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Stampeders wrestling tourney

New perspective guides wrestler Boyko


 The two-time OFSAA participant, wins gold at first meet of the high school season

 a tournament featuring 16 schools at Parkside CI




  December 6, 2022


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By Rob J. Ross

ST. THOMAS - Julie Boyko has a new perspective when on the mat.

The two-time OFSAA participant is looking at wrestling in a new light, following her first meet since the high school provincial championships, in 2020.

Boyko won gold, at the Parkside wrestling tournament, December 3, an event featuring 16 schools, including the St. Joe's Rams, Central Elgin Titans and East Elgin Eagles.

"It was weird coming back after two and half years. I was like, I don't know what to do. I missed last year. I wasn't healthy to do it," Boyko said. "I'm making it to have more fun. It used to stress me out way too much. Now I'm just going to go out and have fun and if I lose, ok, whatever."

In her return to the mats, Boyko didn't lose a match, going 4-0, in the female 64-kilogram division. The Grade 12 student was one of seven individual weight class champions for the host school.

"I definitely got better as the matches went on. The first match I was like, whoa, but as the day went on, I remembered stuff and kept getting better," Boyko said. "I was nervous, but not as nervous as I used to be. I would need a win to make myself happy, but now it doesn't matter what I do. It's just a high school thing."

Boyko credits long time training partner Tyler Dale for preparing her for a return.

"I actually did some moves that I don't normally do in the matches. I did gut wrenches. I never do those, because I'm afraid they'll going to land on top of me," laughed Boyko. "I want to do something fun in these matches, so I'm going to go for it. (Dale) being my partner definitely helps."

For many of the athletes, it was their first matches since 2019, due to the COVID pandemic wiping out much of the past two seasons.

"Feels good to back on the mats and seeing everyone out again," Tyler Dale said. "I feel the team did fairly well for first time out for a lot of them. I saw a lot of them walking around with medals. Even the guys who didn't medal had fun and said, they got better over the day."

Dale won the male 67.5-kilogram division, with a 3-0 record.

"Getting them into throws or head and arms and then holding them there for a a pin, seemed to be working for me for all three matches," said Dale, who is hoping to advance to OFSAA. "I want to be taking more shots and setting up more shots. I had a few today, but was sloppy. It's something I want to work on more, getting my shots better, like double leg and single leg."

Dale's brother, Owen, took gold, in the male 64-kilogram class.

Zoey Astley-Duncan won the female' 67.5-kilo class and Gabe Forsyth, at male 130 kilos. At the novice male level, Ethan Gauthier, won gold at 67.5 kilos and Max Thivierge, at 77 kilos.

Hannah Anderson (female, 51-kg) took silver, while Abagail Coombs (female, 83-kg) and Braylen Sutherland (130-kg) were bronze medalists.

St. Joe's had three champions, Helen King (female, 72-kg), Diago Silva (72-kg) and Alex DiCristofero (130-kg) and two silver medalists, Hannah King (female 47.5-kg) and Julia Boin (61-kg).

Titans' Clark Jackson (male, 89-kg) and Bryson Ferguson (novice male, 51-kg), were division champs, while six Titans took silver, Jack Weisz (89-kg), Dollan Brown (novice 180-kg), Daniel Ludwig (novice 64-kg), Ivey Ludwig (female 67.5-kg), Faith Sullivan (female 54-kg) and Hailey Basacco (female 72-kg).

Fisher Ward and Khanan Hernandez, led a team of nine East Elgin Eagles, both taking home silver, in the novice male 51 and 72 kilogram divisions, respectively. Emely Boldt, won bronze at female 61a-kg.

Wrestlers are preparing for the Thames Valley Regional Athletics conference championships, followed by WOSSAA, Feb 24, at Banting high school, in London. OFSAA 2023, is in Ottawa, March 7-8.





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