The Gulf Islands Secondary and Salt Spring Island Middle School wrestling teams brought home eight medals at the annual Cougars Invitational wrestling tournament in Chemainus.
The rookie team performed well at the December event, with each wrestler on the team coming home with a medal in hand.
The tournament was the first time the team had wrestled competitively after starting a new season in September, although not all team members are novices. Coach Leon Esquivel is pleased with the results of the competition and optimistic about the rest of the season.
“I’m really happy for them that they didn’t come home empty handed. It’s just amazing,” said Esquivel.
The Chemainus competition is held every year. Many of the competing athletes have much more experience than the Gulf Islands squad, with some having been wrestlers for more than five years.
Esquivel was encouraged by his young team’s performance and is looking towards bigger competitions as the season progresses. They will attend the Western Canada Age Class Tournament, a qualifier for provincials later in the year. They will also compete at the Vancouver Island zone competition in February.
For more on this story, see the Jan. 10, 2018 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.