Hungry Falcon feeds off golden victory
Wrestling: Foothills Erick Osberg, Cody Thompson win at rurals
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014 06:00 am
An Okotoks wrestler was hungry for a victory at the high school rural provincial championships.
Foothills Falcon Erick Osberg had to cut weight on his small frame en route to winning the gold medal at 56kg in Hinton Feb. 21-22.
Osberg went 5-0 in wining the championship. He beat Da Aye from Lethbridge Collegiate Institute.
“It was a battle,” Osberg said. “There was quite a few seconds when I was closed to being on my back and I had him on my back — it was a scramble.
“But in the beginning of the second round, I got lucky and took his arm and got him on his back. I just laid back and waited for the ref.”
When the ref slapped the mat, Osberg was the rural provincial champion.
He likely celebrated with a big juicy Alberta steak.
“I had to lose about two kilograms to get down from 59 (weight class) to 56,” Osberg said. “I was really nervous my first match and I was surprised by my ability because I had just cut weight.”
The new weight fit him well.
Osberg pinned his first opponent Amos Oliver from Parkland in the first round Friday.
He then downed Alex Armitage from Medicine Hat by beating him by more than 10 points in his final match of the day Friday.
The victory allowed Osberg to rest easy — it clinched a spot in the top five earning him a trip to provincials.
“It was good to win the first two because I got a better sleep,” the Grade 10 student said. “I would have been stressed out if I hadn’t won those.”
After a good sleep — and his first big meal in a while — Osberg was ready for his final match in the round-robin against Josh Howard from Grande Prairie Saturday morning.
“I had watched his previous matches and he looked really tough, but I was pretty confident,” Osberg said.
He ended up outpointing Howard.
Osberg then pinned Michael Sealey from Highwood High in High River in the semifinal to set up his gold medal match with Aye.
Osberg will be joined by Foothills Falcon teammate Cody Thompson at provincials. Thompson was hungry for revenge in winning gold at 82kg.
He made one mistake at rurals and got pinned by Chinook High’s Louis Lovell in the round-robin.
“I was beating him and he got me in a head-and-arm and I exposed my back too much and the ref called it a pin,” Thompson said. “I was winning at the time.”
The loss dropped Thompson to second-place in his pool. He drew the number-one seed from the other pool, Ty Babiuk.
Babiuk got a bad break in drawing Thompson. The Foothills Falcons outpointed him 11-0.
The final was a Thompson-Lovell rematch.
“I was really happy I got to wrestle him again — that head-and-arm just kept going through my head,” Thompson said. “I moved forward and I just kept throwing the double (leg takedown) on him.”
Thompson got Lovell down and in a gut-wrench. He kept rolling him for points until he had built an 11-0 lead for the victory.
Thompson went 5-1 at the tournament.
Holy Trinity Academy Knight Jazz Singh went 1-4 at 72kg to miss out on a chance to go to provincials. He dropped down from 76kg, but he’s not blaming the weight loss.
“I don’t regret it, it was a pretty easy cut,” Singh said. “It was just a crappy weekend.”
HTA’s Cian Booth and Falcon Matt Hunter did not wrestle at rurals due to an injury and sickness, respectively.
Thompson, a Grade 12 student, will go to his third straight provincials. He won a bronze two years ago and was sixth last year after facing a tough draw.
“Rurals are tough, but Calgary and Edmonton have a lot of tough guys so provincials are tougher,” he said. “I am looking forward to it. I believe I have a good chance of getting a medal, but my goal is to win it.”
Osberg is also expecting a workout at provincials.
“I am nervous,” Osberg said. “Knowing it’s the winners from the Calgary and Edmonton tournaments and rurals, it is going to be tough.”
The provincials are March 7-8 at Lester B. Pearson High School in Calgary.