go Feb. 11 for high school wrestlers in Vanderhoof, provincials go Feb. 24-25 in Penticton and nationals go April 12-15 in Fredrickton, N.B.
To travel to the tournaments, Conrod said, the club is also looking for bus drivers to help out.
“It’s fun, we teach sportsmanship, teamwork and it helps with the kids’ self esteem and leadership,” Conrod said. “We have a great group of kids and we always have fun, and that’s the main thing.”
For more information on the club, or to offer assistance with bus driving or coaching, contact Conrod at 250-305-2959 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.