To say Agassiz’s lone high school wrestler Mark Schwichtenberg had a phenomenal showing this past weekend is an understatement.
As he wrapped up the high school chapter of his wrestling career the Grade 12 Agassiz Elementary Secondary School student took home the gold at the B.C. High School Wrestling Championships in Vancouver. Not only did he take home the gold, but Schwichtenberg was awarded with most outstanding match and most outstanding wrestler.
“It was fantastic,” Schwichtenberg said of the victory. “My coaches worked really hard and we’re really happy. It came with a lot more than just a title this year.”
He added he wasn’t fully expecting to be named most outstanding wrestler or be part of the most outstanding match, but he’s thrilled with both honours.
“It was a big match,” he said. “It was both my and my opponent’s last high school match.”
Since Agassiz does not have a full wrestling team, Schwichtenberg trained with the team at W.J. Mouat Secondary in Abbotsford.
After graduation, Schwichtenberg plans to go to the University of Calgary and wrestle for the Dinos.
“I have visited there; the coach does want me, so I’ll be headed there,” he added. “I love it there. I have a few friends there and the coach is fantastic. It’s a really nice environment.”
Schwichtenberg has competed in a few university tournaments so far.
For anyone looking to follow in Schwichtenberg’s footsteps and become a high school wrestler, he said it’s all about connections, starting with finding a smaller club where coaches can really spend time with the athletes.
“Make yourself a known face,” he advised. “Just be a nice person. Wrestling is a competitive sport; it’s head to head and you don’t want people being mad at you. Don’t be obnoxious, don’t gloat when you win. Go shake the other coach’s hand. I always found that if I ever wrestled someone who I was better than and it was a good match, I would (tell the coach), ‘Hey, you did this well, maybe you should work on this with them.’ Just be a friendly face.”
Schwichtenberg said he would be competing at The Canadian Wrestling Championships in Calgary later this year. As nationals approach, he said likes his chances.
“British Columbia is known as one of the better places (for wrestling),” he said. “I have wrestled a few people from Alberta and I did do quite well against them. I think I’ll do quite well; I’m really looking forward to it.”