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Cowichan wrestlers shake off the cobwebs with dual meet

Athletes excited by first competition in a year and a half

A dual meet at Queen Margaret’s School last Saturday got the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club back in action after a long layoff due to COVID-19.

The meet against the Victoria Wrestling Club was the first actual competition for the CVWC in more than a year and a half, and the wrestlers’ enthusiasm was obvious.

“The kids were so excited. They’ve been training the last six weeks, but this was an actual competition with a scorekeeper, ref, another team… it was a big deal. The kids enjoyed the whole experience.”

A lot of beginners had an opportunity to wrestle, including CVWC members Leon Tsuboi of QMS and Brian Matthews of St. John’s Academy Shawnigan Lake, who squared off in a close battle. Another impressive match between CVWC wrestlers featured Jacob Meiner and Ethan Chen, both of QMS.

Jake Armstrong of QMS was also wrestling in his first competition but showed veteran poise.

“He came back and ended up winning,” Zuback said. “He won by a point or two right at the very end. For his first match, it was one he’ll never forget.”

Another good showing came from Emma Greenwood of Chemainus Secondary. A former junior club member now in Grade 8 and eligible to compete in the provincial championships, Greenwood should be one of the stronger female wrestlers in the club this year, Zuback said.

“Her match was a one-sided affair,” Zuback noted. “She took down the girl with a throw and ended up pinning her. It was over pretty quick.”

Sedona Bond, an experienced member of the club and another QMS student, picked up where she left off in the last wrestling season.

“She’ll be a strong one to watch this year,” Zuback said.

The meet featured 17 matches, mostly between members of the Cowichan and Victoria clubs. Cowichan won the official tally 35-24.

“Dual meets are fun to watch because it’s one team against another team, and it’s one match at a time, one after the other,” Zuback said.

Such meets also help build team bonding because the wrestlers can watch and cheer for each other with only one mat going at a time.

The CVWC is hosting its much bigger annual Cougar Invitational meet this Saturday at Frances Kelsey Secondary, starting at 10 a.m. Zuback anticipates that nearly all of the club’s members, about 64 wrestlers, will be competing.

“It will be neat to see what the day has in store,” he said.