Crofton’s Hannah Tuplin long held the torch as the region’s most prolific wrestler.
Following Tuplin’s graduation from Chemainus Secondary School in 2018, a new generation of premier wrestlers has started to emerge within the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club under the direction of head coach Nick Zuback.
“There is a bunch of up-and-comers from the Chemainus area that will be ones to watch in the next few years,” Zuback noted. “The Cote brothers and the Healey kids will be outstanding.”
The Cotes, Healeys and a couple of others made their presence felt in recent tournaments.
Benjamin Cote, who attends Chemainus Elementary School, topped the Elementary male 24-26 kilogram class at the 15th annual Cougar Invitational held in December at Frances Kelsey Secondary in Mill Bay.
Not to be outdone, Elijah Cote, also of Chemainus Elementary, placed first in the Elementary male 38-41 kg division.
Elementary female 29-30 kg competition resulted in a second place finish for Lucy Healey of Chemainus Elementary behind winner Beth Quinn of Duncan’s Queen of Angels School.
The Junior female 71 kg event featured a second place finish for Emma Greenwood of Crofton.
Cameron Healey of Chemainus Elementary took third spot for the Junior Male 44-47 kg event and Chemainus Secondary School’s Noah Dash was fourth in the Junior male 56-57 kg category.
The efforts of the Chemainus Elementary students brought a tie for second place in the team standings with Southgate of Campbell River at 21 points each. Queen of Angels ran away with the division with 81 points.
“Cowichan did amazing,” enthused Zuback.
Greenwood claimed first place in the 71 kg female division during the preceding Island Novice tournament. Her performance alone gave Crofton three points and a tie for sixth in the team standings.