During hard times, true character emerges. From the effects of fuel shortages to the ongoing pandemic, this was a difficult wrestling season for the SD46 Sunshine Coast team. The hardest blow this year was losing their coach and friend Mr. George Richey.
Elphinstone team captains, Hayden Van Der Stelt and Dylan Drope decided the team would dedicate this season in his honour. The Sunshine Coast team did not disappoint.
To start the season, with only three practices, Alice Clements won third at SFU’s War on the Floor Elite division, seeing the best from B.C., Calgary, Edmonton and Washington State competing.
The North Shore held the first dual meet in more than 30 years. The Sunshine Coast joined the West Vancouver team of Sentinel and Collingwood and took on and defeated all of the high schools in North Vancouver. Out of the 10 wins, eight came from the Sunshine Coast team.
The team wrestled strong at the North Shore Championships with almost all wrestlers finishing within the top three. Ethan Sullivan was selected, by all North Shore coaches, to win the trophy as the most outstanding junior male wrestler on the North Shore.
The Coast competed in the Zones Championship on Feb. 11, where the top five wrestlers, from the Lower Mainland in each weight category, would advance to provincials. Chatelech’s Atticus Erlenbusch qualified in his weight class. Elphinstone went 7 for 7 with all athletes not only qualifying but every single Elphinstone wrestler finishing first or second: Alice Clements (1st), Alana Krinapai (1st), Ethan Sullivan (1st), Lia Trent (2nd ), Grace Gibson (2nd), Dylan Drope (2nd), and Hayden Van Der Stelt (2nd ).
For the first time in history, a high school from the Sunshine Coast won a banner in wrestling. Not any banner, but a zone banner seeing the Elphinstone girls’ team, with only four wrestlers, being recognized as the top high school in the Vancouver Sea to Sky Zone.
At the time of this write-up, one Chatelech and seven Elphinstone athletes are heading to the BC Provincial Championships being held at the PNE Coliseum Feb. 24-26 and will represent their schools with pride. In a difficult season, our Coast team came together to have the most successful season in our history. The wrestlers know Mr. Richey will always be in their corner. As coaches, Eric Sullivan, Mike Rines and Peter Brampton could not be prouder of all the athletes.
SD46 superintendent Kerr congratulates all the wrestlers on their accomplishments. Kerr commented, “In such a difficult year you have shown resilience and fortitude to bring honour to yourselves, your sport and our district. We celebrate you! We wish you all the best in the Provincials.”