Falcon golden with extra weight
Wrestling: Foothills Cody Thompson wins provincial championship
Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 10:58 am
A Foothills Falcon wrestler has worn the few kilos he’s put on this year well. He looks even better sporting that new gold medal he won at the Alberta high school wrestling championships at Lester Pearson High School in Calgary March 8.
Cody Thompson took first place at 82kg when he downed Whitecourt’s Ty Babiuk 11-0 in the final seconds of the first round.
“We were hand fighting and his legs would open and I would shoot on him – getting the single and the double-leg takedown and getting my points,” Thompson said.
It was the third time Thompson had met Babiuk this season, having split the first two occasions.
“I was feeling pretty confident, but we are both really equal wrestlers,” said the Grade 12 Thompson. “I was a little skeptical who would come out on top. I think both him and I thought we would end up fighting in the gold-medal match.”
Thompson got a wake-up call in his final match before the playoffs.
Bishop McNally’s Nathan Williamson — the no. 1 seed in Edmonton — had a 6-5 lead on the Foothills wrestler with a minute to go.
“I managed to get a point on him,” Thompson said. “Then I was able to get a three-point throw to stop it.”
It was Thompson’s second three-point throw of the match to automatically give him the victory.
More importantly, it was a wake-up call.
“I was wrestling to his level and then I picked things up and he lost a lot of energy and I was able to capitalize off of that,” Thompson said.
He won six matches en route to the championship. None of them went the full two rounds.
It was Thompson’s second provincial medal in the past three years. He won the bronze at the Comp in 2012 at 76kg, but finished out of the medals with a sixth place finish, again at 76 last year. He opted to wrestle at 82kg this year.
“I got thrown around a bit last year and that helped me a lot for this year,” Thompson said. “I tend to learn more from the matches I lost.”
Thompson wasn’t the only Falcon to come home with a medal.
Erick Osberg took the silver at 56kg in his first year of high school wrestling.
Osberg went undefeated in the preliminary rounds and came up against Matt Chan from Lord Beaverbrook in the semifinal.
“I was a little frustrated in the first round but I was ahead 9-7,” Osberg said. “In the second round, I came out really fast. He didn’t get a point on me and I won 17-7.”
He met Sir Winston Churchill Bulldog Kyle Gartner in the final and small talk had Osberg more jittery than the Macleod Conservative candidates waiting for a decision later that evening.
“I was nervous because some of the other wrestlers had told me how good he was,” Osberg said.
Osberg held his own.
The match wasn’t decided until the final seconds of the second round when Gartner won by superiority 14-4.
Osberg was able to reflect on the mat in those final seconds.
“I was fighting hard and I was on my back and I saw the clock,” Osberg said. “I was disappointed because I lost, but I was happy because I won a silver medal in my first year of high school wrestling.”
Osberg gave credit to Holy Trinity Academy Knight Christian Nori, who would have been a lock to medal at 53kg if not for an injured kneecap.
“He is a great wrestler,” Osberg said. “He was just a fantastic mentor for me this season.”
Nori won the provincial gold and silver medals in 2012 and 2013, respectively.
Osberg was awarded a sportsmanship award by officials at the tournament.
Highwood Mustang wrestler Josh Skory had his gold-medal hopes pinned on his final match of the round-robin in the 47kg weight division.
Mission accomplished for the Cayley product.
Skory had to pin Matthew Steward from Forest Lawn in the final.
A round-robin format was used due to only five wrestlers in the category. Skory went into the match with a 2-1 record, while Steward was 3-0. Skory had lost by superiority in one-match, so he had to go one better — a pin — to take gold over Steward.
“I was up 9-2 and even if I had beat him by superiority (by more than 10 points) he would have got the gold,” Skory said. “I had him on the ground and I did a cross-face and a butcher (cradling Steward) and I pinned him.”
Members of the Okotoks and High River wrestling clubs will compete in the Alberta Open this weekend at the University of Calgary.
For full results of the provincial championships go to provincials.asaa.ca