The Cochrane Cowboys is playing a large role in the Zone 2 wrestling team headed to Airdrie this weekend for the Alberta Winter Games.
Ten Cochrane Cowboys form half of the zone 2 wrestlers, and another member will be competing for the Zone 4 team.
The Cowboys' Devin Kurt is head coach and will be assisted by Trish Kurt and Curtis Hooper. April Hooper is team manager.
Wrestling for Zone 2 from the Cowboys are Draedan Berry, Cash Friend, Morgan Hill, Nicholas Hooper, Wyatt Kirk, Danyka Labelle, Brendan Maguire, Maeve Maguire, Emily Toner, and Grace Toner,
Garret Ament was selected to fill a roster spot for Zone 4.
In December, the Cowboys hosted the zone trials that attracted wrestlers from across the region.
"We had a great turnout," says Curtis Hooper. "I think it was one of the bigger trials we've had for zone 2."
The wrestling season traditionally heats up after Christmas.
"It's been a fun year so far," Hooper says. "When you hit January, it's nonstop for wrestling, right up to Nationals (Apr. 3-5).
Immediately following the winter games, the team is off to the Junior Olympics being hosted in Edson. The Cowboys are hosting the Western Canada Youth Invitational on Mar. 7, a reinvention of their annual tournament.
"We're trying to create a tournament to attract as many kids as we can from as far as we can to come and participate."
Also, wrestlers Jaityn Labelle and Keith Dostalier will both be competing in the ASAA high school provincials, Mar. 13-14. Dostalier will also be competing in the ASAA rural wrestling championship, Feb. 28-29.
Over 30 Cochrane athletes and coaches are participating in a variety of disciplines at the games.
Alberta’s Winter Games include a wide variety of sports from cross-country skiing, hockey, biathlon, curling and speed skating to artistic swimming, fencing, artistic gymnastics, and volleyball. Participants earn the right to participate in the event by qualifying through zone playoffs.
In all, there will be over 2,600 participants, their families, spectators, and supporters at the games. The games offer Albertans ages 11 to 17 an opportunity to compete in a provincewide multi-sport competition.