Kyan Martin attempts to flip Aiden Mann after learning the new postion on Feb. 2. Martin will be competing in the 55 kg category at the Alberta Winter Games. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Eckville athletes looking for gold at Alberta Winter Games

Kyan Martin and Aiden Mann will be joined by Sophia and Savannah McAlpine on the Zone Four team

Eckville’s Crank Wrestling Club will be sending four young wrestlers to their biggest competition yet, the Alberta Winter Games.

Competitors from Eckville and Condor will be heading to Wood Buffalo to represent the Zone Four Parkland Team, Feb. 16-19.

Sophia McAlpine, Savannah McAlpine, Kyan Martin and Aiden Mann will represent Crank in a competition that will have all eyes on them.

For Mann and Martin it’s the size of the games that has them nervous, not the actual competition.

“There are going to be so many people there, watching us,” said Martin, adding the opening ceremony also gives him nerves as it is televised.

“I’m not so much nervous about the actual games, more the amount of people going to be there,” explained Mann. “I don’t really get nervous when I wrestle.”

Both young wrestlers are in junior high and have been wrestling for the past six or seven years.

They are both looking at the Alberta Winter Games as the first step to becoming an Olympic athlete, with Martin hoping to making Team Canada in time for the 2024 games.

Each set of games, from the Alberta Games to the Canada Games and beyond are steps to the ultimate goal for the two young athletes.

“It’s a starting point which will lead us to Worlds and eventually the Olympic Games,” said Martin.

Though they both came to the sport for different reasons, friends and wanting to give something new a try, both Mann and Martin have stuck with it for the same reason.

Mann and Martin both say they love the sport as it is fun, and is very competitive.

“Its one of those sports where you have to rely on yourself to get you out of a situation, and your coach to train you how,” explained Mann. “Its easier to rely on people.”

“The only person you have to rely on is your coach to help you with your positions,” added Martin.

The two compete in about five tournaments each season, and Coach Adam Laporte says he and his assistant coach, Drew Persson, have been working with the wrestlers for the last year to get them ready for the Alberta Winter Games.

“They have put it a lot of work, and have worked hard,” said Laporte.

When asked if they have a wrestler they look up to on their personal journeys to the Olympic stage, both said they look up to Persson, who has been wrestling for a relatively short time.

Mann and Martin accredited her drive and determination in the sport for why they both look up to her.

“What she has accomplished in such a short time is great,” said Martin.

Laporte describe the four athletes, along with their teammates in Zone Four, as strong and determined.

“I’m really excited [about the Games],” said Martin.

Thanks to the team’s sponsors, Denali Oilfield Services and Drillers Directional, the athletes will be travelling to Wood Buffalo without expenses incurred.

“[Denali Oilfield Services and Drillers Directional] donated enough money so that the young athletes could focus on the wrestling and not worry about if they could afford to participate,” said Laporte.

Both Sophia and Savannah McAlpine from Eckville were unavailable for comment at the time of the interview.

Accompanying the four local athletes on the Zone Four team are: Olivia Miller, Edson; Bronwyn Dormaar, Wetaskiwin; Amanda Grant, Penhold; Felicia Davies, Edmonton; Megan Nganjue, Calgary; Desma Manns, Wetaskiwin; William Dormaar, Wetaskiwin; Darius Shuffler, Wetaskiwin; Logan Kennedy, Edmonton; Weston Pitcher, Wetaskiwin; Sean Botelho, Edmonton; Brandt Proctor, Calgary; Ethan Cullen, Wetaskiwin; Noah Swanson, Drayton Valley; and Callum McDowell, St. Albert.

This is the first time the majority of Zone Four’s team will be made up of primarily rural athletes.


Kyan Martin and Aiden Mann were all smiles after successfully completing a new position during a practise at Crank Wrestling, Feb. 2. At the Alberta Winter Games, Mann will be competing in the 60 kg category. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake students prepare for opening night of ‘Almost, Maine”

Students and staff from H.J. Cody have been hard at work since September to bring Almost to life

WATCH: Sylvan Lake’s Daddy/Daughter Dance

The event was put on by SPARC Parent’s Association on Nov. 17

West Central Midget Tigers pounce on Airdrie

The Tigers’ regular season record is 10-1-2 after two wins this weekend

Big Bear Energy makes a big donation to Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau

Big Bear Energy recently gave a donation to help families in need this holiday season

PHOTOS: H.J. Cody celebrates Academic Excellence

The Academic Awards ceremony was Nov. 16 at the Nexsource Centre

VIDEO: Shoppers like self-checkout lanes at the grocery store, survey suggests

Grocery Experience National Survey Report suggests most grocery shoppers spend 32 minutes per visit

The latest advent calendar trend: Holiday cannabis

A Canadian company is giving people from coast to coast a new way to celebrate the Christmas countdown.

Ponoka’s Caleb Shimwell arrested after pursuit

Police allege that Shimwell rammed a police cruiser

731,000 Canadians going into debt to buy prescription drugs: UBC

Millennials and those without private coverage were more likely to borrow money

Pot users, investors need to be vigilant at Canada-U.S. border

U.S. authorities say anyone who admits to having used pot before it became legal could be barred

No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

Ponoka woman and Sylvan Lake man see assault charges withdrawn

Charges dropped in Rimbey Provincial Court, stayed against Morsette

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Most Read