Three Shuswap wrestlers will be looking to take down their opponents and take home medals at the upcoming high school wrestling national championships.
The wrestlers are Andrei Dumetrache from Salmon Arm Secondary, and Sam Muddiman and Kynan Dicker, both Grade 8 students at Ranchero Elementary School (which goes from K to Grade 8).
Coach Duane Kroeker, a teacher at Ranchero, will be accompanying the team to the event, being held in Vancouver March 24-26.
Kroeker said he has about 25 wrestlers from Grade 4 to 8. Normally he wraps up the program after provincials, but he’s keeping it going for Sam and Kynan as the two, along with Andrei, finished in the top six at provincials, qualifying to progress to the national event.
“Kynan finished fourth and Sam finished fifth which I think is monumental for kids in Grade 8 in a Grade 8-12 tournament,” said Kroeker of provincials. “They’ve been training so hard and they wanted to go, they just kept wanting to go to the next level. Normally, I wrap up after provincials but I decided I’m going to roll the mats out and keep going just for these guys.”
Kroeker said in addition to training at the school, Sam and Kynan have been doing extra practices.
“They’ve been going to the Spartan Wrestling Club in Kelowna,” said Kroeker. “They’re going to the next level. They’re training about five days a week. It’s pretty intense for Grade 8. They’re beat up, they’re sore, you can tell they’re tired, but they show up, they park a smile on their faces and they get going. They’re just really good representatives of the sport and just good kids.”
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