Elphinstone not only made history, they did the seemingly impossible.
Four hundred and ninety-two wrestlers qualified for the BC Provincial High School Championships. Eight wrestlers from Elphinstone and one from Chatelech headed over to the Pacific Coliseum, in search of wrestling glory.
Until now, the Sunshine Coast has never had a male win a gold medal. The curse is now broken. Ethan Sullivan fought his way, undefeated to the final. He made the pin to win with seconds left in the match. Ethan Sullivan credits his team for the win. He thanks Matt Drope for helping him train. He dedicates his win to his coach, George Richey, who has been in his corner since elementary school. Since George’s passing, Ethan has carried with him the headgear George gave to him. Ethan has kept the headgear in his corner at every major event to make sure George is always there.
Sienna Treliving, a first year wrestler fought her way through to the finals to win gold. She wrestled with confidence and three-time Olympian Danielle Lappage was in Sienna’s corner. Danielle had just signed on as an Elphinstone coach prior to provincials. She said, “The future is bright for Sienna.” Sienna wrestled like an Olympian, being wise and defensive with her points. Both Sienna and Ethan are Grade 10 students and have two more years to medal.
Alice Clements went into the finals against her friend and rival. Both had each other in near pins through this seesaw battle. The result in the end had Alice coming home with silver. The match was voted by all coaches in attendance as the match of the tournament. Both combatants were awarded plaques to commemorate the battle.
Lia Trent, continues to climb the standings. Last year, she did well, but did not podium. Lia changed that this year. She finished sixth and stood proud on the podium. She plans to be at the top, at next year’s provincials.
Chatelech had Coen Enthoven qualify for provincials. He came in as a massive underdog in a stacked weight class. Coen surprised the world and went through almost 10 hours of competition before suffering his first loss. In his first year, he stood on podium finding himself at sixth place in the province, and everyone noted his wrestling prowess.
Maddy Van der Stelt, Hayden Van der Stelt and Alanna Krinapai wrestled well. Their victories added points to Elphinstone’s aggregate totals. Their coaches are so proud of these amazing young people.
Dylan Drope wrestled with a new found sense of calm. He took over as Elphinstone’s captain. Dylan matched his last year’s results stepping on podium in fourth, but he led his team to something amazing. He has been asked to wrestle with Douglas College next year and hopes to train with SFU as well.
Hayden and Dylan will graduate out of wrestling this year. They have been wrestling since elementary school. Their coaches have been there for every moment. The highs and lows have helped them to rise to greatness. Watching them grow and develop into two amazing young men, their coaches could not be any more proud. Hayden and Dylan have left an indelible mark on the Elphinstone program and finished doing something, that no school on the Coast has ever been able to do.
The weekend saw nine Coast kids travel to Vancouver. Six kids – two thirds of the crew – made it through to the semifinals. Three ended up in the finals, the largest numbers from any one school in the province. With five girls, Elphinstone finished second in the female division, taking home the Mid Valley trophy. While the team was celebrating this amazing feat, it was announced that Elphinstone took the overall team title. Elphinstone Wrestling has now lifted their school to be recognized as the top school in the province. With only eight warriors, this tiny school beat all others. The Larry Kliparchuk trophy will live at Elphinstone for this year, but the history made will last forever.
Coaches Eric Sullivan, Mike Rines and Peter Brampton can’t clearly express their gratitude to everyone who helped climb this mountain. The Unifor Local 1119 gave a massive donation to make this weekend possible. They helped with accommodation costs. Dew It Contracting, Mark’s Workwear World and Creeker’s Containers all chipped in to help Elphinstone look like champions in their new team gear. A huge thanks goes out to the coaches and athletes from the North Shore. Our North Shore league is vital and strong. A win for one, is a win for us all. In particular, the leadership from Joseph huh and Ian McDonald has been invaluable. The principals John Brisebois and Mark Sauer have been so supportive. The teachers at Chatelech and Elphinstone have been so accommodating as the athletes travelled in to compete and train. Superintendent Kate Kerr has been amazing. Her leadership and assistance have been vital to allow the team to reach these levels of success.