Brodie Wade of Cobble Hill Elementary (top) battles Ross Meiner of Queen of Angels School during the Cowichan Valley elementary meet at George Bonner School in late February. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Brodie Wade of Cobble Hill Elementary (top) battles Ross Meiner of Queen of Angels School during the Cowichan Valley elementary meet at George Bonner School in late February. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Elementary wrestlers pack George Bonner gym

Annual meet boasts biggest numbers to date

The Cowichan Valley elementary wrestling program just keeps getting bigger.

The program held its annual meet late last month at George Bonner Elementary School, with 190 wrestlers attending from 11 schools throughout the Cowichan Valley.

“It’s the highest number we’ve ever had,” Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club head coach Nick Zuback said. “That was awesome to see. We’ve had continuous growth happening.”

Growing alongside the numbers is the general interest in the sport among young students in the Cowichan Valley. Several participants asked about joining the wrestling club next fall.

“I think a positive experience was had by all the kids participating, and the coaches, teacher sponsors and the parents that came to watch,” Zuback said. “Every kid I talked to said they had a good experience and that they can’t wait to do it again.”

Zuback expressed his gratitude to Rick Bryan, the CVWC elementary coach who spent hours scheduling all the draws by hand, to the Bonner staff and principal Chris Clark for allowing the meet to take place there, and to the athletes, executive and parents from the club who helped organize and officiate at the meet.

“It’s great to see them giving back,” he said.