Wrestling club wins medals at Ace Championship

The members of Team Eville: Nathan “Honey Badger” Posti, Brooklyn “Bully” Thomson, Brett “Bam Bam” Burak, Hunter Smith,

The members of Team Eville: Nathan “Honey Badger” Posti, Brooklyn “Bully” Thomson, Brett “Bam Bam” Burak, Hunter Smith, Malcolm Tisdale and Sophia “Ewok” McAlpine competed at the Submission Ace Championships last Saturday in Red Deer.

When Sophia stepped off the mats last November with her third place trophy, the first thing she said was she would win the gold medal in her next tournament. Sophia got off to a slow start on Saturday, winning her first match 5-1. After that it was 8-0, 10-0, 7-0. Sophia was so dominant that day that she was able to score points during her opponent’s turns. Every time she stepped off the mats her smile was a little bit bigger, but when they put that gold medal around her neck we all thought she would explode.

As the “Ewok’s” matches were winding down, Nathan’s were just getting started. The “Honey badger” got off to a shaky start by getting caught in a choke in his first match. Noticeably upset with that defeat Nathan refocused and won the remainder of his matches very decisively. His matches were so entertaining, the crowd was constantly cheering. Even though he had to settle for second, the way he energized the crowd he was easily one of the most exciting competitors that day.

Brooklyn “Bully” Thomson is definitely hitting her stride. Her opponents (all of which are boys) can’t take her down and Brooklyn hasn’t been submitted in her last five matches. The “Bully” made short work of her first and last opponents and wrestled to a draw with the eventual tournament winner.

With no other competitors in his age bracket, Hunter stepped up to the 13 to 17 year old division. His first match was against a 15-yearold giant, 170 lbs. and six feet tall. Hunter wrestled for all he was worth, but couldn’t overcome the huge size difference. Next up Hunter locked horns with fellow teammate “Bam Bam” Burak. It was a great back and forth match, a real crowd pleaser. Unfortunately Brett’s experience level was yet another obstacle that Hunter was unable to overcome. But like a future champion, he stepped on the mat for his third and final match seemingly unaffected by his earlier defeats. Hunter stayed focused, he dominated his opponent that match and went on to win the bronze medal.

Brett “Bam Bam” Burak also squared off against the 15-year-old giant. “Bam Bam” was able to get the match to the ground quickly and started to work for a dominant position. Brett attempted several submissions, but with minutes left in the match he found himself caught in a bent arm lock. Brett went on to win his next two matches and secured a silver medal finish.

One gold, three silvers and a bronze medal, not a bad day for a warm-up tournament.

To date Team Eville has competed in over 50 matches spread out in 13 tournaments, logged hundreds of hours of practice time and supported one another the entire way. There have been countless great moments, tons of awesome wrestling and of course a lot of shiny trophies. But for me this tournament tops them all. Watching “Bam Bam” Burak, “Ewok” McAlpine, “Bully” Thomson, Hunter Smith, “Honey Badger” Posti and Malcolm Tisdale helping each other reach their individual goals for that day was amazing. My favorite moment has to be Brooklyn’s first match. She spent the entire time defending against a rear choke, her arms were exhausted and neck was sore. The match had sapped most of her strength and mentally she was drained. I looked over to see Sophia giving her a hug and draping her gold medal around her neck. Within seconds Brooklyn’s energy was restored and she went on to dominate in the rest of her matches.

Those small moments are what make all the hardships associated with this sport worth it.

Team Eville will be in Sylvan Lake to defend their first place finishes Feb. 23.

— Submitted