Riverside’s wrestling team is determined to achieve their goals this season. Last year the team had many successes that they hope to replicate this year with coach Mr. Robert Thomson, who is now coaching at Centennial.  With a new coach and dedicated players, many look forward to this upcoming season.

Mr. Jack Bale, PE teacher and the new coach for the team, (taking over from Mr. Robert Thomson) ready for the new season, as is the rest of the team.  Bale considers himself new to the sport, but sees coaching as an opportunity to become a stronger teacher.   “My goals are to learn more about wrestling, so I can become a better teacher in P.E,” said Bale when asked what his personal goals were for the wrestling season.  “I want to be able to see each wrestler achieve their goals.”  said Bale.  “My goal is just getting the students to where they want to be.”

Wrestlers are also looking forward to the season. “Some of my goals are to make it to the final match at provincials and to really focus on improving my skills,” said grade 11, Keisha Nagorr.  Nagorr happens to also be the third ranked wrestler in the province and is expected to win at provincials on Vancouver Island.   “It’s been one of my biggest accomplishments,” said Nagorr.  “I predict that it will be a very productive and successful year for all those on the wrestling team.”

This season, a lot of girls are showing their wrestling skills and proving that they are just as good, if not better, than their male counterparts.  This has been such an achievement for the female athletes since wrestling is well known for being a male dominated sport.

Some of the other standout athletes on the team, according to Bale are grade 10, Ryann McCreedy, grade 9, Christian Conroy.  

The wrestling team has been practicing with Centennial and Pinetree, who both will eventually be their rivals further into the season.  Practicing with other schools has given the team the opportunity to find their strengths and weaknesses while also observing those of their future opponents.  “Everyone is more collaborative, than competitive” said Bale. “All teams are just working towards the same goal.

The team tried to put his philosophy to work on the weekend of December 16 and 17, when Riverside’s wrestling team partook in their first competition: War on the Floor.  Players from all over BC and Alberta attended.  Unfortunately, the team didn’t do the greatest.  “It was a wake-up call,” said Bale.  Hopefully the team will be able to push further on their upcoming matches.

Whether members of the team are experienced wrestlers or new to the sport, Bale is determined to see each person achieve their goals, no matter how extreme or simple.