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Wrestlers rumble in southern Alberta

Posted on January 25, 2024 by admin

Submitted by 

David Clyde Walters

High school amateur freestyle wrestling is becoming a force to reckon with in Southern Alberta. Historically, LCI has had a wrestling team for several decades, but needed to travel to the other major cities in Alberta to compete. Taber has also had a few grapplers for many years but also must travel long distances. Cardston had a high school wrestling program in the distant past, but now that club is making a comeback under head coach, Rob Barfuss. 

But a few years ago head coach Drew Walters started a wrestling fire in tiny Stirling, Alta., that is spreading quickly across the south. The Stirling team now boasts over 40 wrestlers, many coming out of Raymond. Stirling High School hosted a tri-meet in November 2023 to get this season started. Cardston followed with a tournament on December 2. 

Raymond hosted the historic, first ever, wrestling rumble in the Raymond High School gym on December 28, 2023. 

And on Thursday, January 18, 2024, LCI head coach, Pat Selk, invited Stirling High to the LCI big gym, for the first ever dual meet in southern Alberta. This was exceptional, because a dual meet requires having enough wrestlers on a team to fill every weight class on the roster.

The two teams exchanged victories back and forth all through the evening, which electrified the fans in the stand, right down to the final match where Stirling was ahead in team points 37-34. LCI, however, had saved Grade 12 female superstar Reese Ferguson for the last match. A pin by Ferguson would give LCI 5 points for a team victory of 39-37. However, Stirling female grappler Shanaelle Zumbach had other plans. Defeating Ferguson would be asking a lot, but underdog Zumbach’s game plan was to simply score at least one point and avoid getting pinned. That would give her team 1 point and hold LCI to 4 points to tie the tournament. Ferguson put Zumbach in her signature arm-toss headlock 3 or 4 times but each time Zumbach somehow found a way to escape, once earning her a reversal for 1 point. Ferguson won the match 12-1 but the dual meet was locked in a tie, 38-38. To break the tie, coach Drew Walters challenged his old LCI teammate, Pat Selk to a crowd pleasing arm wrestle that ended in a draw. Walters next won an old fashioned Indian leg wrestle but Selk won a school ground thumb wrestle which thoroughly entertained the crowd, but still left the tournament locked in a tie. To settle the score, an exhibition match was set up between Payton Shields of LCI and Lauriane Zumbach of Stirling. Shields pinned Zumbach late in the bout to secure an LCI 43-38 victory over Stirling. No one was disappointed in the quality of the dual meet and an announcement was made at the end of the meet that the University of Lethbridge now has a wrestling team coached by legendary Shawn Daye-Finley and is hosting two inaugural tournaments at the U of L. Friday, January 26 will see a Pronghorn Dual meet against a combined U of C and U of A roster, and then next day, an Alberta Invitational Open tournament, Saturday, January 27 in the First Choice Savings main gym on the U of L campus in Lethbridge. See you there.

LCI – Stirling Dual Meet results:

John Adams Stirling pinned Sterling Lowry of LCI. 

Colby Seely of LCI pinned Gideon Young of Stirling. 

Reese Ferguson pinned Jessica Froese of Stirling. 

Omni Lowry of LCI pinned Adrian Quinteros of Stirling. 

Khloe-Ann Fehr of Stirling defeated Megan Wert of Raymond in a 6-2 decision. 

Jaxon Caldwell of Stirling pinned Theo Hendry of LCI. 

Payton Wilde of Stirling Pinned Grady Steed of LCI. 

Rocky Brewerton pinned Jasper Kornelson, both of LCI. 

Brock Seely of Stirling pinned Frankie Sinclair of LCI. 

Kade Walters of Stirling pinned Jack Huggins of LCI. 

Christien Lowry of LCI pinned Adrian Quinteros of Stirling. 

Amelia Prenevost of LCI defeated Jessica Froese of Raymond by a 10-0 decision. 

Spencer Hardy of the Raymond Comets pinned Ezra McKee of LCI. 

Khloe-Ann Fehr defeated Caitlym Mora in another 10-0 decision. 

Kade Walters of Stirling pinned Kade Powelson representing LCI (Powelson also wrestles for the U of L Pronghorns). 

Grady Steed defeated Everett Cornish in an 8-2 decision. 

Shany Zumbach of Raymond pinned Sydney Shields of LCI. 

Kim Maine of LCI won by decision over Lauriane Zumbach of Raymond. 

Ezra McKee of LCI pinned Jaxon Caldwell of Stirling. 

Reese Ferguson of LCI defeated Shanaelle Zumbach 12-1. 

This left the Meet tied at 38-38, until Payton Shields of LCI pinned Lauriane Zumbach of Raymond for a final 43-38 victory of LCI.

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