John Oliver Joker Kyle Nguyen will be a Wesman in September. The high-achieving captain of the high school wrestling team committed this week to the University of Winnipeg.
“He is a young man that is mature beyond his years and someone that I believe will have a tremendous positive impact on our program for many years to come,” said Wesmen head wrestling coach Adrian Bruce in a statement.
Nguyen first captained the East Side school’s wrestling team in Grade 10 and this year led the Jokers to a third-place finish at the B.C. championships where they brought home 10 medals.
This season, B.C. Wrestling honoured the A-student with the Kjeld Brodsgaard Sportsman Award for good sportsmanship and the Andy Laliberte Award, a travel bursary which supported his trip to nationals in Fredericton last month.
The three-time national juvenile medalist (he brought home silver from the recent 2012 bout) is one of the few wrestlers in Canada who lists his high school as his primary wrestling club. Nguyen has good reason to.
He credits John Oliver wrestling coach Chris Fuoco for changing his life when he was a 318-pound overweight Grade 8 student. Nguyen, a friendly and courteous 100-kg class wrestler, says the teacher taught him everything he knows.
“The man has been one of the most influential members of my life and is very akin to a father figure. On the mat, he has instilled in me the killer, never-give-up work ethic which has allowed me to progress,” he told the Courier. “Off the mat, he has been a continued wealth of knowledge academically and professionally.”
Nguyen has also drawn knowledge and technical skill from the powerhouse Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club, where Fuoco takes students to develop and which has close ties to his alma mater Simon Fraser University.
Nguyen will study science as a pre-med candidate.
"A product of one of the top developmental programs in the country, Kyle is the complete package,” said Wesman wrestling coach. “He is a young man that is mature beyond his years and someone that I believe will have a tremendous positive impact on our program for many years to come. As impressive as his academic and athletic achievements are, it was his strengths and qualities as a person which I was drawn to and may well prove to be his greatest assets as he graduates into our program.”