Wrestling coach Randy Chapman shows students a move at Houston Secondary on Jan. 11.

Houston Wrestling gets a strong hold on 2012

If ever you grapple a guy with Houston Wrestling, don't get caught wearing the "hat wrestle."

If ever you grapple a guy with Houston Wrestling, don’t get caught wearing the “hat wrestle.”

“You kind of chicken-wing his arm and then walk around his head,” explains Grade 12 wrestler Allan Davidson. “Then you flip him over and can pin him.”

Hat wrestles, gator holds and single-leg takedowns are just a few moves Davidson and ten other wrestlers were coming to grips with at practice last week.

It’s only the team’s first season, but coach Randy Chapman said the boys are already throwing their weight around.

“We came second in Smithers with only a handful of kids,” said Chapman, laughing. With two tournaments already under their belts, he said the team is on track to win 20 medals this year.

Houston Wrestling got its start even before Chapman moved to Houston last spring from Chetwynd. Wrestlers on the Chetwynd Champions, a team he started there, gave their Houston friends on Facebook a heads-up that their favourite coach was headed their way.

Jaron Flett, the team’s assistant coach, said Chapman is totally dedicated to the team. Both he and Flett took graveyard shifts at Houston Forest Products so they could come in and train the students three days a week.

“He never misses a practice,” Flett said.

That was abundantly clear last Wednesday, when Chapman showed up even though he had one arm in a splint to treat a pulled tendon.

“Don’t try that one today—I’ll teach it to you when I’m good,” he said to one student trying out a Roman tilt.

That move is tricky, Chapman explained. It means flipping an opponent right over top of you, something that could easily hurt the guy’s neck if it’s done wrong.

Making sure wrestlers enjoy the sport without injuries is a big reason Chapman started coaching back in 1990. He had wrestled in high school, but dropped his own chance to go to nationals after his coach got banned for teaching cheap shots that injured people.

Chapman got pulled back into the sport years later, when he saw that kids at a Chilliwack drop-in centre would really benefit from a combat sports team. He showed them Thai boxing and wrestling moves, but it was the wresting that stuck.

“From there, the kids talked me into a competitive wrestling team and I just kept coaching,” he said. “Everywhere I’ve moved I’ve started a team.”

As he goes, Chapman continues to keep a close eye on his students’ safety. But that doesn’t mean the guys are holding back.

“I know how to get them going,” he said. “They know how to work.”

Towards the end of practice, Chapman set up a close-fought exhibition match between wrestlers Dustin Darling and Allan Davidson.

Halfway in, Darling was ahead by six points—the minimum points lead a wrestler needs to win if the match reaches the two-minute limit.

But suddenly Davidson squirmed out of Darling’s grip, hoisted him up by a leg and threw him down. After a battling it out close to the mat, Davidson finally held Darling down for a winning two-shoulder pin.

“That’s unreal natural agility,” Chapman said. “You can’t teach that.”

“Agility will take away power and strength—I believe that,” he added. “Technique will beat any of them, but if you don’t have technique and have agility you can worm out of almost anything.”

 

Just Posted

Three incumbent councillors re-elected in Houston

Houston mayor and director of Electoral Area G re-elected by acclamation

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Six cattle killed on Hungry Hill

After a brief closure Friday the highway is now open to traffic.

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

Liberals write off $6.3 billion in loans as part of money never to be collected

That includes student loans and a $2.6 billion write off that came through Export Development Canada

Category 5 Hurricane Willa threatens Mexico’s Pacific coast

Hurricane-force winds extended 30 miles (45 kilometres) from the storm’s centre

Trudeau, McKenna to announce compensation for federal carbon plan

Provinces that don’t have a carbon price of at least $20 per tonne of emissions will have Ottawa’s plan forced on them

UPDATE: American rapper killed in skydiving accident

Man, 34, dies in skydiving accident Saturday near Westwold, between Vernon and Kelowna

Man who died at BC Ferries terminal shot himself as police fired: watchdog

Officers didn’t commit any offence, says police watchdog office

Voter turnout at 36% in B.C.’s municipal election

Vancouver saw 39% turnout, Surrey saw 33%

Harry and Meghan travel in different style on Australia tour

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day seven of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

The online auction features 22 items from Hawking, including his doctoral thesis on the origins of the universe, with the sale scheduled for 31 October and 8 November.

Most Read