St. Mary’s to hold wrestling duel Thursday

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald Members of the St. Mary Marauder wrestling team warm up prior to a practice on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023.

Thursday night will provide a special opportunity to showcase the sport of wrestling at St. Mary High School.

The Marauder wrestling team is hosting a duel night against the Carlton Crusaders, who will joined by athletes from Carrot River and Birch Hills.

Marauder coach Roxanne Richards says the event will provide an opportunity for St. Mary and other local wrestling programs to show off the sport in a way that hasn’t been done before.

“We’ve gone to a lot of tournaments. We’ve traveled, we’ve competed. But my co-coach here, Mr. Tate McDougall, he wanted to try something different. And he said, how about we have a duel and bring people in so they can see wrestling? Because wrestling is not something that is very visual. Like you don’t see it. You can walk by a gym, you can see kids playing basketball. You don’t really see a lot of wrestling. It’s not as visible in the province, so this is a way to bring the community into the gym, bring that community, the friends, the family, the neighbors to come in and just see some good wrestling. So we’ve set it up where St Mary will be wrestling against members of Carlton, members of Birch Hills and Carrot River.”

The event will feature several bouts between athletes from inner-city rivals Carlton and St. Mary.

Richards says there is a softer side to the rivalry in the sport of wrestling.

“The thing with wrestling is we all get along. All the kids that are in the in the Carlton team, we work with them. We train with them in the Prince Albert Wrestling Club as well. So, we’re all really close and we all coach for PA wrestling club as well. So we do this as a family, we do this as a community. The rivalry is there, the fun of the rivalry is there. But we also actually really support each other. If a Carlton athlete is wrestling on a mat, St Mary kids are cheering for them and vice versa. It’s a good community builder for sure.”

One student who will be competing for the Marauders is Owen Ferchuk. Ferchuk is in Grade 11 and plays football and wrestles for St. Mary.

He says he is looking forward to being part of a showcase for the sport.

“I think the best part [of the event] is wrestling isn’t really known in our community. Like, no one knows where wrestling is. When they think of wrestling, they think of the WWE. So, I know that they’re going to be able to see it. I think more people might be interested in it.”

Ferchuk adds he is looking forward to showing off the true nature of wrestling, rather than the entertainment style WWE many associate with the sport.

“I don’t think people realize how technical it is and how like exciting it can be. So, I think if we bring the energy in, people will enjoy it. I think wrestling is one sport that anyone can play. It doesn’t matter how you look or like how big you are, how small you are, you’re going to be able to play. I know for football, you got to you got to be bigger or more muscular. I know for like basketball, you got to be taller and strong. But wrestling, there’s no limits to what a person can be to wrestle.”

The event will feature a showcase bout at the end of the evening featuring two Ukrainian wrestlers, one from St. Mary and one from Carrot River.