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Friday, 02 February 2018 09:35

Titans wrestling tournament keeps on growing

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Swift Current's Ethan Peters (at right) won his match against Moose Jaw's Ethan Railton with a 10-6 points decision. Swift Current's Ethan Peters (at right) won his match against Moose Jaw's Ethan Railton with a 10-6 points decision.

The annual wrestling tournament hosted by the Swift Current Titans Wrestling Club continues to grow and the 2018 event was the largest ever.


The 19th annual Swift Current Titans Classic took place in the Swift Comprehensive High School gymnasium, Jan. 27. It was attended by over 340 wrestlers from 18 teams that came from across Saskatchewan as well as Alberta.
“This was huge,” Titans Head Coach Curtis Biem said. “We say this every year that we just keep on growing. ... We had more Alberta teams than we had in the past. We had more teams from the north than we’ve had in the past.”
Teams come to the tournament because their wrestlers have an opportunity to compete against different teams.
“In part with the Alberta teams coming that brings some new high school kids especially into the province,” he said. “So it’s new competitions, which is always nice instead of just wrestling the same old guys all the time. So I think that’s part of it. Then, the Alberta teams have heard that things are going well here, like Medicine Hat started coming, then Taber started coming. This year Lethbridge and Cochrane came, and so the word kind of just spread.”
The Titans competed with 43 wrestlers, and they won seven gold, nine silver and 11 bronze medals. On the overall team scores, the Titans finished second behind the Saskatoon Pups and the Medicine Hat Hawks were in third place.
“For the most part we were winning the matches we should be winning and the ones that were close we were fighting hard,” he said. “We don’t worry so much about wins and losses. We just want the kids to wrestle well and if they wrestle well, what more can we ask of them?”
This year's tournament was a test event for the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games that will take place in Swift Current from Aug. 9-18. The gymnasium at the Swift Current Comprehensive High School will be used as the wrestling facility during the games, and the Titans Classic provided a good opportunity for game organizers to get familiar with the suitability of the venue for wrestling.
“So they wanted to come and check how things were going, what a wrestling tournament looks like at the Comp, taking some notes,” Biem said.
The committee members got a good idea of what the facility will be able to manage, because the Titans tournament is much larger than the wrestling competition will be at the games. For the games the age group is 12 to 20, but wrestlers between the ages of five and 18 attended the Titans Classic.
“For most of the people on that committee, wrestling isn’t necessarily the most highly known sport around,” he said. “So it gives them an idea of what the sport involves. I ran into quite a few people who are on the committee and talked to them a little while and their eyes were kind of opened to what a wrestling tournament looks like. It’s loud and kind of chaotic, but everything gets done.”
This year the club has 48 wrestlers, which is similar to last year. This was only the second tournament of the season for the team. The season started in early December with a tournament in Weyburn.
“They wrestled better today and that’s what you want to see,” he said. “So after two months of practise they should be getting better.”

He noted that the Titans had a really good season in 2017. That was in some part due to the number of wrestlers who were at the upper end of their two-year age group.
“We actually won the provincial championship last year for the elementary age group,” he said. “It will be tough to repeat that this year because a lot of those kids have moved up to a new age group, and so they’re wrestling older kids whereas they were wrestling their age and younger.”
The Titans wrestlers will be competing in two more tournaments in preparation for the provincial championships.
“We have a program that focuses on wrestling well instead of winning,” he said. “You can wrestle well and loose and you can wrestle poorly and win. I would rather kids wrestle well, and so we’re a very positive club. We expect the kids to work hard and they do, and when kids get older they start giving back too.”
Biem mentioned that the club has a strong group of coaches and volunteers that are contributing towards the success of the team as well as their annual home tournament.
“Part of the culture of the club is you work hard, you make this a first-class event and it then just happens,” he said. “I just want to really express how thankful I am for the volunteers that we have in our club.”
Below are the results for the Swift Current Titans Wrestling Club at the team's Jan. 27 home tournament.
Gold – Mack Henderson (Freshie 22-22), Briar Moffit (Novice 27-28), Meryk Gording-Dovell (Novice 28-30), Jamie Robertson (Novice 29-31), Owen Sletten (Novice 33-35), Gabrielle Bonogofski (Bantam female 45-49), Aleah Nickel (Cadet/Juvenile female 60-63).
Silver – Liam Bailey (Novice 26-27), Ethan Peters (Novice 43-44), Chase Auseth (Novice 47-51), Dominic Bonogofski (Peewee male 43-46), Talon Tumback (Peewee male 46-48), Hayden Giesbrecht (Peewee male 51-55), Chaz Vandendort (Bantam male 30-32), Sebastien Marchand (Cadet/Juvenile 68-71), Andrew Steinley (Cadet/Juvenile male 72-73).
Bronze – Bryden Donaldson Elder (Freshie 32-34), Carter Stad (Novice 24-24), Colter Folk (Novice 25-26), Jackson Gording-Dovell (Novice 38-39), Elayna Britton (Novice 44-47), Caleb Vachon (Novice 47-51), Skylar Vandendort (Peewee female 36-39), Alex Hyde (Peewee male 34-36), Parker Robertson (Peewee male 46-48), Deacon Britton (Bantam male 53-56), Elijah Harden (Cadet/Juvenile male 68-71).
Fourth – Gemma Tumback (Freshie 25-26), Tinara Bowditch (Peewee female 35-38), Sebastian Millman (Peewee male 34-36), Lake Tardif (Peewee male 38-41), Harlee Pipke (Peewee male 42-44), Tyler MacIsaac (Peewee male 46-48), Brooklynn Becker (Cadet/Juvenile female 48-52), Kayden Dudley (Cadet/Juvenile male 61-64).
Fifth – Avery Giesbrecht (Freshie 24-24), Ryder Donaldson Elder (Novice 22-23), Diezel Paulhus (Novice 31-32), Maddex Barber (Peewee male 35-37), Walter Hunter-Adashynski (Peewee male 43-46), Titus Erick (Bantam male 40-41), Joran Gryde (Bantam male 41-44), Luke Nelson (Cadet/Juvenile male 68-71).

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Matthew Liebenberg

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