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Elphi grapplers start season strong

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Wrestlers from Elphinstone Secondary School are off to a strong start following several top finishes at recent competitions.

The Cougars started practising at the start of November and began competition at the end of the month.

Strong results came early at the Roberts Rumble where senior wrestlers Nolan O’Reilly, Alex Ratcliff and Alysha Monk were selected to the North Shore all-star team and competed against some of the best wrestlers in the Lower Mainland in their weight class.

“This is a big step for these wrestlers because they get to compete against the best,” said head coach Clint Fox. “I’m seeing more and more stronger development out of all of these wrestlers.”

In the last week of November, a grades 8 to 10 meet was held at Balmoral where the younger Elphi wrestlers gained valuable experience wrestling three matches.

“For some it was their first competitive match, so it was a positive experience for them,” Fox said.

Last week a Grade 8 only tournament was held where competitors got in three matches each and the grades 9 to 12 wrestlers were at Terry Fox. Alysha and Alex each won their weight classes while Ed Cabbigat and Harrison Yudel finished second in their weight classes, picking up silver medals. Alysha was also voted the outstanding wrestler at the meet.

This week, Elphi travelled to Burnaby for the SFU meet for grades 9 to 12.

“This is an important meet. It’s the elite wrestlers in the Lower Mainland and goes a long way to determine positions on Team B.C.,” Fox said.

After the Christmas break, the 16-member Elphi squad will be back at it in earnest with an eye towards the provincial championships at the end of February.

“So far we’ve had a great start. I’m looking forward to the second half of the season and seeing the kids continue to grow and break through to that next level,” he said.

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