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Tournament takedown: high school wrestling teams pin down gold

Warriors and Broncs competed in last tournament of high school wrestling season.

Wrestling is in the heart of its season at Unity Composite High School and McLurg High School.

The Unity team includes wrestlers Steyn Hoogstad, Jamal Starchief, Willem Hoogstad, John Krentz and Jade Venn, who are coached by Kyra Huber.

Willkie’s wrestling team of 12 includes Kash Smith, Ryden Babchuk, Kierra Babchuk, Andreea Tatarciuc, Ashton Weber, Cruz Sittler, Jeremy Gallant, Ben Gallant, Kylie Weber, Natalee Ironstand and Avi’endha Beaugrand.

The two teams travelled to Moose Jaw for a one-day tournament Feb. 9. The wrestlers showed strength and grit on the mats, demonstrating what it means to be a true warrior.

The Unity team results are as follows: Steyn Hoogstad – gold, Jamal Starchief – silver, Jade Venn – silver and Willem Hoogstad – bronze. Willem also had the fastest pin of the tournament, with a hip toss in just 11 seconds.

The Wilkie team results are as follows: Kierra Babchuk – gold, Andreea Tatarciuc – gold, Ryden Babchuk – gold, Natalee Ironstand – gold, Ashton Weber – silver, Jeremy Gallant – silver, Kylie Weber – bronze, Avi’endha Beaugrand – fourth, Cruz Sitler – fourth and Ben Gallant fourth.

In its third year, Unity’s wrestling team has been gradually growing. The team was excited about the new addition of UCHS singlets this year, the uniforms wrestlers wear in competition.

Although Wilkie and Unity are often rivals when it comes to other sports, they are anything but when it comes to wrestling. The Unity team travels to Wilkie for each practice, working alongside McClurg’s team and their head coach, Christ Kent. Kent has Koralie Mack, Nicole Loewen and Suki Pangalia as his team of assistant coaches. The Unity and Wilkie teams train as one, sharing knowledge and supporting one another.

The event in Moose Jaw was the final tournament of the regular wrestling season. The teams are now training for regionals scheduled for March 2 in Rosetown. Regionals are the first round of playoffs in the SHSAA High School Wrestling Provincial Championships. Unity and Wilkie will be competing in the rural region, consisting of all towns across Saskatchewan, apart from Saskatoon and Regina. The top four placings in each weight class will qualify for provincials the following weekend, March 9 in Saskatoon.