Ontario Senator Bob Runciman recently introduced a bill to rewrite a section of the Criminal Code to legalize the sport of mixed martial arts across Canada, making sports such as wrestling much more popular
Manor school jumped on the wrestling bandwagon last season and has been proving themselves ever since. April wrapped up the teams’ season, but many exciting things have happened since The Observer’s last article.
The team is coached by MMA fighter, Monte McNaughton whose own interest in the sport only began a few years ago.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a sport including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, kickboxing, Taekwondo, karate, judo and other styles. It is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground.
“I’m proud of the team and they have shown me that they can work harder than most other people in this world,” said McNaughton.
Tianna Kennett has been this season’s all star. After losing the first match of her first season, she began to train even harder and remained motivated throughout the year.
She competed in SHSAA wrestling Regionals in Prince Albert March 3, where she won three matches and only lost one. She ended up bringing home a bronze medal.
A week later she advanced to the provincials in Regina, she ended the day with three wins and two losses. Missing the medal round by one spot, she earned fifth place in the province, making her the highest-ranking 9th grader in all of Saskatchewan.
“This is only our second season,” McNaughton said. “And surprisingly only Tianna’s first, she can only continue to get better.”
Tianna wasn’t the only success story at Manor school this year. On Mar. 24, three of the wrestlers competed in the SAWA bantam wrestling Provincials in Swift Current. Jett Big Eagle finished fourth and was the only competitor to win a match against the gold medalist. Cooper Fox earned a bronze medal and Trista Kennett went undefeated earning her second provincial gold medal.
The wrestling sisters, Trista and Tianna later competed in SAWA cadet wrestling Provincials. Each lost one match by decision. Tianna lost to the high school provincial gold medalist and Trista lost to a wrestler in grade 10. Both earned provincial silvers.
After a successful season, McNaughton was happy to announce that Tianna has been invited by the University of Regina coaches to join them for a camp in Guelph, ON. The camp will take place in June and she will get the chance to train with wrestlers from the U.S. and an Olympic female wrestling coach.
“We will take a brief break from wrestling and then we will have to start training with Tianna again to get her ready for Guelph,” explained McNaughton with excitement.