When Prit Paul Johal’s father put him into wrestling, the youngster showed little interest.
Up until then, Johal had focused on soccer, content on scoring goals at a high pace.
But he stuck with it and that has turned out to be a good decision.
The 17-year-old not only won gold over the weekend at the B.C. high school wrestling championships, but was also named the meet’s most outstanding wrestler.
“I wasn’t interested at the start but it just grew on me,” admitted the D.W. Poppy Grade 12 student.
Johal won gold in the 57-kg division and is now a perfect 30-0 on the season.
This was also his third consecutive gold medal at the high school provincial
Johal, who wrestles under the Langley United wrestling club banner — made up of schools within the district, as well as Langley Christian — was one of 10 local wrestlers competing in Port Alberni.
He was also one of three to find the podium — fellow Poppy wrestler Parmjot Sidhu and Brookswood’s Jassa Randhawa each won silver in their respective divisions — while four others returned with top-six finishes.
Sidhu is also Johal’s younger cousin and frequent training partner, whether with Langley United or with the Abbotsford-based Miri Piri Wrestling Club.
“It helps because he knows what I do so it pushes me harder,” Johal explained.
And while the high school season — and career — is over, there is still plenty to focus on for the Grade 12 student who hopes to wrestle at the post-secondary level while studying towards becoming a doctor.
Johal is training for next month’s Canadian cadet championships, which will be held in Edmonton.
In addition to three medals the Langley wrestlers won, Timna Dimitra (Langley Christian) was fifth and Matthew Kaita (Brookswood), Marshall Campbell (Langley Christian) and Adam Clay (Langley Christian) all placed sixth in their respective weight classes.