It’s been a long time coming, but Smithers Secondary School wrestling coaches Mike Richey and Don Roy can finally enjoy a Provincial title won by wrestlers under their guidance.
A dozen Smithers wrestlers made the cut for the meet, which ran February 25 and 26 in Abbotsford. The girls team brought home a new pennant for the school, and a shot at Nationals.
“The kids did great. To win out of 66 teams is great,” said Richey.
Smithers Secondary has always had strong wrestling teams. What made the difference this time, according to Richey, was the strong performances from every member of the larger team. All seven of the girls finished in the top five of their respective age groups.
“We needed more depth, that’s what won the title for us,” he said.
On the girls team, Madison Beblow won the gold in her category. Picking up silver medals were Kate Richey and Lisa Brise. Alex Schell wrestled her way to a bronze, and Alixis Hassell, Becky James and Cayla Pinheiro all finished fifth in their weight groups. For the boys team, Garrett Bradley picked up a fifth place finish, and Taylor Nelson finished sixth.
The team will spend the next few weeks preparing for the Nationals, to be held in Windsor, Ontario in April. Richey said he hopes the team’s competitive experience will help them carry through to the podium at the Canada-wide level.
“They all showed a lot of poise and confidence,” said Richey. “We sure hope that will carry through to Windsor.”