Big decision for judo teen

Judo teens Tristan Alexander and Brennan Jolley are on a path to the 2015 Canada Games

Fourteen-year-olds Tristan Alexander and Brennan Jolley with Victoria Judo Club instructor Ken Jolley in back. Ken

For-14-year-old Tristan Alexander, the decision process has begun.

The Oak Bay High student is in Grade 9 and is a whopping 6-foot-5, 262 lbs. He is captain of his hockey team, the bantam AAA Racquet Club Kings, and has taken up basketball with the Bays’ junior team.

Football wants him too, with coaches clamouring to put him on the offensive line. But the only thing that could pry Alexander away from hockey is judo, and vice versa.

“I love hockey a lot but I also love judo, which makes it hard,” Alexander said. “If I could fit judo into my hockey schedule that would make it easier, but it’s not easy.

“I have to admit trying football would be great, I’ve never played and I’d love to give it a shot. Its intensity and grappling would compliment judo nicely. But I’d have to do it out of school.”

Alexander happens to be one of two extremely gifted judokas training out of the Victoria Judo Club in the Burnside Gorge Community Centre.

The other is Brennan Jolley, a Reynolds secondary student. Jolley is also 14, also in Grade 9.

He has his sights on getting his black belt by the time he’s 17, and any decision process Jolley might have gone through over which sport he would focus on happened a long time ago.

“I’ve been doing judo since I was seven and it’s my only sport,” Jolley said.

“I like it, competitions I get pretty nervous, but after I’m okay.”

Nervous maybe, but not enough to compromise his abilities or execution.

At the recent Saskatchewan Open, Jolley and Alexander each won gold in their respective under-18 weight divisions, Jolley at sub-60 kgs and Alexander at 90 kgs.

Each of them won three straight, with Alexander winning all three by the 45 second mark.

Obviously it’s Alexander’s size and age combination that makes him a desired commodity for coaches of team sports. Jolley, meanwhile, sizes up with the more average 14 year old males, at about 5-foot-7 and 123 lbs.

Needless to say, at half Alexander’s size, Jolley does his sparring with other members of the club.

Because of their recent success the two are now in the running to compete for Team B.C. at the 2015 Canada Games. Like Jolley, Alexander wants to compete for Team B.C. and will have to decide if he can fit in any other sports.

Both won gold at last year’s Edmonton International in the U15 category and gold at the 2012 B.C. Winter Games in Vernon, although there wasn’t much competition for Alexander.

“Not a lot of guys my size are 14,” he said.

The two will compete at nationals in Vancouver in early July. Jolley is looking to improve on his fifth-place finish from 2012, while Alexander was third.

sports@vicnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Colwood man to ride 400 kilometres to fight kids cancer

Man riding for a beloved family member who died from leukemia at 13-years-old

Saanich woman completes 10 marathons, raises double her initial goal amount

Over $20,000 raised for Victoria Hospitals Foundation

UPDATED: Missing 25-year-old Saanich woman found Saturday

Yuhan Jin thought to be travelling by foot or bus, carrying two suitcases

Saanich landfill gets used oil and antifreeze dropoff centre upgrades

BC Used Oil Management Association oversees upgrades, two new facilities in province

Peninsula businesses launch amidst COVID-19

New music school, martial arts studio, pet food store, welcomed with warm community response

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Most Read