Sarnia’s Emily Schaefer ended her high school wrestling career with a clean sweep.
At the recent Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSSA) championship in Brampton, the Grade Northern Collegiate student stood atop the podium in the girls 51 kilogram weight class, claiming her fourth provincial title in as many years.
Capturing a single Ontario high school championship is no small feat; winning four in a row is extraordinary.
Schaefer took first place in the 41, 44, 47.5 and 51-kilogram weight classes from 2011 to 2014.
“It was pretty exciting because no female wrestler has ever won four gold medals in a row before,” she said. “I just love wrestling and make it my goal to win every time.”
Schaefer says the end of her career is bittersweet because she’ll be leaving longtime high school coach Nick Neinhuis.
“He’s a great guy and a great coach.” she said. “He’s always helping me with training and with school.”
Sarnia’s loss will be the gain of Western or Brock university this fall, the two schools Schaefer is considering for her academic and wrestling future. She expects to make a decision in May.
“Both are excellent schools and both are top of the country for wrestling,” she said.
Having competed at university events in the past, Schaefer knows there’ll be a big jump from high school, but she is up to the challenge.
The 18-year-old, who has competed nationally and internationally for Canada in her age group, wants to become a CIS champion.
“I don’t know how long it will take, but I’ll keep working hard until I can achieve it,” she said.
She also has aspirations of wrestling with the Maple Leaf on her jersey at the Olympics in 2020 or 2024.
“2016 is not attainable because wrestlers usually don’t peak until their late 20’s,” she said. “I’ll continue to work hard and see what happens.”
Schaefer’s long-term goal is to become a high school math teacher and wrestling coach, and if her wrestling success is any indication there’s no reason to believe she won’t achieve those goals.
– Barry Wright