The Phoenix of Hyde-Bath travelled to Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada this weekend to compete in the Eastern Canada Championships at the University of New Brunswick.
This tournament culminates our training in the International/ Olympic style of wrestling known as Freestyle. While similar to American Folkstyle “high school and college” wrestling, the differences are significant. Each of our Wednesdays this season have been “Freestyle Wednesdays” where we shift our focus to the international style of wrestling, which in America usually happens in the off-season of summer. In Canada, they train and compete in this style year round.
Making the trip over the border were Senior Captains Brett Gerry (85kg) and Jake Durkin (69kg), as well as junior Alex Hilton (54kg), junior Tim Nickerson (70kg), and sophomore Connor Foye (59kg). Hilton and Foye entered the tournament as returning medalists from last year, while this would be the first freestyle competition ever for both Durkin and Nickerson. Gerry entered the tournament with considerable freestyle experience though never having competed internationally.
Wrestling was constant and intense, and the Phoenix got off to a fast start behind junior Tim Nickerson, who scored with several HUGE high amplitude takedowns en route to a victory by pin in his first freestyle match. Senior Jake Durkin followed suit linking takedowns and back exposures to earn his first ever freestyle victory by pin as well. Senior Brett Gerry quickly dispatched his first opponent by the score of 10-0 and a win by technical fall. Junior Alex Hilton lost in a whirlwind first match where it was throw or be thrown, and the Phoenix came up on the short end of the score.
Hilton would rebound in his next two matches with wins by technical fall and pin to earn a Bronze Medal!
Sophomore Connor Foye displayed a tremendous amount of courage and fortitude in battling through a stomach bug. Despite being far from 100%, Connor gave his best in each of his matches and while he fell short of his goal of repeating as a medalist, he definitely defines courage and grit in the face of adversity!
Senior Captain Jake Durkin battled his way to a 5-1 record of the day with his only loss coming in the Gold Medal match to a member of Canada’s Junior National Team. Because of the round-robin format, that loss occurred in Jake’s 3rd match of the day and he battled back with outstanding victories to secure his silver medal!
Also competing for the first time in freestyle, Junior Tim Nickerson mixed dynamic, “high amplitude” offense with stingy defense and wrestled his way to 5 victories by pin and the Gold Medal! Tim’s opponents proved no match for his “go for it” style of wrestling, and he was simply dominant in his first international competition!
Senior Captain Brett Gerry did not surrender a point on the way to his 4-0 record of the day and the Gold Medal in the 85 kilo weight class. Brett used excellent tactics and explosive offense to earn two technical falls and two pins, including his excellent effort against a much bigger opponent in what would prove to be the gold medal match. Brett maintained great position and stayed active on his feet causing his opponent to overcommit on an attack. “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction,” and Brett turned his opponent’s tactical mistake into a huge throw resulting in the fall and the gold medal!
After an incredible weekend in Canada, the Phoenix return to the Gary Kent Wrestling Center to prepare to wrestle our best when it counts the most. This weekend, Hyde-Bath plays host to 17 schools on Saturday 6 February for the 2016 Northern New England Invitational.
Wish us luck!
Dreaming Big, Working Hard… Hyde Wrestling