Gryphons wrestlers bring home medals from Vanderhoof

Sa-yez Wilson won gold in the 70 kg event, Eric Holland brought home silver in the 78 kg and Keith Brandner won silver in the 66 kg.

Three boys from the SSS wrestling team returned home from Vanderhoof with some hard-earned hardware this weekend.

Sa-yez Wilson won gold in the 70 kg event, Eric Holland brought home silver in the 78 kg and Keith Bradner won silver in the 66 kg.

Each weight class held a round robin competition, with the end results determined by overall record.

SSS also placed third overall in the team competition.

Head coach Don Roy was pleased with his team’s effort.

“I am always happy, as long as the kids are wrestling hard,” Roy said. “We got some good results, now we have some things to work on that have given us trouble and that will help us get better and better.”

Just off the podium were Ryan Williams and Ethan Bucher, who placed fourth and fifth in the 63 kg competition.

Roy brought a contingent of seven wrestlers to Vanderhoof, all boys.The team was without any of the girl’s wrestlers because they were preparing for a competition in Vancouver next week.

More than 100 wrestlers from eight different schools around the northwest made the trip to Vanderhoof.

It was the second meet of the season for the SSS team. They won five medals at their first tournament of the season, two weeks ago in Prince George.

This year the SSS team is comprised of 14 boys and  two girls, a reverse from a few years ago, when the program was mainly made up of girls.

“That’s just the way it goes sometimes, every year is different,” Roy said.

SSS will get back to practicing this week, after schools, on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Unlike most high school sports, the wrestling team won’t be taking a break over Christmas this year. Roy is hosting a four day camp over the holidays with some Smithers alumni who’ve gone on to compete at university.

“We have a lot of former wrestlers coming into town for the Christmas break and it’s a great opportunity for our kids to get some one-on-one coaching with experienced wrestlers,” Roy said.

Once school starts up again, the team will head to Kelly Road Secondary School in Prince George on Jan. 11 and to Edmonton two weeks later with a few other wrestling teams from around the northwest for an intensive one-day competition.

Zones are scheduled for mid-February in Prince Rupert and provincials are in Prince George two weeks later.

Prince Rupert has yet to attend any meets this year, so zones may be moved to a different venue in the near future.