Gold medals earned by wrestlers Connor Pointen and Braydon Pease gave Bow Valley High School a 3A ASAA provincial wrestling banner, recently.
Held in Stony Plain, Mar. 8-9, the pair of elite wrestlers won their weight class and lifted Bow Valley into a two-way tie for first with Beaumont Composite.
The win is the latest of many for Pointen in what has been a golden season in high school wrestling. He went against Thomas Rousseau, of Calgary's Bishop McNally High School, in the gold medal match.
Competing in the 98 kg weight class, Pease defeated Court McPherson, of Calgary's Bishop O'Byrne for gold.
Pointen, 18, has been perfect at high school provincials since grade 10. This was his third consecutive gold medal for Bow Valley High.
There were 14 other wrestlers in his class and he won all four of his matches. He was impressed with the full size of his pool and found it challenging.
"There was a lot of competition," says Pointen. "All of my opponents were really good and I had some good matches. It was a great experience."
Graduating this year, Pointen also won all of his high school tournament matches this season in addition to having an exceptional year with the Cochrane Cowboys. This week is the Alberta Open and national championships follow.
"It's been really good. I'm looking forward to the rest of it. It's a wonderful time to be peaking, especially with the Cowboys having so many coaches around. It's been incredible training there."
This may have been the first high school provincials for grade 10 student Pease, but he's no stranger to the mats.
The 16-year-old is an elite wrestler with the Junior Dinos. He's been a member of that club for seven years and previously wrestled with the Vikings while residing in Minnesota.
There were 11 in his weight class at the provincials and, like Pointen, he was impressed with the calibre of his competitors, many of whom he has previously met at club competitions.
"They're all good wrestlers, they all have good technique. They were all-around quality athletes."
The pair received a good reception when they returned to class.
"They were really excited about it, proud of me and Connor both," says Pease. "When I got back, everyone was congratulating me on how well we both did."
The two also teamed up to place second among 3A boys teams at the ASAA Rural Provincials, Feb. 22-23. Individually, Pointen won gold and Pease won silver.
Unfortunately, the gold medallist from the Rural Provincials in Pease's weight class, Matthew Peterson, of Brooks Composite High School, was injured and unable to compete in the provincials. It was a rematch Pease would like to have seen.
"I definitely wanted a rematch because he was a top-level athlete and I enjoyed wrestling him."
Pease is currently preparing for the 2019 Canadian Junior Wrestling Championship being held in Saskatoon, Mar. 22-24, and the U19 nationals in Fredericton, NB, Apr. 5 to 7.
Autumn Shopa medals for Cochrane High
Cochrane High placed third among the 3A girls teams in the Rurals, thanks to a gold medal performance by Autumn Shopa in the 61 kg weight class. She also placed third at the Provincials. The long-time wrestler with the Cochrane Cowboys Wrestling Club will be among those heading to the nationals in Fredericton, NB (watch for separate story).
Of note is a gold medal win in the 72 kg weight class by Isaiah Springer for the Vimy Ridge Academy, of Edmonton. Springer previously wrestled his way to many medals for both St. Timothy High School and the Cochrane Cowboys and has also competed in the Alberta Winter Games and as a member of Team Alberta in the Canada Summer Games.