After all major tournaments were scratched in the spring and summer, local youth wrestlers are anxious to return to the mats.
Registration is now open for the Cochrane Cowboys and while there's many returning wrestlers, there's also room for those who want to give the sport a try.
Media liaison Mike Labelle says the first team meeting is being held on Oct. 4 to sort out the schedule and establish cohorts. Then on Oct. 6 the first practice gets underway.
The Cowboys practice at the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre Tuesdys, Thursdays and Sunday
It has three age groups for boys and girls ages 7 to 18.
A solid group of advance wrestlers is among those returning from last season.
"We didn't go to provincials, we didn't get to go the nationals, and we didn't get to go to the summer games," says Labelle. "There was a whole bunch of things that really went down that was disappointing for the athletes, but it has lit a fire under them to be that much better this year."
With fewer sports options available this fall, most notably in schools, some youth may want to turn to wrestling, he says.
"There's a lot of sports that didn't happen this summer or also this fall when it comes to school sports. So maybe they normally play rugby, maybe they play high school football or are engaged in other sports that aren't going on. This might be an opportunity for them to try something new to keep physically active."
At this point, the wrestlers will be training in cohorts.
"There's no tournaments right now, but perhaps in the New Year they'll be able to compete in tournaments and in cohort tournaments throughout Calgary and southern Alberta if they can make that work."
Gord Peavy, who wrestled with the U of C Dinos, is the new head coach of the Cowboys. He'll be joining a coaching staff steep in experience and passionate about the sport.
"It will be an excellent time for him to transition, bring his style of training, and bring his methods. I'm excited to see what the kids get from it."
To learn more about the Cochrane Cowboys click here.