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2019 Inductees
98 Warlords


INDUCTEE 2019 - ATHLETE-BUILDER - Blain Kjorlien


Wrestling, Football Competitor
Most Outstanding Atlete CLC 1971-72 college year
2 ACAC Football Championships
2 ACAC Wrestling Championships
Provincial Wrestling Champion 7 Times
Bronze Medal Canadian Wrestling Championship
Member of Team Canada 1974-75
Wrestling Coach WCHS 1975-1990
13 Consecutive ASAA Zone Wrestling Team Championships
7 Provincial ASAA Wrestling Team Championships
From 1968-2003

Blaine Kjorlien has always had a passion for sports.  He was born in Wetaskiwin and grew up involved in a variety of community and school sports including hockey, fastball, football and wrestling.  It wasn’t until high school and university that Blaine really excelled as an athlete. He gained renown and success in both football and wrestling at Camrose Lutheran College and in wrestling at the University of Alberta.  Blaine's passion for sport continued into his teaching career where he was a successful and influential coach in football and wrestling at Wetaskiwin Composite High School.  Because of his impressive athletic accomplishments and his outstanding coaching career Blaine is indeed worthy of induction into the Wetaskiwin & County Sports Hall of Fame.


MVP Brings Home Conference Championships

Blaine was a member of the Wetaskiwin Composite High School wrestling team in grades 11 and 12 and both years he was a zone champion.  In grade 12 he played on the Wetaskiwin Sabres 1969 football team as a linebacker.  In 1969 Blaine also played on the Wetaskiwin Fastball Team that won the Northern Alberta Championship.  Blaine was recruited by Camrose Lutheran College and during his two years at CLC he was a member of both the football team and the wrestling team.  In his first year (1970-71) both the football team and the wrestling team won the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Championship.  In his second year (1971-72) both teams again were conference champions.  For his contributions and effort Blaine was awarded MVP honors for both the football team and the wrestling team in 1971-72.  He was also the Most Outstanding Athlete at CLC for the 1971-72 school term, quite the accomplishments.

After two years at CLC Blaine moved to the University of Alberta where he concentrated his athletic pursuits on wrestling.   In 1972-73 Blaine was a Provincial Champion and won a Bronze Medal at the Canadian Open Championships.  He then took a year off to work and returned to competition with the U of A Golden Bears in 1974-75.  That year he was again Provincial Champion and was selected by the Canadian Amateur Wrestling Association to compete on the National Team in the World Cup in Toledo, Ohio.  After graduating from the U of A Blaine continued wrestling while he was coaching.  In total Blaine has won gold at the Alberta Wrestling Championships a total of seven times.  At the 1975 Canada Summer Games he was a member of the Alberta team and won a wrestling silver medal.

Overcoming Obstacles to
Remain in Competition

The most amazing part of Blaine’s athletic career is what he dealt with as an athlete.  In 1968 at the age of 16 Blaine was diagnosed with Diabetes.  All the years that he competed Blaine had to deal with regulating his blood sugar levels in order to reach his maximum potential at any time, a rather difficult task.  Unlike diabetics today, he had no technical aids to assist him with this problem.  Blaine credits his coach at the U of A as well as his doctor, Dr Leavert Johnson, for helping him to learn how to deal with his condition while training and competing. Blaine has now lived with diabetes for 50 years and is still in great health, an admirable achievement in itself.

Blaine started his teaching career in 1975 in Wetaskiwin and began coaching at WCHS.  In his first year he volunteered to coach both football and wrestling.  For three years (1975, 76 and 77) Blaine was the Defensive Coach for the Sabres High School Team.  In 1975 the Sabres Football Team were league champions.

Three Tenets:  Maintain High
Fitness Levels, Continually Working to Improve Technique and Have “Never Give Up!” Mental Attitude

Blaine coached the Wetaskiwin High School Sabres wrestling team for fourteen years starting in 1975 and ending in 1990.  He impressed on his athletes the same philosophy he had learned himself as an athlete.  It contained three main tenets:  high fitness levels, continually working to improve your technique and a “Never Give Up!” mental attitude.  For thirteen consecutive terms from 1976-77 to 1989-90 his wrestling team won the Central Alberta Zone Championship. The team finished second in Alberta five times and won the Provincial Championships seven times in 1977, 1979, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, and 1990; all in all an amazing record.   In 1986 Blaine established the Wetaskiwin Wrestling Club so that wrestlers would have more opportunity for improvement and competition once their school competitions were completed.  The club also provided an avenue for fundraising through bingos and the monetary gains were used for enhancing the program. 

Ninety-six Sabres Won Provincial Gold - Over 300 Sabres won
Medals at Wrestling Provincials

During Blaine’s coaching tenure a total of ninety-six Wetaskiwin Sabres Wrestlers won provincial gold medals and over 300 Sabres Wrestlers won either gold, silver or bronze medals at the provincial championships, an outstanding legacy!  In recognition of his coaching abilities and achievements Blaine was chosen in both 1978 and 1988 as “Alberta Wrestling Coach of the Year” by the Alberta Amateur Wrestling Association. Three times Blaine coached Alberta Wrestling Teams at the Canadian Championships, as well as coaching WCHS and Alberta wrestlers at two USA Open Championships and on one European Tour in 1988.  At the Canadian Wrestling Championships one of his Wetaskiwin wrestlers was Canadian Champion and several more brought home medals. 

Besides his high school coaching commitments, Blaine also coached teams in the Wetaskiwin Minor Hockey, Soccer and Baseball Associations from 1988-2003.  He was the Head Coach of two all-star Summer Hockey teams (Alberta Wolfpack) once in 1999 and again in 2002 and was the Wolfpack’s Assistant Coach/Manager in 2000.

Elite Athlete Contributes to Wetaskiwin Youth

Along with coaching, teaching and competing in wrestling Blaine was able to pursue other athletic activities.  He played slow pitch and was a member of the 1976 Wetaskiwin Implements Red Devils Slow Pitch Team that won the Provincial Championships.  Starting in 1976 Blaine competed on three different league teams in Floor Hockey.  The first few years the league was only Wetaskiwin based teams but then expanded to include teams from Edmonton, Red Deer and other central Alberta centres.  Blaine has been a member of seven Championship teams in floor hockey and continues to play recreational men’s floor hockey to this day.

We applaud Blaine’s dedication, effort and ability as an elite athlete, the obstacles he overcame in order to compete as well as his outstanding contributions to the youth of our community through his years of coaching. We can only imagine the hours that Blaine has spent in the gym.  Blaine can certainly be credited with the development of the exceptional WCHS wrestling program that must be the envy of all coaches and schools in the province.  In recognition of his successes as an athlete and as a coach we proudly induct Blaine into the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame.

"Great Coaches Change Lives"

Coaches are special people that teach us new skills and help improve our God-given abilities.  They physically fine-tune bodies and strengthen minds.  Self-esteem, strength, and technique are a winning combo. With their mentorship and dedication, coaches can inspire us to accomplish, what we can not do ourselves.  Coaches are in our corner, encouraging us when we need it and giving us confidence to keep trying, reassuring and caring, whether we conquer or miss the mark - builders of self-esteem, one game, one match, one tournament at a time.

Blaine Kjorlien has these attributes and more.  Blaine was my wrestling coach back in the 70's, in high school.  I am so proud to honour my coach, my friend Blaine.

Quote by Dale Woitt





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