Warrior Wrestlers Medal at NWOSSA
It has been said, “Warriors are not the ones that always win, but the ones that always fight”. Coming from a small community, we are constantly fighting the odds. While other schools have their own wrestling rooms, access to high level wrestling clubs, university practices, and are able to enter competitions on a regular basis, our Sioux North wrestlers practice twice a week, and enter two tournaments per year. To be able to compete and find success at the highest level is a testament to the toughness and durability of wrestlers coming from our small northern community.
The NWOSSA championship was held at St. Patrick’s High School in Thunder Bay on February 15, 2019. Our Sioux North Warrior wrestlers placed third out of the 9 teams in our region, a mere 4 points from overtaking Westgate High School for second. Bradley Grenier, a small heavyweight in the largest category in the tournament, waged absolute war on his opponents. His final match was a back and forth battle that saw each of these giants taking the lead, and almost being pinned on several occasions. With 3 seconds left in the final round Bradley scored the “knockout punch” of wrestling, flipped, and pinned his opponent securing his gold medal.
All athletes have a defining moment, one that separates them from the rest. In his gold medal match, Levi Melnichuk endured a grueling first round. Seeing the score tied at 3-3, Levi came back to his corner battered, bleeding and nose packed with bloody gauze. At that moment deep inside Levi a raging fire was lit, and he looked the coach directly in the eye and said, “Sak, I’m done. I’m ending this!” Levi answered the bell to the second round and dominated his opponent, scoring 12 unanswered points to win gold 15-3. A guest referee with international experience believes that Levi was one of the best wrestlers in the tournament and could easily compete with the top six in his 35 wrestler bracket at OFSAA.
It is often said in wrestling that if you push your opponent hard enough, there is a point where you can actually feel them break. Kiana Barker and Brittany Barkman are iron willed athletes, who will push and push, leaving their opponents looking for a way out. Brit and Kianna had back-to-back two round wars, and kept up such a frenetic pace, that you could actually see their opponents lose their will to win. Kiana, a first year wrestler, placed third, and Brittany earned gold in her second year.
Gabriel Otto, a much-improved technical wrestler, ran into an opponent who in all likelihood will be seeded at the Provincial Championships. Gabe looked incredible and kept pace with his adversary. Five wrestlers qualified for the OFSAA wrestling championships in Ottawa on March 4-6th, and 2 have accepted the challenge. We are proud of ALL the wrestlers who had the courage to compete at the NWOSSA championships, and wish good luck to Warriors’ Gabriel Otto and Levi Melnichuk who will be competing at OFSAA this year!
Coaches Sakamoto, Cospito, Coulombe, and Thwaites
Gold: Bradley Grenier, Levi Melnichuk and Brittany Barkman
Silver: Gabriel Otto and Mason Clace
Bronze: Kiana Barker, Marinda Haines and Dylan Thwaites
Fourth: Ethan Nadeau and Grayce McKay
Fifth: Josh Slobosian
Great performances by: Jakob Thivierge and Serena Anderson