Nearly 200 elementary-aged students participated in the annual Elementary Wrestling Tournament held Friday, Nov. 1 at the Alberni District Secondary School gym. All matches were completed in four hours.
École Alberni Elementary won the team trophy for the second straight year, under the tutelage of teacher Maureen Miller.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the fantastic job my community did today,” Alberni Wrestling’s James Messenger posted on social media. “All the volunteers did an amazing job.”
The tournament featured participants from all School District 70 elementary schools as well as those from Haa-huu-payak, John Paul II and École des grand-cedres francophone school in the Alberni Valley, and Ucluelet Elementary School from the West Coast.
The tournament also featured several Alberni Wrestling alumni who have returned to coach, Messenger said. Wood Elementary’s team was coached by ADSS graduates Daley Forbes (Hesquiaht) and William Merry (Tseshaht First Nation), and John Howitt’s team coached by Isaac McDonald.
Recent grad Mackenzie Boudreau was also on the sidelines for the Howitt wrestlers.
“The number of alumni helping out and coaching or just watching and cheering on their kids was amazing. It truly brings home the impact of this program.”
Members of the ADSS Armada Wrestling Team set up the event, refereed matches and took down equipment following the event, Messenger said.
Port Alberni Olympic wrestler Travis Cross, whose sons are now school-aged wrestlers, was also involved in the tournament.